The sport of rock, paper, scissors at Friendswood Junior High School

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas (KTRK) -- The Friendswood Junior High School Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of Champions has the feel of a professional sporting event.

There are crowds of students and teachers, entertainment performances between matches, trophies, confetti and more.

"It's a great celebration for those eighth graders," said Mark McKeever, a Friendswood Junior High math teacher who started the tournament. "We do it every year."

The tournament officially begins each May when eighth grade students play rock, paper, scissors during math class. The Tournament of Champions features the 21 kids remaining from the initial field. The event started thirteen years ago, but didn't take place in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's been a hard year for us," McKeever said on teaching during the pandemic. "The tournament was just a great ending to the year."

The tournament started small, but now includes appearances from the school's drumline, teachers dressed up as rock, paper, and scissor mascots, a dance routine from the theatre department, and an official trophy and plaque. The winner of each year's tournament gets their name and photo on the plaque, which is displayed outside of the eighth grade restroom.

"It's a great way to end junior high," said Noah Dixon, the winner of this year's tournament. "It's a really good day."

Dana Drew, who is the principal at Friendswood Junior High, agrees - he says the event is part of the district's push to provide "authentic learning" opportunities to students. Drew says the Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of Champions spreads joy, kindness, and competition on a large scale.

"They'll remember this forever," said Principal Dana Drew. "I think it's advantageous for our kids to see."
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