Here at Franklin High School, many students participate in school-sponsored athletic ventures. From soccer and track to tennis and cheerleading, opportunities are endless for students to play sports and cheer on friends. But the most exclusive sporting event at Franklin happens every month, and it never looks the same. Attendance is invite-only and mandatory. The time? 3:30 until 9:30. The athletes? The sleep-deprived staff of The Franklin Post.
For those not in the know, a Late Night is to a Post staff member what State Championships are to, I don’t know, sports teams. Except they happen every month. There are two of them: Writers Late Night, where stories are edited, and Editors Late Night, where our more desperate and delirious athletes (read: editors) battle the dreaded InDesign program to build pages and, in between, play rigorous games of hangman, and perform other feats of both mental and physical strength.
The average Franklin student may be surprised to learn that in their free time, writers and editors on The Post are actually exceptional athletes. “But they’re so scrawny and nerdy,” you may be thinking. “There’s no way they can do sporty things.” That is actually a dangerous misconception. Besides being athletes on “real” teams at Franklin, many members of The Post staff are quite experienced in sports such as sprinting down the hall, long jumping, arm wrestling, and chess.
In one of the Olympics of yore, a popular event was long jumping. The long jump competition was quite the event, with incredible turnout. Writer and future Forum editor Grace Sorensen competed despite her concussion, and its founder, Arts and Entertainment editor Ada Hallstrom, braved the jump, even with shoes unfit for such activities. Ultimately, Sports editor and enthusiast Joseph Howitt won the long jump. “[It’ll be] good for my portfolio,” he says.
One of the most common recurring events at the Post Olympics is the mad dash down the stairs to let a fellow athlete in the front doors, especially if they are collecting the elusive Domino’s pizza. This is much like a relay race, for any readers who are struggling with the concept. Lured by the enticing scent of lukewarm crust and goopy cheese, the athletes enter a trance that can only be broken once the pizza is in their hands. The lactose intolerant staff of the team are the bravest by far, shoveling cheese down their throats at rapid speeds immediately following a hefty dose of Lactaid.
One of the most contested events at a recent Olympic game was the three-person arm wrestling tournament. After being asked what it was like to lose to me, an inexperienced non-athlete, javelin throwers Sorensen and Hallstrom both refused to comment.
A fondly remembered event was a performance by Oliver Fox, fellow retiring Editor in Chief and running aficionado. His one-time hall-sprinting stint was speedy but uncontested, and thus cannot count as his main sport. He does have competition in other events. Every class, he sets up his computer and prepares to dominate online opponents at chess in order to train for the ultimate game with me at Late Nights. In a show of dedication to his sport, he didn’t have time to respond to a request for comment: “No—hold on. I need to win [this chess game].” He proceeded to lose.
Chess is matched in its intensity and need for pure athletic ability only by the well-known time-passing phenomenon, hangman. Retiring Variety editor Ru Conrad boasts of their two-second winning game record; “I’m really good at hangman,” they say. To prove their ability, they won a game in three minutes and 63 milliseconds. The sentence, provided by Sorensen, spelled “Say goodbye seniors.” Is this a lovely message or an ominous threat, you may wonder? Only time will tell.
Not everyone on the Post participates in the Post Olympics. Representing the haters, writer Sophie Locker says, “I hate [sports]. I think they’re for little babies.” Her disdain, I’m sure, is shared by many other jealous staff who wish they could arm-wrestle like me.
Despite the small but mighty anti-sports faction of the Post staff, Sorensen says that the Post Olympics unite the class. “You gotta do what you gotta do for Late Night sanity,” they say. As long as no one knows what they’re doing, “it’s a community!” Although the seniors are indeed saying goodbye, and the Post is forever changing, that community will live on. And so will the Games.