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CBC announces the creation of Cougar Esports Teams

Alice Echo News Journal

BEEVILLE - With the short-term future of sports in question amid the coronavirus pandemic, Coastal Bend College (CBC) is starting a sports program that cannot only survive but thrive in a virtual format. The college announced Friday, Jan. 29,the launch of Esports as its seventh athletic program. CBC will become the first Hispanic-servicing two-year school in Texas to sponsor varsity Esports. 

“Coastal Bend College is excited to launch our Esports team. This presents a unique opportunity for students to take something they enjoy and earn a college degree. Young men and women engaging in these activities often have unique problem solving and physical agility that our military has already realized,” said Dr. Justin Hoggard, CBC President.  Moreover, this sport will allow us to have NJCAA affiliated athletic endeavors at all our locations. “It will not only serve as a springboard for students to move into higher education, but I hope it will foster an increased sense of pride at each of our locations and communities,” added Hoggard.

The CBC team will compete in both the National Junior College Athletic Association Esports (NJCAAE) as well as the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE).    The  NJCAAE will permit CBC to compete for National Championships like their fellow Cougar athletes. Membership and competition in NACE allows CBC gamers to showcase their skills to four-year programs, which make-up the majority of NACE members.

“We are very excited to have Esports as our seventh Cougar sport,” said  Paul Cantrell, CBC Director of Athletics.  “The growth and interest in the sport is unparalleled, and with it being an NJCAA Championship sport, we believe CBC’s geographic location would allow us to attract an excellent talent pool to help this sport be successful quickly,” added Cantrell.

As part of the membership, the college committed to meeting the NACE membership standards including academic guidelines for athletes, having a dedicated staff member to oversee the program, and creating space for team athletes to compete and practice, among other requirements. Esports programs aren’t common in college athletics, but with the popularity of gaming and Esports on the rise, games such as with games like League of Legends, Overwatch, Paladins, Rocket League, Smite, Fortnite, CSGO and Super Smash Brothers Ultimate are leading the way.

The Cougars will become the third member of NJCAA’s Region XIV to compete in the virtual world joining Navarro College and Blinn College.  The three schools have already begun discussions in regards to a Regional Championship. The search to hire an Esports Coach is currently underway.

The college announced Friday, January 29, 2021, the launch of Esports as its seventh athletic program. CBC will become the first Hispanic-servicing two-year school in Texas to sponsor varsity Esports.