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Shelby Eastern Schools students enter e-gaming program

Shelby Eastern Schools students start e-gaming to win prizes, money in Morristown, Indiana

Aleah Hordges | News 8 at 6 p.m.

MORRISTOWN, Ind. (WISH) — Shelby Eastern Schools has started an e-gaming program.

It’s the only district in central Indiana to have a league.

High school students are competitively playing video games and can win a trophy for the school district, new e-gaming equipment and a full scholarship to go to college.

Cody Stewart, technology director for Shelby Eastern Schools, said, “It is something schools can potentially offer. They have professional esports leagues. In fact, one of them, Shaquille O’Neal, is an investor in it, so I see it being another sport like basketball, baseball, football.”

Stewart said seven students from Morristown and Waldron junior-senior high schools are working as a team to compete online against other kids across the nation. They will practice twice a week after school until the competition begins in October.

“We actually conducted tryouts for our kids,” said Jeremy Powers, principal at Morristown Junior-Senior High School. “We had over 50 kids interested in participating in this, and they had a three-part process that our students had to go through in order to be chosen for the team.”

Kids are e-gaming on computers and using consoles, including Xbox, Nintendo and PlayStation. They have to win a certain amount of matches to advance to the next level. Many students said they’re having fun and learning.

“I’m all fairly new to the computers,” said Roscoe Fry, a student at Morristown Junior-Senior High School. “I only had a console my whole life. I’m just starting to learn how to use a computer recently. The computer is a cleaner experience. It’s not a choppy as a console would be.”

Fry said he’s looking forward to the experience of competing.

“I don’t see a huge difference from me playing baseball at first base because we’re relying on a team to come in here to play video games against another school as a team with four other people,” Fry said. “It’s like the same concept, just on a different platform.”