BUCKHANNON — A new competitive team is coming to Buckhannon-Upshur High School, and their court will be in the computer lab. B-UHS proudly introduces their new E-Sports team, open to all students.
Partnering with Dr. Eric Kirkland from Salem University, Upshur County Schools accepted a $266,152 grant through the US Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service. This funding was used to implement a fully equipped E-Sports Lab in the school’s library.
The E-Sports Lab will be used in collaboration with the school’s STEM and business classes, offering the opportunity for students to gain more knowledge and experience with programming, streaming, management, and graphic design. E-Sports have also been known to greatly improve communication and coordination among student athletes.
B-UHS will have the opportunity to join E-Sports, compete with teams across the country, and possibly receive collegiate scholarships for their performances. Colleges nationwide are now offering E-Sports Team opportunities, including West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon.
WVWC’s E-Sports Coach Ethan Hayes expressed, “Having E-Sports athletes on our doorstep is a dream come true.” Thousands of dollars in scholarships are available to upcoming students with a love for E-Sports.
The high school’s team will be recognized as an official sport, therefore requiring members to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA. Any students with interest in E-Sports gaming are encouraged to try the new program. Networking and scholarship opportunities for these students are reportedly endless.
Anthony McDaniels, Counselor and tentative E-Sports Coach at B-UHS explained some of the exciting plans for the team. “It will be an official sports team. The students will even receive jerseys! There’s $30,000 up for grabs every year from the high school league that we’ll be working through. We’ll be working with North America Scholastic E-Sports Federation, which is West Virginia’s official go-to for E-Sports.” He added, “Huge academic successes have been shown with kids who play E-Sports. It’s not just about playing the games, they show more academic progress than they did before they were on the team.”
A few of the games that will be practiced and played are: Fortnite, Rocket League, Minecraft, and NBA 2k.
Upshur County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sara Stankus attended the ribbon cutting ceremony Friday morning. She stated, “We are super excited about the possibilities for our students. This gives another place for our students to be connected to our schools.”