The Viking Games Begin: A New OHS Tradition

Phil Comito wearing a viking helmet and holding The Spear of Spirit

The Godfather of The Viking Games / Photographer: McCabe Webb

In the winter of 2017, signs went up throughout the high school with bold headers of “Courage,” “Pride,” “Honor,” and “Strength.” Each category held roughly a fourth of the high school student body. Nothing concerning the meaning of the signs was announced, and only the students of Phil Comito’s Leadership class knew that these signs meant the beginning of The Viking Games.

“The Viking Games essentially consist of monthly competitions where the four evenly-divided Viking families of our high school, Pride, Honor, Strength, and Courage, compete to win points,” explains Ewan Lister, a student of the Leadership class.

The Games were made by the Leadership class, with inspiration from a private school in New Zealand. Comito has led the students through the process of designing and holding the Games, and says that his hope was “to create some connections between classes.” Comito has seen healthy rivalry between teams and “some intra-team camaraderie, within Pride, especially.” He predicts that Pride will come out at the end of the year towards the top of the leader board, as they have been earning first and second place in most competitions. The students of Pride have also lived up to their team name, printing shirts with a “Pride” logo on the front for members of this Viking “family” to wear.

There have been six competitions between the four Viking teams in the past few months. These games have taken place during lunch or assemblies. There has been a home-run derby, a shuffleboard contest, a math tournament, and a tug of war competition. Points have also been awarded to teams with the best attendance throughout the year, best GPA, and most improved GPA between two quarters. Overall, Pride holds first place with 775 points, Courage is in second with 550 points, and Strength is in third with 475 points. Honor follows closely with 450 points.

From the beginning of the games, it has been apparent that Pride is a very strong team. Still, no singular team has fallen too far behind, and every team has a chance to pull out a win by the end of the year. Strength, behind for the first three competitions, pulled up the ladder after performing well in the math competition, and Honor has been battling with Pride since February, when the Games began.

How did the leadership class design these teams to be equally matched? According to Comito, the class used a “random team generator to create four teams.” The exact details remain a mystery, but luckily these random teams are generally well-matched.

Comito and the leadership class plan to continue the Games in the next school year and hope to build a tradition that will last for years to come. They will hold a final competition, a “boat race,” on June 15 to close out this year. The 400 points available in this last race make it possible for any team to pull ahead and finish first – all they have to do is make a boat frame and run it across a field while looking stylish and being fast. Not too difficult… 

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