Bay News 9 | By Ashonti Ford | May 10, 2022
Gaming is creating an avenue for non-athletic students to compete at a high school level – it’s called electronic sports.
The Polk County Schools district is now among the first to officially include esports into its athletic department.
“I thought it was just talk but now I see colleges and universities have added esports,” said Julie Mulder, head esport Coach at Frostproof High School. “There are scholarship opportunities; multi-billionaires are getting involved.”
Coach Mulder, who previously coached physically athletic sports, said that you can now find esports arenas all over the world.
“The space is really growing and we have a great group of kids involved. They created their own game room,” Mulder said.
“I really like the team aspect,” said Emily Albert, a senior at Frostproof High. “You really get to know how to play with your teammates.”
Albert said the best part about having gaming on campus, as a sport, is the ability to compete for your school on an organized team.
“This league really gave me a way to be part of our school,” said Albert. “I’m not really athletic. This is a way for me to really give back to my school and be part of a team.”
This is the first year that Polk County adopted esports into its athletic department. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA to compete, just as they would for other sports on campus.
So far, the high school campuses competing at an esports level are: Frostproof High, Kathleen, Lake Gibson, Lake Region, Ridge Community High and Roosevelt Academy.