Annual Connect Four Competition Finds Friends Vying for Top Spot

Fifth-grade students at Wilson Elementary School, West Caldwell, participated in their annual friendly Connect Four competition, turning lunchtime into a game, and resulting in two good friends competing for the top spot.

Held this past school year during lunch on Fridays, fifth graders at the school participated in the non-athletic, non-academic one-on-one competition to earn bragging rights and their name in the winner’s spot on a poster hung prominently in the school’s cafeteria. This year’s competition was a bit tougher than past competitions, as the two finalists had to outmaneuver their nearly 60 peers to earn their place in the final round.


Created by principal Scott Keena, the competition is designed to resemble the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, better known as March Madness. Intended to give all students a fair chance at winning a school contest, fifth graders are randomly paired to compete against each other, playing for the best out of three. The winner of each round is then paired against the winner of a different round until the ultimate winner is crowned.


“I like this competition because everyone has a fair chance of winning,” said Keena. “It is voluntary, although everybody usually plays, and it is always fun to see which two students make it to the final round. This year, two good friends sat across the table from each other to see which one would win the title of champion.”


Keena creates a chart similar to that of March madness, writing in the names of each round’s winners. The final round is a series of seven games, with the winner needing to win four out of seven.


This year, Harry Boland and Jordan Catrambone competed for the title of Connect Four champion. As their peers looked on, wishing them luck and rooting them on, the two finalists battled for seven rounds, with Catrambone finally winning the well-match competition.


“The fifth graders really look forward to the competition,” added Keena. “It is something special just for them, and it is a great way to bring students from different classrooms, different activities, and different interests together.”


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