Fairview High debuts esports team

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The Low Riders team, left to right, includes Coach David Brooks, Kenny Sanders, Reanna Rusk, Mara Teichmiller, Andrew Taylor, Braxton Boyles, Ethan Brookshire and Coach Clay Morrison. (Tiffany McKoy for The Cullman Tribune)

FAIRVIEW, Ala. – Fairview High School debuted esports this year, with coaches David Brooks and Clay Morrison. The regular season concluded last week.  

“We are proud to have two formidable teams representing our school. Our Smash Hits team, composed of six skilled gamers, specializes in ‘Super Smash Bros,’ and boasted a record of 5-3 for the regular season,” Brooks stated. “Similarly, our Low Riders team of five gamers, who compete in ‘Mario Kart 8,’ have achieved great success this season with an impressive record of 6-2.”

The Smash Hits team, left to right, include Coach Clay Morrison, Damian Gibbons, Caden Maddox, Kenny Sanders, Coach David Brooks, Matthew McAlpine, Zachery Smalley, Nolan Lancaster and Owen Harris. (Tiffany McKoy for The Cullman Tribune)

The Smash Hits team earned a ranking of 35th out of 98 teams statewide, while the Low Riders team earned a ranking of 10th in the U.S. Central Region out of 150 teams. Both teams will be representing Fairview in the playoffs.

According to Brooks, Fairview High School’s esports team was established in response to growing interest from students who expressed their desire to compete in competitive video gaming.

“As a computer technician at the school and an avid gamer myself, I saw an opportunity to introduce this emerging sport to the school’s athletic programs,” he said. “I discovered that the Alabama High School Athletic Association has partnered with a company named PlayVS to provide a platform for high school esports competitions.”

Brooks said the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) recognizes esports as a legitimate high school sport, and students who compete in the teams are held to the same standards as those who participate in traditional sports.

“Our esports team members are considered varsity athletes and have the opportunity to represent our school in competitions against other high school teams across the state and region,” he stated.  

Esports teams are composed of talented gamers from ninth to 12th grades and led by a dedicated coaching staff. While currently exclusive to high school students, Brooks hopes to expand the program to include a junior varsity team in the near future.

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