Blue Jays esports team settling into inaugural season

The team's computers use nvidia graphics cards.

022723 JHS esports Flores
The Blue Jays' Angel Flores practices on Rocket League in the team room on Monday, Feb. 27, at Jamestown High School.
Contributed / Charles Druar

JAMESTOWN — For the first time in school history, Jamestown High School has an esports team competing in varsity matches.

The team plays against other North Dakota and Minnesota schools through the organization Fenworks. Blue Jays head coach Charles Druar said there are currently 16 or 17 kids on the team that compete against approximately 50 teams.

“At my last school, I had some experience starting the esports program down in New Mexico and it’s something that I do in my free time as well, play video games,” he said. “So, it’s always nice to get another outlet out there for kids who might not succeed in traditional athletics, it gives them an avenue to be successful.”

Esports is a up and coming sport in which teams compete against each other on various different video games.

The Blue Jays play the video games Valorant, Fortnite and Rocket League. Valorant and Fornite are first-person tactical shooter games, where players team up with other players online in an attempt to be the last group standing. Rocket League sees players control cars on a large soccer field as they run into a giant soccer ball attempting to score goals.


One of the athletes who competes in Rocket League is junior Angel Flores. Flores said he has been playing the game since it was first released in the summer of 2015. Flores said he has been playing as an anchor but he and his teammates rotate positions on the field.

“I thought it was a way to have fun,” Flores said. “Who wouldn’t want to go and play on a high-end computer after school almost every day and then represent the school as well in competing?”

Druar said the process of putting together the team took approximately a month as they gauged interest from students before finalizing the team in early January.

“It was really a month-long process there at the end of November through December, and then after Christmas break, we started firing the computers up and practicing and seeing who was gonna play what games,” Druar said.

Flores said he enjoys being able to hang out with his friends and compete with them for the Blue Jays.

“It’s really nice being able to connect with some buddies, or reconnect through playing on the esports team,” Flores said. “So, overall a positive experience.”

The team has been competing in the science wing of the high school since January. As of March 1, the Rocket League team is the most successful of the three teams with a 7-0 record. Flores said he and his teammates go nuts with excitement when they win a game on Rocket League.

“It’s gone really well. The Rocket League team is undefeated,” Druar said. “They are one of two or three undefeated teams left. With Fortnite, it’s been a little bit up and down but for the most part lots of positives. With Valorant, a lot of the kids are brand new to the game so it’s definitely been a learning curve this year with that game. Hopefully, by next year, they’ll have a little more experience and be able to hold their own a little bit better.”


Flores and his teammates are preparing for the Fenworks state tournament on March 31-April 1 in Grand Forks.

“For Rocket League I know that we practice whenever we can really, which is three or four times a week, in and out of school, whenever we get the opportunity to,” Flores said.

According to the collegiate esports governing body, The National Association of Collegiate esports, there are 248 schools around the country with esports teams playing multiple different games, one of which is the University of Jamestown. The Jimmies team has been around since the 2017-18 season and plays multiple games including Rocket League and Fortnite.

Flores said he is looking to continue his career in college and wants some of his teammates to join him at the next level.

“They’re trying to get over here to take a look at the program, meet the kids,” Druar said. “But definitely as time goes on we’re going to be working very closely with UJ because they have such a nice setup over there, plus it’s a nice option locally because they’re always looking for more kids too.”

My name is Max O'Neill. I am a Sports Reporter at The Jamestown Sun. I am a native New Yorker, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a degree in Television-Radio.
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