TEXARKANA — Texas High School announced Tuesday they will have an Esports team starting in the fall of 2021.
Esports takes video games to another level as there is a component of teamwork and a strict set of rules and guidelines — similar to a varsity basketball game versus a pickup game at Spring Lake Park.
“Esports requires teamwork, communication, critical and strategic thinking, creativity, sportsmanship and leadership, much like traditional sports,” said Gerry Stanford, Athletic Director for TISD.
Texas High School will open up participation to students in grades ninth through 12th as an after-school club. There will also be junior varsity and varsity teams that will compete in League of Legends, Valorant, and Rocket League. More titles are expected to be introduced as the Esports program grows.
“Like any other high school sport or extracurricular activity, students will attend team meetings, practices and official matches,” Texas High School Esports coach Rick Allen said.” However, since Esports is played online, there is no travel required throughout the regular season. Players will compete from our dedicated Esports classroom located on the Second Floor of the Multi-Purpose Facility.”
THS principal Patti O’Bannon says that ESports allows students to “come together over a common passion.
Said O’Bannon: “It has been shown that there is a strong correlation between student engagement and student achievement where students who participate in extracurricular activities perform higher on math and reading assessments. It also enables students to practice and further develop their STEM skills, spending hours analyzing data, game statistics and strategies which provide real-world experience and application.”
The Texas’ University Interscholastic League expects to vote at the end of summer on whether or not to allow Esports to become an official team sport.
For students interested in being a part of the Esports program at Texas High, contact Rick Allen, Esports coach, at Richard.Allen@txkisd.net or 903-793-7731 ext. 57085.