‘Game on’ at Crestwood High School

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MOUNTAIN TOP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – The pandemic has forced many school districts to adjust their educational cultures with hybrid and completely online learning.

That same trend is making its way into some athletic departments. For the Crestwood School District, that means they start up a competitive E-sports club.

“My parents definitely didn’t approve of it at first because they just thought I was sitting around being lazy and avoiding things I should be doing.”

That’s Crestwood sophomore Zain Ansari, one of the founding members of the Crestwood E-sports team, and his parents aren’t alone.

A roughly 20,000 dollar startup cost is now a part of the athletics budget and is being aided by educational organizations.

The concept is taking an interest like video games and reaching parts of the student population who will now be more active in a district setting.

In a day and age where parents are concerned about screentime, especially with all the online learning, and trying to get their kids to be physically active?

Jimm Zabiegalski, club advisor and Robert Mehalick, school Superintendent, say the club extends past the consoles and PC’s.

“You could play piano way too much. You could do traditional athletic sport, too much. What we’re doing here is we’re talking to a group of students about balance.” said Zabiegalski.

“I did not understand that there’s so much more to this than just sitting on your couch or on your bed, playing these games, they’re talking about the first 20 minutes, should be devoted to cardiovascular because there’s so much brain development going on and so much stimulation of the mind that the body has to stay up with it,” said Mehalick.

That’s exactly the plan for the new competitive video game club. Talking with the superintendent and club advisor, they also point out that it’s not just about playing.

They say students involved are getting and giving instruction when it comes to many stem subjects like engineering and programming.

They also point to one industry that has been booming amid the pandemic that tracks with a focus on careers in the classroom, video games.

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