Sulphur student becomes district's first e-sports state champion
SULPHUR, Okla. (KTEN) — Winning. It's a part of the culture at Sulphur Public Schools, and a new after-school program is sticking to that theme.
Sulphur junior Bowdy Fires isn't a stranger to winning, recently securing the Bulldogs' first-ever state championship in the e-sports game Beat Saber.
"I started out probably when I was 12 or 13 when I got my first headset," Fires said. "I just kept playing it until I became one of the best in the world. Now, I'm playing it here for Sulphur competitively. It means a lot to me. I love this school, and I love working for it."
Fires is a part of Sulphur's after school e-sports program, which was newly implemented this school year, and it's proved to be a valuable asset for student expression.
"Without just sitting at home ... sitting in a dark room playing a game, they're doing it with their friends," Fires said. "They're doing it in a public setting and they're competing with other people. It's really helping a lot of people get out there."
That's something district officials considered before the program was created: To be able to cater to all students.
"We want to reach all of our kids," said Superintendent Matt Holder. "Research tells you that if you have kids that are participating in extracurricular activities — no matter what they may be — they're going to perform [better] academically and they're going to be better off for it."
As the first year of Sulphur's e-sports program comes to an end, Holder said the district will continue to improve it, providing a valuable after-school program for students.