Baraga High School forms high school Esports program

Published: Dec. 2, 2019 at 5:43 PM EST
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Around the country, Esports is becoming a popular spectator sport.

With that Baraga High School has made the decision to bring competitive video games to their students.

"I see the sports side of it, and with Michigan Tech and Gogebic offering scholarships for it, it's definitely something we can use to draw kids in. There's a lot of kids in groups that normally wouldn't go up for sports or other clubs, and this draws them into something where they can be involved in our school," said Jarrett Davidson, Head Coach of the Baraga Vikings Esports Team.

The school has put together a gaming area in one of the classrooms for students to practice and compete after school.

Also head coach of the school's JV basketball team, Davidson makes sure his e-athletes meet the same academic standard.

"I try to keep it just like a traditional sport, where you have to have your grades attached. One of the first weeks I did this, a kid I had last year wasn't doing well in class, and he really made sure that his grades were up so he could be a part of our club," added Davidson.

The students involved enjoy being able to have a more structured approach to playing the games that they love.

"It's really cool because it gives all of us gamers a chance to do an extracurricular activity outside of school that we all really enjoy and are good at," said Steven Maki, a Player for the Baraga Vikings Esports Team.

The team has had trouble finding other high schools to compete against, however they are looking for other ways to keep the competitive aspect alive.

"We're talking with Gogebic's coach about possibly having our Overwatch team scrimmage theirs, just to get more practice so they can get better. Other than that we've just had some online playing here and there," added Davidson.