A year after their founding, Nome-Beltz High School’s e-sports team has impressed parents and coaches.

The team, which competes by playing age-appropriate games online, was one of the few school teams still allowed to compete in Alaska last fall. Coaches say the players’ swift success is remarkable.

“One year ago … we were doing our best to play against some teams who really outmatched us and really had some great strengths. Now, we have an amazing varsity team that has not lost a single match in the season. And through their example, they’ve inspired an amazing team of JV players.”
That’s teacher and coach Aaron Palmer Blankenship. He and Matt Johnson volunteer their time to host practices and prepare strategy most days after school.

Students say the game skills translate into other areas of their lives, and have increased their connection to other students. Varsity player Bode Leeper says his peers ”went from thinking I was just a nerd, it’s just a nerdy sport, to ‘Oh, this is kinda cool. They’re winning a lot, they’re having fun, they get to compete. So hey, that’s awesome!’”

Image at top: Bode Leeper, a varsity player for Nome-Beltz High School, holds up his game controller.

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