By Shelby Fountain
The Grand Lake Rocket League team has overcome many obstacles in their journey to the LHSAA state championships.
This is Grand Lake’s first Rocket League team and first full season on the esports scene. They were able to compete in Overwatch during the 2019-20 school year; however, that season was cut short due to the lockdown. Hurricanes Laura and Delta postponed their return during the 2020-21 seasons. When this school year began, three seniors made it clear that they were going to give it their all every week and make their senior year a memorable one.
In the fall, GLHS was ranked No. 2 out of 34 teams in the state before falling to Dutchtown High School in the fall state championship. After a month-long break, the Hornets returned to the arena and began their campaign to the spring state championship. After a tough loss during the regular season, they entered the playoffs ranked #5 and advanced to the semifinals after defeating No. 12 ranked Barbe and No. 4 ranked Northwood. The semifinals pitted the Hornets against the No. 1 ranked Dutchtown Griffins. It was a back and forth grudge match through all seven games, but the Hornets were able to outlast Dutchtown’s defense and win 4-3. Coming off of the previous day’s win, the finals posed little challenge to our team. They trounced Live Oak’s squad 4-1.
Despite graduation looming, this isn’t the end of the Hornets’ journey. Next week they will advance to the PlayVS Cup where they will play champion teams from across the country. Winners of the Cup will be awarded scholarships ranging from $15,000-$35,000.
For updates, follow Grand Lake High School’s Facebook page.