Hoco Nominees: The T-Wolfing Down Games

Annabel Tiong, Staff Writer

There was a time when Northwood’s Hoco Court was chosen like any other school, through a popularity contest dominated by ASB and the occasional band or football kid. After an uprising from nominees protesting the election process (now known as Squad 13), the “T-Wolfing Down” Games were created. 

The rules of the Games are simple. All remnants of the indiscreet democratic process have been abolished, and now the poor elected tributes must be imprisoned within the 1400s building to fight to a fate worse than death: academic failure. 

Each of the five princes and princesses will compete in a week-long festivity as the whole school watches in amusement. 

“Bro, I don’t care as long as I still get to keep my poptarts,” tribute senior Shan Syed said. Notably, Syed had come from a Squad on campus that was known for their impressive industry in hoarding cafeteria snacks. 

The first game was unveiled as a large projector loomed in front of the nominees. A timer for one hour and 25 minutes was set, and the dreaded prompt magnified on screen. 

“Evaluate factors that developed your political, social and economic identity.” 

Within the first few seconds, two of the princes and a princess immediately dropped out, holding up their Hope Squad business cards in shame. 

The remaining competitors got situated at their computers, and proctor English teacher Jennifer Guy, the esteemed sponsor of this Game,  winked as she closed the door, whispering, “May the pods ever be in your favor.” Then the furious typing began, sweat pooling as the tributes struggled to finish. 

Once the typing concluded, Guy clucked her tongue in disappointment as she wrote cryptic comments all over each thesis with a nice medley of red slash marks. 

“Unfortunately, I will have to eliminate Ritwik Kumar and Snigdha Maddula.” Guy said. “They did a good job, but their topic sentences were just proficient and only extendings deserve to stay.” 

The second set of games featured a serious showdown of an essential school skill: sprinting to the lunch line at the first sound of the bell. With seven tributes still competing, only four highly coveted mango yogurt parfaits were placed at the edge of the cafeteria, waiting to be claimed by the victors.  Front row seats, in the “splash” zone of the anticipated bloodshed, quickly sold out. 

“This is my moment,” Syed said. “My competitors better hold onto their pop tarts cause it’s about to get toasty.” 

When the bold white letters finally struck 12:10 p.m., a tangle of arms and legs splayed out as tributes lurched forward. The stairs proved to be a huge obstacle—everyone was wheezing heavily by the bottom—and tribute senior YunSeo Lee decided to tap out, largely due to her failing lungs from yelling at ASB events. 

Ultimately, the veteran in lunch shenanigans did win out as Syed arrived first. A close second was senior Mei Ono, followed by  senior Jazzy Chhabria and senior Rachel Gima, who had agreed to make a pact after Lee’s elimination and merely strolled over.

“We’re just representing the smart people who decide to wait for 10 minutes during lunch,” said Chhabria. “No risk of face planting mid sprint. It’s all about that strategy.”

The final game was a clever test of wits designed collaboratively by the [IntegratedScience] Squad on campus. Although deceptively simple, the question would be the downfall of some. All remaining nominees sat anxiously awaiting as they heard the decisive question: “On a scale from 1-5, how are you doing today?”

Little did they know, the second they began to utter the “thr-” sound, their fate would be sealed. Forever doomed to remain in mediocrity with nothing to bring back to their squad, the hard-fought eliminated tributes could only pray that their parents wouldn’t receive an email for “Mandato-burial,” aka the “Sleeping.”

However, the brave, fierce, honest and mutually respectful were able to bring home the grand prize: a newly built private bathroom reserved for them and their future squad. They also receive some trivial title like “King/Queen.”

To see who the prize-winning tributes were, stay tuned for a huge reveal in front of all of Northwood (or whoever decides to show up to the football game)!