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David City esports team takes state

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The David City Public Schools esports team once again came home champs following the recent Nebraska Schools Esports Association (NSeSA) state tournament.

Held at York College on April 29 and 30, four teams of Scouts placed at the event. David City is a Division III, meaning the students competed on April 29.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (two players v. two players), one team took the state title – Darwin Arcos, Angel Carias and Jonathan Sosa – while the second team placed third – Braxton Small and Garrett Small.

For Starcraft II (one player v. one player) Jordan Palik placed first with Stanley Allen taking fourth.

The NSeSA holds two seasons – one in the fall and one in the spring – each school year with different video games being played each season.

David City esports coach Adam Ebbeka noted the team’s success at the state contest.

“The third game this season was Smite, but we didn't have a Smite team,” Ebbeka said. “Adding to the excitement was the tornado warning in the middle of the Smash games and going to the basement for a bit.”

The Scouts had also placed eighth in Super Smash Bros. as each school could have up to three teams competing in that game. Thirty-three teams competed in Super Smash Bros. for Division III, Ebbeka said.

“I was particularly impressed by our Starcraft players, who began this season having never played the game,” Ebbeka said. “By the end of the season, our player who ended up state champion, Jordan, was able to beat players who had played much longer than him, players who easily destroyed him earlier in the season. Both our Starcraft players and two of our three Smash teams made it to state.”

The David City esports team has been capturing titles the past couple of years. In fall 2020, the Scouts placed first in Overwatch while this past fall they placed first in both Overwatch and Rocket League. Last spring, the students placed first in Super Smash Bros.

“Compared to last spring, it was pretty similar,” said Ebbeka when asked how this season compared to last season. “Our three Smash teams were the same players both years. We saw similar success this year in the fall season, with Overwatch and Rocket League being state champions. All of our state champion players this spring were also state champions in other games this fall. It's a great group of kids.”

According to Ebbeka, state brings out great competition and some of the matches were really close. There are quite a few really good teams out there, he added.

David City High School Principal Cortney Couch noted the benefit that students gain from extracurricular activities.

“It allows students to find an area of interest outside of our regular curricular offerings, and it provides the opportunity for them to develop and grow in that activity,” Couch said. “Statistically, our students who are involved in any extracurricular activity perform better academically than students who are uninvolved. Esports provides an opportunity that is not the same as any other activity we have. Therefore, it improves the experience of those participants, and it makes our school better.”

The field of esports has been rapidly expanding the past several years.

Quite a few area colleges – including Wayne State College and Concordia University in Seward – have competitive esports teams. Central Community College announced earlier this year that it was adding an esports team for the fall semester.

Even David City’s own Brett Romshek received a scholarship to Concordia this year to play on its esports team.

“There was a huge increase in high schools from last year to this year, and the number of colleges adding esports teams is really picking up,” Ebbeka said.

Hannah Schrodt is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at hannah.schrodt@lee.net.

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