BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) -Over at St. Stanislaus high school in Bay St. Louis, the Rock-A-Chaws have plenty of opportunities for students to showcase their skills, including virtually through E-sports
Dominic Morello, Jackson Reid, and Noah Lemmon make up the Rock-A-Chaws Rocket League team as they compete against those throughout south Mississippi, the rest of the state, and beyond.
Morello says it’s a perfect blend of a love of sports and of video games
“Being able to merge one of my favorite things, which is playing video games and sports, it sometimes seems too good to be true,” said Morello.
For Reid and Lemmon, they say the team gives them a chance to compete and have fun along the way, where they may not have had opportunities before.
“It’s pretty cool. I actually came here in the middle of the year and my old school did not have an E-Sports team,” said Lemmon. “It’s pretty amazing because I do like gaming a lot so I can do something I love to play.”
“I come here and there’s a team, led by my roommate, it kind of blew my mind,” added Reid.
E-sports are officially recognized by the Mississippi High School Athletics Association through PlayVS and include Madden, FIFA, Rocket League, and many others.
While not a traditional sport, E-Sports like rocket league still need all the building blocks of a good team.
“The teamwork part is something that you have to have constantly because 90 percent of this game is communication, teamwork, you have to work on hand-eye coordination,” said Morello. “It’s not just get in and go, you have to have practice for every single thing you do in the game.”
And like with all teams, there are some growing pains as they learn to work together.
“We didn’t have great teamwork at first,” said Reid. “We would all go after the ball and ball chase. Now we’ve gotten a lot better. Our communication is also extremely important but still occasionally have problems with that.”
Overall the team has found success and they’re looking forward to what the future holds for the sport.
The E-Sports opportunities don’t stop at the high school level, students can letter and even get scholarships to play E-Sports at the collegiate level and beyond.