Ball State University and Daleville Community Schools have announced a unique partnership. Now, esport student-athletes from both institutions will work together to form a meaningful educational and extracurricular experience.
As part of this one-year agreement, Ball State will host students from Daleville Jr.-Sr. High School at its new Esports Center, which is located within the University’s Robert Bell Building. Here, they will engage in esports games, practices, and competitions. Furthermore, Daleville students will receive coaching and instruction from Ball State Esports student-athletes and the program’s director and varsity head coach, Dan Marino.
“Ball State’s esports program strives to provide its students with innovative opportunities to learn and make connections with their peers and the community,” Mr. Marino said. “Through our esports opportunities, students will find their passion and purpose at Ball State, and we are excited to partner with Daleville Community Schools to extend our reach and foster important relationships with the next generation of egamers.”
Back in 2020, both Ball State and Daleville established their esports programs. At Ball State, more than 50 students are involved in the varsity esports program. Additionally, more than 700 students participate in esports club activities. The varsity team competes primarily with 12 members of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in the independent Esports Collegiate Conference (ESC) in multiple games. For instance, they play Overwatch, Rocket League, and League of Legends.
On the other hand, Daleville Jr.-Sr. High School’s esports program will compete as a club team this season within the Indiana High School Esports Network (IHSEN). The Daleville varsity team consists of 10 students. They will compete in multiple games, including Valorant, Rocket League, and Fortnite. In addition, the team is being led by Jeremiah Norris, Adam Jones, and Tim Crist.
“Esports is emerging quickly as a global enterprise. It’s a great example of the potential that exists for our students to learn, have some fun, and develop their skills and turn what was, not that long ago, almost solely an extracurricular activity into a potential career opportunity,” said Greg Roach, Daleville Community Schools’ superintendent.
A Look Toward the Future
Ball State’s College of Communication, Information, and Media (CCIM) offers the University’s esports program and Esports Production concentration. Moreover, Dr. Paaige Turner, Dean of CCIM, said she is looking forward to the opportunity for Daleville Community Schools to build upon their esports experiences and education in partnership with Ball State.