BELTON, TX — A high school E-Sports team in Bell County is getting a major upgrade after receiving a nearly $8,000 grant from the National Guard.
Lake Belton High School is getting a full E-Sports lab installed on campus, complete with five new stations to go along with the gaming systems they already have.
E-Sports gives students at Lake Belton High School a chance to be part of a competitive gaming team right on campus.
” It’s a great opportunity for kids that don’t really have a place sometimes. We have a home, we’ve found friendships, we learn problem-solving, it’s very inclusive,” said Kristie Shepherd, E-Sports Coach at Lake Belton High School.
Generation E-Sports, who runs the High School E-Sports League, makes it a point to let people know that E-Sports is about more than just playing video games.
Like other traditional sports, E-Sports can open doors and opportunities as well as become a pathway to college.
”We start to see more attendance with after-school programs for the students. Which in turn, has created some clubs and opportunities for them to start looking at attending college. Getting a scholarship that can maybe get them into the next level of education,” Ramses Garza, Campaign Program Manager for Generation E-Sports.
Scholarships are a great motivator to join the team and something one team member is striving to earn.
”I like to do biomedical engineering, so having a full-ride scholarship would be awesome so I could continue to what I love while I'm studying,” said Kyle Trehern, Lake Belton High School E-Sports team member.
The team was excited to hear they were getting the lab but hearing that they were being given the chance to build it together, took it to the next level.
”I built my own PC. I definitely know that I have more of an attachment to it because I was proud of my work when I first built it and I think building it is good because now if something happens to it we’ll know how to fix it,” said Trehern.
Now that the team has a full-on lab, they will be preparing to compete over the summer, just like traditional sports.
”We’ll have tryouts this summer and we’ll start having practices and hopefully compete this fall with the HSEL sporting league,” said Shepherd.
Lake Belton High School is just one of four in Texas to get one of these E-Sports labs on their campus.