MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — A student at Oakridge High School is known to his peers and teachers as a silent leader.
He’s a man of few words, so he lets his hands do the talking.
“Rocket League is basically all I’ve been playing,” said Landon Prater, a student at Oakridge High School. “It’s been really fun.”
Prater is dedicated to rallying the troops to support his high school’s new esports team. It’s the first full year of the program. Teachers wrote grants to fund the equipment.
Prater led the charge last year to compete against 67 other schools in Michigan. His team placed 14 in the Rocket League tournament.
“It was exciting,” said Prater. “It’s the first year of esports, and we are already 14. We’re doing really well.”
Coach Todd Lowry said the school’s esports team continues to expand.
He said there’s been a 33 percent increase in student participation since the program debuted last winter. Lowry credits Prater with some of the growth.
“He is always right there helping them out,” said Lowry. “When they come in and see the example that he sets, it really sets the stage, and he just leads by example. He’ll never really know the extent to which he helped this program get started.”
Although the team only offers Super Smash Brothers and Rocket League, Lowry said he loves the bond they create.
“Some of these gamers become like brothers,” said Lowry.
It’s the big brother in the room Lowry said all players can depend on.
“I just want to make it an important aspect of the school,” said Prater.