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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Highland Community College Set To Launch ESports Program

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

Highland Community College announces the launch of competitive esports starting in the fall of 2019. Esports, a form of competition played through online video games, involves organized, multi- or single-player games with real-time strategy. This new form of gameplay allows skilled students new opportunities and outlets for engagement. Esports team members can join teams focusing on specific games already popular in the world of professional gaming.

Games currently in consideration for play include League of Legends, Overwatch, Super Smash Bros., Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, Rocket League, FIFA, or Madden. As esports is often comprised of several different games played competitively, the esports program at Highland is in the midst of gauging interest from prospective students on what to offer.

HCC esports has joined the only official governing body for varsity esports, the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). In addition, the process of developing a facility with top-flight hardware, computers, ultra-fast 1ms 4K gaming monitors, headsets, chairs, gaming keyboards, and mice has begun with play to start this fall. Players will compete on PC, Xbox and PlayStation platforms.

Josh Clary, Residence/Student Life Assistant Director at Highland has been selected to lead the program. Clary started his gaming career at a young age and has continued to enjoy gaming throughout his young professional career. His passion isn’t just in the games, but getting students engaged and excited to go to college. “My goal as the coach of esports is to recruit students that have a genuine passion for becoming a competitive gamer, promote their skills to increase their likelihood of gaming competitively on a D1 level, and create a family atmosphere where we all celebrate our wins and losses while growing as a team,” commented Clary.

“Josh will not only bring knowledge of gaming but will also lay a foundation of success for the program. His ability to communicate and build relationships will be one of his biggest assets in starting our esports program at HCC,” mentioned Tyler Nordman, Director of Athletics at Highland.

With competition to begin this fall, Highland Community College is actively recruiting students interested in competing in esports at HCC.

Director of Athletics, Tyler Nordman, commented “I am excited to add esports to our different program/sport offerings at HCC this year. As with many other sports, esports will provide students with a number of great opportunities. It is an opportunity to come to college and get an education while doing something they love and are passionate about. Esports is one of the fasting growing sports across the country and we are happy to get in the mix and be offering it at HCC.”

If you are a prospective gamer and interested in participating in this new program or would like more information on esports at Highland Community College, contact head coach Josh Clary at esports@highlandcc.edu or by phone at 785-442-6132. You can also fill out the ‘Prospective Gamer’ form at scottieathletics.com/esports.

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