Golden Paddle now down to 16 competitors

Finals will take place Feb. 4 during the Winterfest assembly


Izzy Marasco

Sophomore Kyle Braun (right) and sophomore Emmett Hern (left) face off during a match for the Golden Paddle.

Given Lee, Reporter

Cathedral High School prides itself on its traditions. The Golden Paddle is just one of these traditions, one that has occurred on the Hill for 14 years.

Director of Student Activities Mr. Anthony Ernst, who organizes the annual ping pong tournament, said, “It has become part of the fabric of our school.” 

The tournament takes place over two weeks and will end on Winterfest on Feb. 4. Participants compete before school in the old cafeteria eventually to determine the two finalists. Four players from each grade take part. The finalists will face off in a championship game in front of the whole school during the Winterfest assembly. Ernst said, “The lights all go off. The wrestling light is lowered onto the players. It’s a really cool experience.” 

Ping pong is a popular pastime. Students often play during lunch or resource, during passing periods and before and after school. This love for the recreational activity is exactly why Ernst decided to start the Golden Paddle competition. He said, “We had a number of kids who loved to play, so I thought it would be really fun.” 

Teachers and faculty aren’t the only ones with admiration for the activity. Sophomore William Neale is a competitor. He said, “It is really cool getting to be a part of this Cathedral tradition.” 

Even students who have already graduated still love the tournament. Ernst said, “It is fun when kids’ fondest memories of Cathedral are of the Golden Paddle. Kids will come back and ask ‘Who won the Golden Paddle?’ ” 

Since this is the first time in two years that the tournament has taken place before an audience of more than 1,000, the pressure is on. However, the players are more than prepared. Ernst said, “We’re excited to get back to performing in front of the school.” 

Based on initial rounds of competition, the four finalists from each class have been determined. They are seniors Christian Lo, Ben Gomez, Ian Green and Will Mayer; juniors Abe Farmer, Jake Cerar, Jack Whitley and Sam Black; sophomores Emmett Hern, William Neale, Seth Green and Sam Snyder; freshmen Ceej Macadaeg, Sophia Beeson, Emry Yeadon and Nick Whitley.