Article by: Alice Ye
Photograph by: Mild Chawalitanon
The annual Battle of the Bearcats (BOB) is considered a highlight of every high schooler’s year and is consistently an eagerly anticipated event. On one day every September, the air is filled with a competitive, yet collaborative aura between the 4 grades in high school as they battle in spirit, sports, and other activities planned by ISSBA, the high school’s executive council.
Each year, this highly awaited event undergoes many changes and manages to add new events as reflections of the ever-changing cultural and media trends. BOB constantly adapts to stay current with each batch, and this year proves to be no different. Of the 41 events at BOB this year, numerous events of BOB 2014 were fresh additions. One of the additions was a modified version of quidditch (a fictitious sport introduced in the famous Harry Potter series), which proved to be an instantly popular choice and one of the first to be filled up. Furthermore, BOB chess was added in light of the newly-established chess IASAS. Lastly, for all the fashionistas out there, the fashion show was another recently developed event for all of highschool to support.
However, the main focus of BOB for most students is not winning the individual events themselves, but succeeding in claiming ISM’s coveted spirit prize. Such an immense emphasis shows that ISM believes the effort and enthusiasm of each grade level are more important than what they achieve in each activity, only reinforcing the strength of the Bearcat spirit. This may actually prove to be more beneficial and help the student body as it encourages more enthusiasm and energy towards every event, creating a vibrant, peppy atmosphere that makes it enjoyable for everyone. Most importantly, such a stress on spirit allows students to cheer on all the grades so regardless of the outcome, everyone will have enjoyed the process.
Although this honour is usually claimed by the experienced seniors, it is also a good way for the other grades to challenge the outcome. As a perfect demonstration of this, for the first time in BOB history, the Sophomores and Seniors tied for the spirit award this year. BOB is one event where the different grades truly come together, support each other as a whole, and show overwhelming spirit. Jess Cuadro, the Sophomore council president, hopes that “[we will] continue to support our fellow Bearcats, no matter what grade they may be in!” This is, after all, the main purpose of BOB: to unite the entire high school by bringing all the grades together and to show the true, unique Bearcat spirit.