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Rylan Barden, Max Dunkerley, Luke Scherer, Jonah Brooks and Coach Aubree White hold their Esports trophy for Bob Jones Fusion’s eighth consecutive win at the Rocket League State Championship on Dec. 11 at Huntingdon College in Montgomery. CONTRIBUTED

Bob Jones, James Clemens rack awards in state Esports

MADISON – With quick thinking and lightning reflexes, students on Esports teams from Bob Jones and James Clemens high schools claimed first-place wins in State Esports Championships in Montgomery.

“Esports has steadily gained recognition as a legitimate and competitive form of entertainment, and events like the Alabama State Championship contribute to its mainstream acceptance,” James Clemens Coach Pam Paquette said.

“As Esports continues to grow, these tournaments provide a stage for skilled players to shine and further solidify the position of competitive gaming in the cultural landscape,” Paquette said.

Bob Jones Fusion won its eighth consecutive Rocket League State Championship at Huntingdon College in Montgomery on Dec. 11. These students secured the title with a 4-2 win over Lee High School.

Bob Jones players are Luke Scherer, Max Dunkerley, Jonah Brooks and Rylan Baren. Keith Nowicki won the Alabama Madden runner-up. Aubree White coaches Esports teams.

Additionally, Bob Jones Bao claimed the League of Legends Central U.S. Champion title on Dec. 12. The team secured a 2-1 win over North Garland High School of Garland, Texas. Players are Henry Holland, Davin Nazario, Gavin Alger, Alex Meyers, Kenny Hall and Arianna Martin.

Fusion won the UNA Mane Event LAN Series in Rocket League for the third consecutive year.

“Congrats to Bob Jones Esports Team Fusion, which won the State Championship in Rocket League for the eighth time. Congrats also to James Clemens Esports as State Championship winners in the state Esports tournament,” Dr. Ed Nelson, Superintendent of Madison City Schools, said.

James Clemens’ statistics included its Esports team standing as State Champions for Mario Kart and Splatoon in Montgomery on Dec. 11.

Players for Mario Kart are Zachary Ellenburg, William Hart, Ryan Phillips, John Scott and Blake Sturdivant. Splatoon team members are Julianna Ballard, Emery Chambers, Abigail Holme, Sophia Rogers and Nicholas ‘Maddie’ Templeton.

“The events showcased Esports’ growing prominence in the state, bringing together passionate gamers and dedicated teams for a day of intense competition,” Paquette said.

The Mario Kart game against Drivers Ed from Alabama School of Mathematics and Science in Mobile was a series of high-speed races, navigating iconic tracks and employing creative power-ups to secure victory, Paquette said.

“The atmosphere was electric as players executed precision maneuvers and cunning strategies to outpace their opponents,” Paquette said. “After intense races and heart-pounding finishes, one Mario Kart team stood above the rest, claiming the title of Alabama State Champions.”

The Splatoon competition was equally fierce against the McT Judd Plushie Fan Club from McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile. Teams engaged in ink-filled battles to dominate the virtual turf.

“As the winners revel in their victories, the event serves as a milestone in the ongoing journey of Esports, leaving an indelible mark on the gaming landscape of Alabama,” Paquette said.

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