Despite elimination, Naess sets standard for Senior Assassins


Zach Wols, @AssassinsHC on Twitter

JanErik Nass went on a 7 kill rampage before being eliminated in senior assassins.

For some, Senior Assassins is a game, played by paying $10 at the start and trying a few times to hunt down their targets with Nerf pistols. But for Hinsdale Central senior Jan Erik Naess, assassins is a lifestyle.

The object of the game is to use a toy gun to shoot a target, a different person for every player. However, because contestants need to protect themselves from their respective assassin, Naess changed his daily activities to remain safe and advance. “It basically meant that I had to get up early every morning and go to school at seven because my mom would drive me so I wouldn’t be vulnerable,” Naess said.

Naess was a relentless force throughout the competition, garnering seven kills through the first four rounds, a kill count that had not been matched by any contestant until the final round. In addition to the monetary incentive, which he would have used on plane tickets in Europe, Naess also loved to play the game for the social aspect. “You actually end up talking to more people than you expected, so it’s cool getting to meet more people,” Naess said.

As an athlete, running for Hinsdale Central’s Cross Country and Track teams, Naess competes with a winning mentality. His commitment even drove him to eliminate his friend, senior Azim Khan. “He’s my best friend and partner in this game so he could’ve just invited me over and shot me and I wouldn’t suspect a thing,” Khan said.

In spite of the fact that he was the first assassin to kill seven targets, Naess surprisingly had not gotten his driver’s license. “You always need some contacts to drive you around,” Naess said. “That’s how you make some good allies.” Naess also stated that he used a bicycle as transport, noting that it’s quicker to escape a situation and is safer due to the rules protecting cyclists from getting shot.

However, the heavy favorite met his demise on March 22, as he was shot by Michael Yaeger after a brief shootout. “I saw Jan hiding behind a tree attempting to kill me,” Yaeger said. “I went around my house and snuck up on him from behind and shot him.” Naess states that his crucial mistake was accepting Yaegar’s proposal to duel after two failed assassinations, which backfired.

Although Naess didn’t win, he acknowledged that he had fun in the process. His advice for future assassins? “Be patient. Good things will come to those who wait.” Regardless of finishing place, Naess’ persistence with his pistol provides a standard for all Senior Assassin participants to look up to.