Crusaders stay connected with online competitions

The Crusader Challenge has been an online success with students and teachers involved.

The Crusader

The Crusader Challenge has been an online success with students and teachers involved.

Jordan Tyler Maralit ‘21, Staff Reporter

The Crusader Daily Challenge began on Monday, March 16, as a way to keep students entertained and stay connected since the Coronavirus prompted shelter in place ordinances around the Bay Area. 

Every day, around 9 a.m., House Director/Student Parliament Moderator Benny Willers ‘08 posts a Daily Challenge to keep students connected to school as well as find ways to communicate with one another. Teachers and staff members can also participate in the challenge. 

The first week of the Crusader Challenges were based on topics that Willers and Joey Klobas ‘07 decided. Crusader Challenges so far included: Push-Up Challenge, Water Bottle Flip, a student appreciation video of a staff member or more, and Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, where students and teachers posted photos of their meals. Other challenges included are, Posting Video Games and Books to share for House Points. 

In the sixth Crusader Challenge, drama teacher Valerie O’ Riordan had her own challenge for students and faculty to participate, which was to name a favorite actor. 

Every student can participate and can earn points for his house. 

In the first week of Daily Challenges, Bolts led with 67 points, Cana had 64 points, Russi 61 points, and Pilar 30 points.

In the second week, Spirit Week, students were encouraged to show their spirit. The first day was USA Day, where students and faculty showed their patriotism on Schoology. They got one point for sending a picture in USA gear, and 2 points of a video chugging water wearing their USA gear. 

The second day for Spirit Dress was Disney Day. Students showed their Disney Spirit and wore their favorite Disney clothes like: Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and other original Disney movies that they love.  They got one point for sending a picture of themselves in Disney gear, one point of who their favorite Disney character is and why, and two points if they do both. Students and faculty received three points if they wanted to include a video of themselves in their Disney gear, and explaining their favorite Disney character.

The Third Day for Spirit Dress was Workout day. Students and faculty showed their favorite exercises on video, and provided an explanation of why the workout exercise is their favorite. One point for sending a picture in workout gear, one point for which is their favorite exercise and why, and if they show both, then they get two points. Three points will be added if they include a video of their favorite workout exercise.

The fourth day was House Color Day. Students and faculty wore their favorite shirt that  includes their house color. Willers called the day, “Trick or Talent?” because participants posted a video of them performing a trick or talent. One point for a picture of themselves in House Colors, another one point for explaining a talent that they are good at, two points for both. Three points for posting a video of themselves in their house colors and playing their talents.

The Fifth Day for Spirit Dress was Purple and Gold Day. This Crusader Challenge allows everyone to wear purple and gold and do their favorite dance. One point for sending a picture of themselves in purple and gold, 2 points for showing their dance moves, and 3 points if they do both. 

The Third Week of Crusader Challenges contained different options for both students and faculty to participate in. The first choice was that they could either do a Rube Goldberg Machine, a Lip Sync Video, or an In Home Obstacle Course. These challenges gave students and faculty the opportunity to be creative and share with the whole school on Schoology.

The points have now been updated for the second week of challenges.  Bolts is in the lead with 159 points, Cana in second place with 129 points, Russi in third with 124 points, and Pilar continues to stay in last place with 58 points earned during the challenges. The overall standings have not changed.

The Crusader Staff
The updated scores for the Crusader Challenge show Bolts holding onto a tight lead.

Willers made a Class of 2020 discussion post that can pay tribute to the senior, the last all boys class at the school. Although it was not a Crusader Challenge, it was a way to pay tribute to their accomplishments. “It was just to show the love to the seniors,” Willers said. 

Willers, who is also the Varsity Cross Country Coach and Spirit Club Manager, tries to help students create an enthusiastic mood every day, to make everything seem exciting. Willers also post updates from teachers who give advice during the pandemic. 

He said, “These challenges seem to be getting a decent amount of participation and it has steadily increased throughout the week. It’s all about putting a smile on our faces during this time. I think it’s a great outlet for students and teachers to reconnect and stay in touch.”

He added, “Joey (Klobas) and I thought it was vital to keep the spirit and the morale of our students and faculty up during this time of isolation. We felt as though we had such great momentum going into the end of the school year and we didn’t want to lose it. More importantly, we wanted a way to still be able to interact with the students and teachers.”

In addition, “This is just the start of the Crusader Challenge. Joey and I have brainstormed some other ideas as well. We are going to try and keep the consistency going, while eventually spicing things up and shifting things around.”

Willers gave some advice to the students who are not participating in the challenges. He said, “Take a break from school work and video games and show some school spirit! The more people participate, the more fun!”

Jonathan Torrea ‘21, also known as, “JT,” always participates in events like this. He said, “What made me do the Crusader Challenges is that I really didn’t have anything to do at home in quarantine. I eat, do homework, talk to friends, sleep. Doing the daily challenges gives me some differentiation throughout each day. Plus it’s for house points. I try to support my house as much as possible.” 

He added, “What makes me enjoy it is how simple it is. These challenges aren’t necessarily hard. They just require you to take a few minutes to do. It’s also satisfying knowing that you’re getting house points.”

Counselor for the Class of 2021, Vanessa Martinez-Flattery, also participated in some of the games as well. She said, “The most fun part is seeing the different students participate. It’s like I’m meeting new students virtually and getting to know them a little bit.”

She added, “At first I thought it was only for students but then when I realized I could participate, I wanted to get all the points for Bolts! I was also motivated by the students putting themselves out there especially with the videos and they inspired me to be involved.”