Annual Assassin game invites seniors to engage in Westlake tradition

Traditionally, the word “assassin” has a negative connotation, but it has an alternative meaning to seniors in their last semester of high school. 

“Assassin is a game that every graduating class plays,” coordinator of Assassin ’22 senior Nate McCall said. “The object of the game is to tag or ‘assassinate’ your target with a nerf gun while remaining in the game yourself.”

To play this elaborate game, players must choose a partner to make a team of two, pay a $10 non-refundable fee and agree to abide by the 12-page rule book which covers when, where and how one can legally eliminate their targets. The $10 from each student is compiled to create a cash prize for the last men standing. Every year, two seniors in the marching band are appointed as coordinators of the game, and this year seniors Ethan Hebert and Nate took on these roles. Other seniors have different reasons for playing the game. 

“People play Assassin for a number of reasons, but I would say the main incentive is the cash prize,” Nate said. “My hope for the game this year is to get a huge portion of students to sign up so we can have a really big prize pool.”

The game officially started Feb. 14, and there is a wide variety of strategies. While some students choose to be courageous, others choose to spend their time in safe zones. 

“I am not concerned about [someone] trespassing because I believe the rules are fair and the elimination only occurs if the rules are followed,” senior Zara Weiss said. “I am concerned about missing out on social events because I am [trying to stay safe] and also not being able to eliminate my targets.”

Last year, the game ended in a four-way tie between alumni Evan Bright, Patrick Churchill, Quad Johnson and Alex Link. Still, it is not every player’s goal to win. 

“I’m most looking forward to making up elaborate Assassination plans with my partner — even if they never work,” senior Chloe Postouvoui said. “I think my partner [is] more qualified in the nerf gun shooting aspect for sure because my aim is terrible.”

In the end, Assassin is a way for seniors to bond with their peers in a last hoorah before they part ways after graduation. While this game is not associated with Westlake High School or Eanes Independent School District, it is a tradition that will continue long after the class of 2022. 

“[Playing assassin] is kind of just a senior thing – it’s part of the experience,” said senior Jacob Henderson, who is Chloe’s Assassin partner. “When you’re an upperclassman, you hear all about seniors playing Assassin, so it becomes sort of a big deal when you’re a senior.”