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Lake Belton High School's eSports team wins first state championship

Seniors Dylan Klunk, Caden Rice and junior Aiden Scammell won the title after competing against 82 other eSports teams in Texas.

BELTON, Texas — Lake Belton High School is celebrating its first eSports state championship win.

Last month, Bronco eSports Apex Legend Red team's seniors Dylan Klunk, Caden Rice and junior Aiden Scammell went head-to-head against 82 other eSports teams during Vanta's Texas eSports League.

The team competed playing Apex Legends, which is a cross-platform, free-to-play, battle royale, first-person shooter game.

“It was a great season, and this win was just icing on the cake,” said Coach Kristie Shepherd. “I’m really proud of their determination and dedication to each other and getting better at each competition.”

Shepherd, who started he school's program three years ago, said the win represents almost 200 hours of practice playing Apex Legends.

“It was definitely a big feat for us,” Klunk said. “I never thought when I started my high school career it would be something I did, but I was very excited about it and proud of the work we had done.”   

“We knew each other but we weren’t close,” Scammell added. “Now we’re really good friends who talk more and really rely on each other when it comes to competitive games. It makes it 100% easier when you can trust someone. We could have done better, even with a perfect 3-0 in both games, but having teammates like these two makes it worth it.”

Shepherd, who is a gamer herself, said the school's team now includes 29 students competing in five games across three different leagues.

“I relate to these kids so much and understand the draw to these games,” she said. “I love seeing a group of kids that sometimes don’t get to be involved have a platform, a voice, a new door to opportunities that they didn’t know existed.”

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