ESports comes to STA

Recently, Sage Garretson accepted the role of coach for the new ESports program at STA. ESports is a program in which students can play video games competitively against other students in their age group and skill level.


by Tierney Flavin, Snapchat and Twitter Editor

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, junior Sara Tennyson walks into the library after school and begins to warm up in anticipation for the next hour and a half of Rocket League. 

Tennyson is a player on STA’s new ESports team. The team meets three times a week to play Rocket League, a soccer-like video game played through a car. 

The ESports team comes together for practices and even for scrimmages against other schools in the midwest through a high school ESports league called PlayVS.

“It’s more than just casual video games; we have a lot of rules and extra guidelines that we play by against other high schools,” ESports coach Sage Garretson said. “Some people think it’s just playing video games, which is part of it, just not the entire picture.”

The athletic department approached Garretson about starting the team, and he agreed. 

“For me, it’s really fun to see students who are interested in video games, because I was really interested in that when I was in high school and it was not as welcoming as it is nowadays,” Garretson said. “I think it’s really nice for me to give those students a place where they can come and feel welcomed and included.”

Tennyson joined not just to play video games, but for the community as well.

“I like playing video games; that’s the fun part. I also get along with everyone there; there’s no drama,” Tennyson said. “We’re taking it seriously but not too seriously.”

ESports practice looks similar to that of other sports: students/participants arrive, do warm-ups, and learn about different gaming strategies before jumping into some scrimmages against each other, or sometimes even other schools. 

Competing in ESports is more than just playing video games at home recreationally. 

“[ESports] is us all together in one room, trying to win, not just messing around,” Tennyson said. “We also have Sage there as our coach to actually help us when we mess up.”

Garretson sets goals for them as a team, focusing not just on the fun of it all but also on growth as individuals. 

“As a coach I try to see what people are struggling with and help them through it,” Garretson said. “It’s pretty easy in online games to get tilted; it’s harder to see your mistakes and what you need to work on and progress on. So we always talk about personal goals and growth, not about winning.”

Tennyson would recommend ESports to anyone who enjoys video games and wants to be in a community of similar people. As the coach, Garretson also sees this sense of community in the team. 

“I’ve noticed that [the students] like to collaborate and talk about the latest games they’ve been playing,” Garretson said.  “We are all in the same sphere of video game interest. That goes a long way for inclusivity.”

Anyone who is interested in joining the ESports team at STA should send a Teams chat Garretson.