Reach for the Top

Friday, November 24, 2017 - By: Olamide O, Privett ‘18; Photo by Glory C, Mackenzie '18

So I don’t mean to brag, but I’d like to consider myself as a fairly intelligent individual. I get pretty good grades and people often view me as a smart guy. So when I heard that Interhouse Reach for the Top was coming up, I got excited. This could be a way to show the rest of the school just what kind of brilliance is housed between Privett and Hope. 

With our Interhouse Captain away, I had to step in and make an elite squad for Privett House – a “Dream Team” if you will. Though the school year is still young, I have noticed that Privett has some truly bright students. The juniors were pretty straightforward; Derek H, Privett ‘21, has earned a reputation as a genius in his short time here, and Ben Z, Privett ‘21, has been no slouch either. Now the more difficult part: the seniors. I deliberated for hours; who would be the best representatives of the house? I asked a few students until I ran into Joshua Y, Privett ‘19. Typically a shy kid, Joshua jumped at the opportunity to represent his house in front of the school. He claimed to have extensive knowledge in the four categories: Literature and Mythology, History and Geography, Science and Technology, and Famous Personalities. 

“Great, now the last senior,” I thought to myself. 

Short on interest from other seniors, I decided to participate myself. So there we had it, ready for the challenge ahead. 

The event began with Whittall/Alex vs Ellis/Mack in the Junior category. The team in green jumped out to an early lead on the backs of McCoy F, Ellis ‘21. Gradually, Jasleen G, Alex ‘20, led the Whittall/Alex comeback that saw them take the round. Sitting in the crowd, only one thought came to mind: “I am not nearly as smart as some of these kids… and they are two or three years younger than me!” 

Next were the Privett/Hope vs Rogers/Allard Juniors. I thought my boys, paired with Nicole L & Kennedy M,  Hope ‘21, were going to mop the floor with their opponents. However, there was one unforeseen obstacle: Thomas L, Rogers ‘20. He answered every question that was asked. With some help from his teammates, Rogers/Allard was leading 11-7. With the last question being cumulative, Privett/Hope had to answer off the first clue to be awarded 40 points to tie the game. As Mr. Felix said the question, I was dumbfounded, not even understanding what he said. Fortunately, Nicole did, and with the answer “Nelson Mandela,” the game was sent down to the tie-breaking question. Playing foil to the incredible comeback, Thomas answered the final question correctly, sending Rogers/Allard to the finals. 

In the 3rd/4th place game, Mack/Ellis convincingly beat Privett/Hope. In the Junior Finals, Rogers/Allard and Whittall/Alex put on a show. The game went back and forth, with both teams rapidly answering questions, neither seeming to get a large edge over their opponents. Ultimately, Thomas and his team pulled ahead for good, winning the Junior Final. 

To start the Senior Round, Mack/Ellis faced Whittall/Alex. I favoured Whittall/Alex; they had Assistant Head Prefect of Academics, Crawford C, Whittall ‘18, after all. Amber G, Mackenzie ‘18, quickly changed that. She came out of the gates firing, answering questions left and right, leaving even Mr. Felix stunned. However, never underestimate MC Crooks. He went on a personal run, answering several consecutive questions to narrow the gap. At the end, there was another tie, forcing another tie-breaking question. Sanjana V, Alex ‘19, coolly responded correctly, sending her team to the Finals. 

As my team – Zara P, Hope ‘18, Erika D.A.S, Hope ‘19, and Joshua – and I took the stage, we all buzzed with nervous excitement. As Rogers/Allard took the stage, I tried to channel this energy into hitting the buzzer fast enough to answer. Fortunately, I didn’t have to. Joshua put our team on his back and almost single-handedly led us to a victory. Before Mr. Felix would finish the question, Joshua would already have said the right answer. Rogers/Allard put up a good fight; John E, Rogers ‘18, and Genevieve P, Allard ‘19, were certainly forces to be reckoned with, but Joshua was just that good. I think the only question I answered that round was “What element has only one proton?” It’s hydrogen. That sums up just about everything I’ve learned in AP Chemistry. 

In the Senior 3rd/4th place game, Mack/Ellis battled Rogers/Allard. This was another back and forth affair, as neither team wanted to lose again. Eventually, Connor W, Ellis ‘18, helped his team pull away and Mack/Ellis came away with third place. In the final showdown, it was my Privett/Hope vs Whittall/Alex. Joshua and I gave our team an early lead, but Crawford and Tochukwu A, Alexandra ‘19, kept it close in the early going. Zara followed by answering some questions to increase our advantage, but Nolan J, Whittall ‘18, matched her, reducing our lead to a single question. With the cumulative question remaining, both teams were praying they could recognize the answer before the other team. After two clues, both teams remained clueless. Whittall/Alex had to guess correctly on the following clue to win, otherwise only a tie would be possible. Joshua spoiled any hopes, correctly answering the question to give us the victory. 

Reach for the Top is an amazing event, one I hope remains in the Interhouse rotation for years to come. I was extremely proud of all the participants for putting their brilliance on display. I learned two very important lessons that night: I am not nearly as smart as I think I am, and the key to success is Marvin the Martian T-shirts (just look at the photo above!) 

Olamide O, Privett ‘18

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