Raiderbowl 2016 Wages Epic Battle of Classes

Four Classes Enter. One Class is crowned the Victor.


Photo by Photo by Matt Hanley

PMHS classes assemble for battle at Raiderbowl 2016.

McKenzie Smith, Staff Writer

The fall season often evokes cozy and familiar feelings that we cherish and await the arrival of every year. Warm sweaters, pumpkin picking, the blood and gore of heated competition… what’s not to love?
Obviously, we’re talking about Pat-Med’s own “Raiderbowl”, a tournament of games – strategic and elementary – used to determine which graduating class was the best. Traditionally, the senior class would maintain the winning title but it was totally coincidental and not predestined at all [wink, wink]. The juniors would often take second place and the underclassmen would be placed accordingly. Although it’s not exactly made clear why we have this event each year, it seems as though the concept of “working together to achieve a common goal despite our differences” has something to do with it. Another likely explanation is simply that the event officially kicks off the start of our homecoming season. In any sense, Raiderbowl is a highly anticipated event each year.


It’s not very often that I willingly venture out into the vast wilderness of teenaged “night life”- especially on a school night. This was probably why most of those who know me were understandably shocked when I showed up at Raiderbowl. The first thing I noticed as I walked into the gym was the amount of screaming adolescents in the stands. Under any normal circumstances, I would’ve spun around on my heel, exited the building, and never returned. Although it could’ve spared me the headache, I was more interested in observing my peers as they competed.

I was able to get a good understanding of what each class expected from that night. A freshman told me they knew Raiderbowl was going to be much better than middle school’s version of Battle of the Classes. “Apparently much more competitive, too.” They said. When interviewing a peppy sophomore, she said she expected high energy and that it would bring on a great homecoming season. A junior simply yelled, “We’re gonna win!”, while a senior said she expected her class to win noting, however, that the juniors were their biggest competition.

And So It Begins…

The announcement of the senior class was ultimately cut short by sounds I did not know were humanly possible. It was, of course, the seniors themselves rushing through the gym doors to run in circles as a very literal screaming tornado of energy. What seemed momentarily idiotic proved to be the most impactful rhetoric I witnessed that night. There was a moment that I got goosebumps from hearing their rally cry and seeing seniors of all kinds – shirtless dudes, french horn carriers, and chicken masked alike – united for a single cause: to claim the long-awaited title of Winners of Raiderbowl.
Floating in the stands were balloons that seemed to be the physical representation of the hope, confidence, and spirit of each class. All were up – reaching as if not even the sky was a limitation, in high hopes of victory – being that this was only the beginning. The events had just begun and the real tension was just settling in.

The general feel of Raiderbowl after the games actually started was intense, excessively competitive, and very close to being worthy of the word “scary”. Individually, each class had a different persona. The freshmen, obviously unfamiliar, housed a nervous excitement. They were inquisitive and seemed to side more with spectating than actively participating. Most interesting was the way they were visibly disconnected from each other. Understandably, it seems as though they are not comfortable with each other yet and may be sticking with friends from their own middle school – it was only twenty days into the school year! Still, I felt it was a cause for concern.

The sophomores were more into the swing of things. However, they seemed largely affected by the status of winning and losing. The players were driven but the spectators were only excited when they were winning. Many of them looked unhappy, often glaring at other classes and even their own players. I felt they elicited an annoyed and disappointed vibe well before they suffered any real losses. In addition, the class of 2019 was also subdivided. This time it felt more cliquey than first-interaction-awkwardness. This class has been through the motions of The Integration and still looks divided. I feel there’s a level of community needed for events such as Raiderbowl – it’s essential.

The juniors have been characterized as a whole to be very competitive over time. At Raiderbowl I definitely saw this part of them but for the first time I saw something absolutely incredible. While they’d always been organized, I saw a new, likeable side to the class of 2018 that can only be described as unity. Looking up at their overflowing stands, I saw no gaps – no one left alone. I watched them chant together, cheer together, and simply be together. While they can be aggressive, excitable, and a bit egotistical at times, it finally became obvious to me that those traits don’t define them or place them in a specific category of “good” or “bad”. They’re human.

Finally, the seniors seemed to work together as one in effort to fulfill their quest. Their motives to conquer were boiled down to being able to finally hold the winning title and to uphold the tradition of seniority. It seemed to me that the class of 2017 didn’t think it would be much of a challenge, thought the seniority net was below them if they failed, or wanted to fiend calmness, a nonchalant attitude, or indifference for whatever reason. I just noticed that towards the end they woke up and had a sense of urgency they didn’t have or show before.