Massena High students will be able to compete in after-school e-sports club
Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 5:23 pm

BY ANDY GARDNER
North Country This Week

MASSENA -- Students at Massena Central will soon be able to compete in e-sports after school through a new club.

E-sports means online competitive video gaming, sometimes one-on-one, sometimes as a team.

Massena High School students will be able to play as an after-school club held at the Police Activities League (PAL), formerly the Boys and Girls Club of Massena. PAL, the school district and SUNY Canton are teaming up for the initiative.

PAL has an e-sports arena with 10 gaming consoles.

PAL Director Zachary Monroe told the board of education at their Thursday, Feb. 13 meeting that they think they'll be able to boost participation among high school students by hosting the club.

"Kids are going home and playing video games after school anyways. That was our decreased membership from high school students," Monroe said. "The equipment we have is nothing like what they can use at home."

Although most of the time they will meet at the PAL and compete over the internet there, there will be trips to SUNY Canton's 20-console e-sports arena.

Massena High School science teacher Bill Jaggers said he thinks the club will offer an after-school activity to a big portion of students who normally don't partake in extracurriculars.

"It appeals to students who otherwise would not participate in school activities and therefore would not feel connected to their school," Jaggers said. "I believe it would decrease chronic absenteeism ... and I believe it would decrease dropout rate."

He said it would cost around $30 per student.