Pilot story and photos

by Bill Schlichting

The Gold Beach Panthers were no match for the Brookings-Harbor High School Bruins during the Senior Superstars competition Thursday night in Brookings.

The Bruins mauled the Panthers 279-238 in the annual event that takes place in Brookings on odd numbered years. Next year, the Panthers will be waiting for the Bruins on their turf.

In the end, though, both sides were the winners as proceeds went to each school's Safe and Sober Graduation Party.

The schools competed in 10 events intended more for fun than for victory, with judges from both schools deciding who scored.

The first event, Tug-O-War, was easy to judge who was the winner: The team that pulled the other team over the line.

Brookings-Harbor was the victor in this event and except for a couple of turnovers, the Bruins never looked back.

With the score at 50-0, the Gold Beach seniors came out in full force to win the lock-up competition. The team picked one person to be handcuffed to a chair while the remaining blindfolded teammates dig for keys in a kitty litter box filled with surprises.

However, this game was only worth 25 points, so although Gold Beach won, the team still trailed 50-25. But Gold Beach pressed forward, laying eggs to victory in the third game.

Team partners had to stand back to back with an egg between them. They must carry the egg to the laying area and place it on the mat without breaking it.

Each team was awarded one point for each laid egg, with 20 points going to the winner. The Panthers successfully laid 10 eggs, while the Bruins could only lay four. The result was Gold Beach taking the lead for the first time. The score was now 55-54.

The Bruins then proved they were the dominant team on the hoops court when they made 18 baskets. The Panthers could only get 11.

The catch of this game was that the basketballs were eggs and the hoop was worn on a teammates head. Each basket was worth two points, with 25 points going to the winning team.

Brookings-Harbor was now in the lead, 115-77 following this egg-stravaganza.

Again, Gold Beach closed the gap, but couldn't get ahead during the obstacle course.

Could the judges have had pity on the Panthers? There was a possible 10 points for each successful course completion, and 25 points for the winning team.

Each school had 40 points awarded. Gold Beach won when it received the 25 point bonus, bringing the score to 155-142 with the Bruins maintaining its lead.

Few people have witnessed a bruin or a panther milk a cow, so game organizers improvised. Rubber gloves were filled with milk. A team member had to make a small hole in the glove and drain it into a glass. A teammate had to drink the milk. Five points were awarded for each milked glove, and 25 points went to the winner.

Once again, the game ended in a tie, with 20 points going to each team. However, the judges awarded the 25 points to Brookings-Harbor. The Bruins continued to lead 200-162.

In the next event, Gold Beach proved that quantity is better than quality.

Players had to soak a Nerf football then pass it to a teammate who sat on it to squeeze water into a bucket under the chair. Each interception was worth one point. The team with the fullest bucket was awarded 25 points.

Brookings-Harbor caught 15 passes while Gold Beach caught 10. However, the Panthers squeezed out more water, resulting in a win.

But it wasn't enough. The Bruins still led 215-197. It wasn't a lead that would last for long, though.

Whipped cream-filled balloons were suspended and players had to jump to pop the balloons with their heads. Each popped balloon was worth a point, and 25 points were awarded to the team who popped the most.

It was apparent that there were more coneheads on the Gold Beach team because they were able to pop 10 balloons to Brookings-Harbor's seven. For the second time in the evening, the Panthers took the lead at 232-222.

Once again, the Panthers lead fizzled when the Bruins burped their way to victory. Following the burping contest, the score was 254-238 in favor of Brookings-Harbor.

The final competition of the evening was dodge ball, which caused most of the helpers, photographers and Master of Ceremonies Ted Burdett to retreat to the score booth for protection.

Judges reported cheating happening on both teams. Players who were hit by a ball did not leave the court. However, in the end, Brookings-Harbor had more players remaining on the court - either that or Gold Beach had more honest players.