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Wichita Southeast High School eSports team earns national recognition in its first year
Wichita Southeast High School eSports Team Earns National Recognition in its First Year
Southeast High School’s eSports team recently competed in three national competitions taking two first place finishes and one third place finish. The team finished first in the central region for Overwatch competition, first in the central region in the League of Legends competition and third in the central region in the Rocket League Competition.
This is the first year eSports has been offered to middle and high school students in the district. The program is offered at Education Imagine Academy, West High, South High, Southeast High and Northwest High and Wilbur, Marshall, Coleman and Hamilton middle schools and to Education Imagine middle school students.
The district has teams competing in Overwatch, Rocket League, League of Legends and Fortnite.
Rob Dickson, chief information officer for Wichita Public Schools, says eSports provides lots of opportunities for students to learn important skills.
“eSports teaches students problem solving skills, digital literacy, how to communicate in an online environment and digital collaboration skills,” Dickson said.
eSports can also provide college scholarship opportunities for students as well as a touchpoint for students who may not have normally been involved in their school community.
“This year’s achievements have already caught the eye of colleges who have reached out directly to our school to recruit and provide scholarships for our competitors,” said Kyle Schoenhofer, the head coach of Wichita Southeast Esports (WSE). “This is an opportunity for many students who would otherwise not be involved in high school sports or extra-curricular activities to start considering college as a real option for them. Approximately 80 percent of students who are involved in eSports haven’t ever been involved in other school activities.”
Last summer, the district partnered with Wichita State’s eSports program to provide training for the district’s eSports coaches.
The district has created an eSports stadium with 70 computers at the Joyce Focht Instructional Support Center where students and school teams can gather to practice and participate in competitions, as well as provided gaming computers to individual schools.
Future plans include expanding the eSports program to the district’s elementary schools.