Julie Claar, a Junior at Penn Manor High School, has been playing video games since she was young.
She says she started gaming because of her older brother.
“He was really interested in them,“ Claar said.
Now, Claar is taking that love of gaming and soon could be considered an athlete at her school. That’s because she’s one of the first students at Penn Manor to gravitate toward a team designed for competitive video game playing.
“It would be nice to be more social and get involved with all the aspects of a club and also do something I love,“ she said.
Esports, as it’s called, is growing in schools. There are already schools in Lancaster County with established teams.
Different levels of leagues allow students to compete with others across the country.
“It shows how video games connect people,“ said Cody Reynolds, a freshman at Penn Manor.
Years ago, video gaming was seen as an isolated activity with little benefits.
Nick Joniec, an advisor and coach, says putting an esports team at Penn Manor would help students learn what it’s like to be on a team. He said it could play a role in future careers.
“There is a lot of ties to STEM majors and disciplines and careers,“ he said.
Joniec said more than 40 students have shown interest in the team, which is expected to start competing in the fall.
Aidan Lewis, a sophomore, wants to join the team. He said his classmates should consider joining the as well.
“Esports is an actual sport,“ he said.