Painted black, head to toe, with scowls plastered on their faces, Hotchkiss entered Bross gym in their traditional manner, silent. C-dub, bearing the marks of Greekwarriors and rulers, glittered with gold, chanting back and forth as they took to their corner. The women’s 2015 Master’s Cup champions, Dixon and their brother dorm, Waldock, went straight to the center of the room to perform the “haka”, while dressed in green and painted for war. Slight, the defending men’s champion, and Sweazy took their time to enter but when they did they beat the floor with their fists causing the building to shake. Then in sudden darkness, entering backlit came the Commuter students in Dark Knight-esque fashion. A few of them had entered previously disguised as their enemies, Trojan horses amongst the competition, but upon a single hand motion from their RD’s they ripped off their C-Dub, Hotchkiss, Dixon, Waldock, Slight and Sweazy garb and rejoined their team.
The intense soundtrack went silent and a voice overhead roared “Welcome to the 2016 Master’s Cup”. Questions as to who would win racked the minds of those watching, but there was no question in the minds of the participants, the cup was theirs!
“The cup breeds loyalty to the school and the resident dorm. I am excited to see C-dub win. We have the greatest team and we will dominate,” hopeful freshman Katie Pennington said as she smiled. Resident Director of C-Dub, Daniel Sheaffer continued, “We are the best dorm. We haven’t won in 13 years but this is the year.” Ryan Anderson, C-Dub freshman, taunted, “We will win because we aren’t Hotchkiss” to which the rest of C-dub cheered.
“Nothing can make us fall”, Drew Reynolds of Slight confidently stated as his friend Mauricio Farral interjected, “we are going win because we are the most tight knit dorm here. We’ve been here only a week but we already love each other”.
“We are going to win because we work the hardest” said Stephanie Remple of Dixon.
“We are the best out here. Most people don’t recognize us because we are Off-Campus,” Trevor Williams sarcastically said as he yelled over the noise” This will prove all the haters wrong.”
Hotchkiss had no comment.
As the girls competed outside, periodic announcements were delivered to an anticipatory crowd. “Dixon is in the lead,” blared the loud speaker and soon the ladies from Dixon raced into the gym for the final event, a human pyramid. After having difficulty strapping on her helmet, sophomore and student life leader Ali Fogg scrambled on top of her teammates. In an effort to get down after reciting her ABC’s, she toppled head first onto the ground. However, nothing stopped her or her team from running to grab their first place bowling pin, defending their title. Last year they made history in winning the cup for the first time, but now they are on their way to becoming a dynasty.
C-dub took second, followed by Sweazy, Commuters and finally, in a devastating loss, Hotchkiss.
Once the men began their game, the competition intensified. The loudspeaker blared “Waldock is in the lead!” a few moments later, “Hotchkiss is in the lead!”
The gym had a palpable silence.
Would Hotchkiss finally take the cup? Will Waldock join their sister dorm in achieving glory? The spectators began to surround the final event, everyone pulling out their phones ready to record.
Individuals from Waldock and Hotchkiss sprinted into gym. Their teammates rapidly fell to their knees to build the three-tiered pyramid, ready for their final piece. The pyramids were completed at the same time, tension built as the ASB judges leaned in listening to the alphabet be sung. Everyone held their breath.
Both teams simultaneously jumped out of their pyramids. Waldock’s green and Hotchkiss’ black blurred together as both teams made a mad dash to retrieve their rightful first place pin. The men dove.
In the chaos, the crowd stood waiting to see who would come out of the pile with the pin in hand. It wasn’t until the cheers of the Hotchkiss men and the raising of their dorm signs that anyone knew who won.
For the first time in years Hotchkiss broke ranks and their vow of silence, yelling at the top their lungs, coming together to claim their title as champions. Waldock, in spite of their efforts, came in a close second, followed by Slight, C-dub, and Commuters.
Joe Keller, Vice President of Student Life said, “I’ve never seen a closer Master’s Cup”.
Sweaty, exhausted, and covered in paint, the competitors returned home.
Back in Hotchkiss, the men’s Resident Director Siona Savini spoke to his kneeling troops “At every level, we have to build upon this. I told you from the beginning, this is merely a platform. This is symbolic. You achieved this by working together. You push each other in your devotions; you call each other out like I’m sure you did in that race. You rejoice with each other when you have victories because of the victorious resurrection. You do that with one another. We can throw this cup away, we know in light of eternity this means nothing, but I want this to be a picture for you to walk everyday with the Lord. God has brought you here for a reason, whether you requested this dorm or didn’t. Use this as a platform to think about what really matters.”
Though another year of The Master’s Cup, and with it our Week of Welcome, has come to a close, the friendships built, the lessons learned, and the memories made, will be engrained in each participant. Those who followed along, in the gym or at home, understand this as they watched with reminiscent smiles. The competition is for a moment, but the impact for a lifetime.
Images provided by Mark Finster [@mdfinster](https://www.instagram.com/mdfinster/)
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