RIPLEY - The Ripley Central School District celebrated the 10th annual Battle of the Classes competition on Friday, Oct. 19 as part of homecoming activities.
Originally, the battle was conceived when a few creative teachers began looking for a novel way to celebrate homecoming.
"At that time we hadn't yet combined sports teams with neighboring schools," Principal Lauren Ormsby said. "Ms. Walzer, Mrs. Thompson and I were looking for a way for students to connect with each other and their school community in the absence of a homecoming football or soccer game. I'm very pleased that battle has become a school tradition, an event that is often cited as one of our students' most memorable high school events.
Ripley Central School’s 10th annual Battle of the Classes 2012 winners were the Class of 2015. Pictured in the front row, left to right: Lauren Ayrault and Rachael Estes. In the second row, from left to right: Rebecca Wescott; Brittany Rogers; Rileigh Hawkins; Au’Taysha Carson; and Emilee Steger. In the third row, from left to right: Logan Dulmus; class advisor Michelle Lukasiak; Melanie McCutcheon; Doninique Rammelt; Clark Klinger; Eric Szymanowski; and DJ Hamrick.
Battle actually begins each year on the first day of school. Students are given a challenge which emphasizes teamwork and commitment. Working after school, each class must produce a banner and choreograph a presentation, which includes the Ripley Alma Mater, and must depict that year's theme.
Themes have ranged from video games, Olympics, decades and music, to colors, movies and candy. During the Olympics theme, Don Reinholdt, the world's strongest man, made a guest appearance. Students had to move him from one spot to another. Another year, a surprise fifth team made an entrance. It was an alumni team comprised of parents and graduates, all dressed in their team colors and ready for battle.
The battle continues today with a variety of activities that tap virtually every skill set claimed by the ninth through 12 grade student body. From 12:30 to 2:35 p.m., the crowd cheered on their class favorites, laughed and even experienced a moist eye as classes enhanced their performance with their own rendition of the school song. The two consistent events, food and tug of war, drew the wildest crowd cheers. The food competition isn't merely a race or an event to see which grade level contestants can eat the most. Always connected to the theme, it could be anything.
"I think the wheel of gross foods was one of the best," Ormsby said. "Contestants spun the wheel three times to identify which foods would be theirs. I remember sardines and sauerkraut and chocolate milk on that wheel. After the spins, we put everything in a blender - contestants had to drink that concoction. This year was fairly tame, just a few seasonal items - boiled eggs, pumpkin pie, freezie-pops and hot chocolate with marshmallows."
It was an incredible day of camaraderie, excitement and good fun.
The class of 2015 won the day and were awarded the 2012 Battle of the Classes championship trophy. The battle was capped with a tug of war between the seniors and the faculty. Suffice it to say, Ripley Central School District has a very strong senior class and memories to last a lifetime.