Dead River Games starts off homecoming with school spirit


Dallas Wiertella/NW

VICTORY – A finishing team prepares to throw a dye packet at the end of the obstacle course. The Dead River Games took place on Monday, Sep. 18 at Clark Lambros Park.

Harry Stine, Assistant Features Editor

“Juiced,” Owen Bomay, environmental science major and member of the Lava Springs team, said. “We were absolutely juiced.” 

These words reflected the general attitude at Clark Lambros Beach Park on Sept. 18, for this year’s Dead River Games. Frequent cheers throughout the beach represented the mountainous energies each group brought, with chatter and various battle cries filling the empty spaces.

The games were the first part of Northern’s Homecoming week, and campus pride felt more than present.

Ali Deutsch, student event coordinator, estimated that about 72 teams of six participated in this year’s games. The games, which have been going on for decades, featured awards for best time in each challenge alongside Spirit Awards.

Kayla Stevens, a volunteer from the Special Events Committee, said volunteers showed up at 11 a.m. the day of the games to set up the event. She said that most of the planning for the event takes place over the summer, and that the first few weeks of the semester are for the final touches.

“I think it’s just fun to see all the different personalities of all the different teams,” Stevens said.

Even before the games began, plenty of energy was felt. Reflecting Stevens’ words, many teams flocked upon the beach in color-coordinated outfits, some of which even having names and numbers on their back. 

At one end of the beach was the ice cream drop – a staple of the games that has been a part of them for years. The drop had one teammate atop a ladder dropping ice cream into their members mouths.

At the other end, groups surrounded the obstacle course – a divisive challenge involving a spinning bat, three-legged race, bean bag toss, ball pit and a slip and slide. When teams reached the end of the course, one member would throw a dye packet in the air, marking the end of their attempt.

“It feels victorious,” Erin O’Donnell, secondary education in English major and member of the Misty Mountain team, said after reaching the finish line with her team. “We have a great team. We have a lot of camaraderie built and I’m very proud of us.”

Between the two main attractions, there were volleyball nets and a tie-dye tarp ready for people waiting for their turn on the next obstacle, the latter of which Deutsch mentioned as her favorite addition to the event.

After finishing either challenge, many teams decided to jump in the lake afterwards to wash dye and/or ice cream off themselves. Wyatt Schmidt, an acting major and member of the Outback team, shared some details of the decision to dive.

“We realized we didn’t want the ice cream on us,” Schmidt said. “We’d rather take the dirty water instead.”

On Monday, Sept. 19, the winners were announced. Lava Springs’ chest pumping confidence paid off, as they, alongside the Sunset Strip Club and Breakwater House, were the winners for the Spirit Awards. The winners for the Ice Cream Scoop and the Obstacle Course were Inferno House and the Down Under Pufferfish, respectively.