Nick Suarez from Stay Plugged In recently spoke with Briley Gordon, esports coach at the Houlka Attendance Center in New Houlka, Mississippi. Their esports program was founded in Fall 2021 and currently has nine students.
Houlka Attendance Center’s esports team competes in Madden and Mario Kart through Play VS and Smash Brothers Ultimate through the Mississippi State Association High School League. Seven of the team's players are freshmen, so the team is relatively young, but this will give them time to gain experience and grow together as a program.
Freshman Kaine Duncan, a Smash Ultimate player, joined the team this Spring and is considered one of the team’s best players. Teammate Lakenton Shaw was the only player in the Fall to make the playoffs from Houlka Attendance Center. Shaw is a freshman as well and competes in Madden as the Baltimore Ravens. Both students have considered playing esports at the collegiate level, with Kaine enthusiastically expressing interest.
The team has four more weeks of matches and will then prepare for playoffs. Gordon considers Olive Branch High School, Lewisburg High School, and Houston High School to be among their top competitors.