Esports at Indian Lake Schools

Esports at Indian Lake Schools
Posted on 10/07/2019
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Ever dream of winning a virtual championship for your school?

That goal could become a reality with the emergence of Esports at the high school level and beyond. Esports is short for electronic sports, games of strategy that can be played individually or as a team.

Indian Lake High School is the first in Logan County now offering an Esports Club on Wednesdays after school, as part of the district’s 21st Century Grant called Careers@ILS.  ILHS Principal Kyle Wagner was instrumental in the club’s formation. 

Wagner says it’s another way to reach students where they are. He explains, “Many of young people love to game, but are not involved in anything else at the high school.  Any way to get students here after school so they can connect with someone - a teacher, another student - will hopefully make their experience here more enjoyable and memorable.”

And it’s already working. Currently about a dozen students are involved, with more coming each week.

Sophomore Nate Huffman is looking forward to the season. “I like hanging out with friends here after school and I like this level of competition,” he says.   

ILHS Math Teacher Troy Shively is serving as the coach/advisor. He says the need for this kind of activity in school is legitimate.

“You can earn college scholarships through Esports. You can make money playing these games professionally. However, by playing, you are also experiencing and formulating ideas to create new games and forms of entertainment for the future.”  

Indeed, many college and universities in Ohio and beyond have established Esports teams. Ohio State University just announced a major commitment to Esports. reports “The video gaming industry is estimated to be over $137 billion, which creates a need for developers, designers and marketers in the workforce that are not there as of now.”

Junior Doug Bungard says he has logged about 400 hours of practice over the past year, “You must be able to think quickly and predict what others will do. You need to have good eye-hand coordination, too.”

Shively says through the Esports Ohio leagues, IL students are playing “Super Smash Brothers” as individuals on Nintendo Switch with other kids from all across Ohio as part of a nine-week fall season. During the winter season, they will move on to the game “Over Watch,” which is played with teams of six. 

Currently, the team from Indian Lake is undefeated.