The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Senior Assassin 101: Alums Offer Advice for Surviving

Claire Dickman

As their high school careers come to a close, Menlo seniors suit up in flamingo floaties, arm themselves with Nerf guns and buckle up for the adrenaline-fueled game previously known as senior assassin, renamed this year as “Last Knight Standing.” This tradition isn’t an average game of tag. It’s a last hoorah as seniors prepare to move on from Menlo and an intense display of strategy, persistence and a little absurdity for ultimate bragging rights. 

This year, seniors receive their randomly chosen target through an app. They then must eliminate their target by shooting them with a Nerf gun and evading elimination themselves until only one is left standing. But it’s not as simple as it sounds. Success involves meticulous planning, a ridiculous amount of dedication and hiding behind a lot of vehicles. But beyond that, these strategies shared by members of the class of 2023 are the key to succeeding when you engage in this time-honored tradition. 

Offensive Strategies

Eliminating targets is a crucial part of the game. To achieve this, Menlo alum Tabitha Corcoran (‘23), who was part of the last five remaining players last year, recommends memorizing your target’s schedule, both in terms of classes and outside-of-school commitments, especially as the game becomes more serious and there are fewer participants. 

Menlo alum Justin Pretre (‘23), who stayed alive in the game for an incredible two weeks last year, also suggests knowing your target’s after-school extracurriculars. To eliminate a target last year, who was a player on Menlo boys lacrosse, Pretre hid behind cars while he waited for his target to appear at the field. “I, like, popped out as they were walking to practice and I tagged him,” Pretre said.

Defensive Tactics

To avoid being eliminated, Corcoran emphasizes the importance of not trusting anyone — not even your closest friends. Senior assassin also involves the use of inflatable pool floaties that, when worn at certain times, can keep players immune to elimination. “I would always wear one,” Corcoran said.

Pretre also believes in the importance of wearing a pool floatie whenever possible, but more importantly, Pretre feels that taking advantage of safe spots, like inside of school buildings, is the most significant defensive strategy. Pretre also suggests parking in less obvious spots near or off campus. “The parking lot is, like, menacing. I remember trying to get everyone out in the parking lot,” he said. It should be noted, however, that the Menlo parking lot is a safe spot this year. Finally, Pretre recommends telling family members not to let other players into your home, as only someone who lives at the house can grant other players access. For Corcoran and Pretre, senior assassin was a fun and competitive last challenge at Menlo and last chance to partake in something as a class before graduation.

Both alums recommend taking this game seriously, solely for the thrill of it. “[Senior assassin] was worth it. It was [one of the] top ten moments in my life,” Pretre said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Caroline Clack
Caroline Clack, A&L Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 2

Favorite aspect of journalism: Seeing all of our finished stories in print/online and definitely the CoA community of writers and editors

Interests outside of school: mock trial, soccer, & spending time with friends/family

Class of 2026

Comments (0)

The Coat of Arms encourages dialogue with our audience. We welcome constructive comments that avoid slander, hate, profanity and misinformation. In an effort to give voice to a variety of perspectives, anonymous comments will be considered, but signed comments are preferred. If you would like to submit an anonymous comment, please write "Anonymous" in the "Name" field below. While a valid email address is required, The Coat of Arms will not publish your email address. The Editorial Board will review comments and decide whether they will be put online; the editors reserve the right to edit for concision.
All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *