Locked and loaded: Water Wars


Athena Tseng

Seniors are battling each other in a game of Water Wars, a water gun game with a grand cash prize. The game is hosted by a parent and helps bring back morale for the end of seniors’ high school journey

The target is in sight. 

Waiting ever so silently for the precise moment to strike. 

Armed with their weapon they creep on over to their victim 

And within the span of mere seconds, the opponent is drenched. 

The game and every prospect of winning is lost. 

This is Water Wars. 

Team against team. 

Student against student.

Athena Tseng

What may seem like the plot to a new Hunger Games novel is actually Water Wars, a game where seniors form teams of four and eliminate their assigned targets using water guns for a cash prize of at least $840. 

For many seniors, 12th grade marks the end of one era and the beginning of a new one. For senior Ananya Gardas, the opportunity to make everlasting memories with close friends is a prime reason for taking part in the Water Wars. 

“I think it’s important to engage in activities like this because it helps create a connection,” Gardas said. “It’s a great way to play as a community right before we head off to college.”

But this isn’t a school or district affiliated game.

Attacking at a Frisco ISD campus, FISD sponsored events, private property, places of worship, moving vehicles, and other clearly labeled places is not permitted and results in a penalty or elimination of the team.

It is such a fun way for seniors to have fun just being kids, getting outside and interacting with each other in a way they haven’t interacted before,

— parent Sharalyn Edmunds

In fact, Water Wars is voluntarily hosted by a parent, Sharalyn Edmunds. 

“I started water wars at Liberty back in 2019 when my daughter was a senior and I was so happy to learn it has carried on,” Edmunds said. “It is such a fun way for seniors to have fun just being kids, getting outside and interacting with each other in a way they haven’t interacted before.” 

While it is a competition and game at its core, these squirt gun battles have benefits beyond a cash grab.

“I would say Water Wars has significantly improved morale and engagement in classes near the end of the year,” senior Ishayu Gupta said. “Students are more willing to spend time in classes and talking to fellow peers in order to get ‘inside information’ about their targets.” 

The amount of work that goes into running this competition is immeasurable. Edmunds puts in hours of work each week in order for students’ to enjoy the competition. 

“There is actually a ton of work that goes on behind the scenes, in fact, it takes me about 4 hours to assign targets and get the texts out each week, while also having ongoing daily posts of tags and tips” Edmunds said. “ Of course there’s also quite a bit of messaging back and forth with team captains regarding whether or not a tag should be considered a tag, because there are always two sides to every tag.”

While tagging and attacking others cannot be done on campus, knowing an elimination could happen at any moment gives way to fun, yet anxiety-riddled school days, creating a tense environment for many seniors. 

“My favorite part of Water Wars is the competitive atmosphere that’s encompassing the school at the moment, and the opportunity to work closely with my friends to win,” senior Vinay Pattanashettar said. 

But it’s not all fun and games for Gardas, as strategy and tactics play a large role in getting the cash prize. 

Students are more willing to spend time in classes and talking to fellow peers in order to get ‘inside information’ about their targets,

— senior Ishayu Gupta

“Water Wars has helped me engage with my peers by working together to find our targets, creating ‘aliances’ and strategically figuring out who to eliminate,” Gardas said. 

Some competitors are willing to go to any extent to try and eliminate their target. 

“I thought it was crazy, but this guy skipped his first period class and was chilling outside my house at 10:30 to attack me, which definitely caught me off guard,” senior Connor Andrus said. 

Various teams aim to win, so the competition is definitely heated. 

“I definitely think my team can win,” Pattanashettar said. “We have a competitive team and have solid strategy”

Most students are motivated by the prospect of ending the year with a bang and winning such a large cash prize.

“This game lets seniors interact with each other and it’s fun to have a game to play,” Andrus said. “Plus, everyone’s doing it for the money, I’m in it for the money.” 

Edmunds hopes students on campus continue this senior tradition in the coming years. 

“I think Water Wars should be played every year,” Edmunds said. “It’s good clean fun and a great bonding experience for seniors and I hope this has been a great memory for everyone!”