By Owen Kurtiak and Betsy Larson
The lights in the auditorium dimmed and chatter among the audience stopped as their attention focused on the sixteen senior boys walking out to begin the show.
For eight years, Oyster River High School has held a competition for any senior boys who wish to compete to show why they should have the title of “Mr. Bobcat.” The competition consists of a pick up line, a swimsuit push up contest, a limbo contest, and each contestant’s talent performance.
“I’ve been every year and my brother was in it and it’s just something I’ve been looking forward to all of high school,” said contestant Colin Runk (16’). Sixteen senior boys signed up and prepared their bikini bodies and talents for a night to remember. Mr. Bobcat is a highlight of many students last year of high school. However, there are some concerns that faculty has to take into consideration. “The danger of a pageant like Mr. Bobcat is it’s all impulse, its improvised, so it’s really hard to control what people say,” states ORHS Principal Todd Allen. “I think that we put a lot of work into this year’s show to make it family appropriate and easy to clean up,” says judge Isabella Saputo (16’). “I think we were definitely successful at making it a fun and hilarious show for everyone involved.” As long as students keep everything appropriate and respectful, a night of laughter is guaranteed.
The competition started with all contestants reciting their best “pick up line” and answering some questions from the judges.
Next was the swimsuit and push up competition. Contestants walk out one by one in their best beach outfit and try to be the last one in a push up contest. This year it was a battle until the end between Kevin Kerrigan (16’) and Parker Strong (16’), both proving that they had what it takes. In the end, Strong beat Kerrigan with the last push up. “I thinks it’s a really fun time. Everyone seems to enjoy themselves, whether it’s the people competing or just the people watching,” says Kerrigan.
After the push up contest was the limbo contest; the last contestant to make it under the limbo stick at its lowest point wins that competition. This year Darnell Saravong, Christian Burt and Matt Silverman were the last few standing, but in the end Darnell was the last one to make it through, thus winning the limbo contest.
The last part of show is the talent contest. Each contestant had previously prepared and practiced a talent that showcased part of their personality some had never seen. “People will do things they don’t normally do so it shows a different side of people,” said Mitchell Harling (16’).
One talent in particular that seemed to surprise the judges and audience members was Zach Kaplan’s lip syncing and dance to “Toxic” by Britney Spears. Kaplan wore high heels, black fishnet stockings, jean shorts, a crop top and blonde wig and danced around his helper, Forrest Spinney. Nothing but laughter was heard during Kaplan’s performance. “They all had really funny talents, which I was expecting,” said judge Tessa Oakes.
After all of the acts were completed it was time for the judges to tally up their scores and determine a winner. This year’s winner was Kevin Kerrigan. Kerrigan stole the show with his dance to the song “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias. “Kevin stood out to all of us right away with his bathing suit and his cute pick up lines. He covered himself in fake tanner and I think that shows a lot of commitment, so that scored him some additional points. He did well in the push up contest and his talent was great, so I think we made the right choice,” said Saputo.
After the show Kerrigan said, “I’m still a little awestruck from winning but I did have a lot of confidence going into it. I was very nervous going out for the questions but I got more comfortable as the show went on.”
The most important aspect of Mr. Bobcat isn’t about who can do the most push ups or has the best pick up line, it’s about school spirit and supporting your senior class while at the same time getting to know some of them on their less serious side. It’s a great part of spirit week and sets a great atmosphere for the following day: Spirit day.
Overall, each contestant was unique and entertaining and that’s what everyone enjoyed about the show. “Mr. Bobcat has always been a way for the senior class to raise money. It’s also an entertaining way for people to support the school and the class,” says Kaplan. The class of 2016 was able to raise $2100, which will go towards their class fund.