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Vernon Hills introduces two new clubs

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Vernon Hills introduces two new clubs

The eSports club poses for a photograph before a meeting.

The eSports club poses for a photograph before a meeting.

The eSports club poses for a photograph before a meeting.

The eSports club poses for a photograph before a meeting.

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This year, VHHS has introduced two new clubs for students: eSports, a video game club, and VH20, an environmental club.

eSports club members game together

eSports allows students to play games together in real life — not just in an online chat.

The club plays team-based tactical games, such as Rainbow Six Siege, Counter Strike, Overwatch and Fortnite, along with sports games. Students can enter in an organized tournament with the High School eSports League (HSEL).

Competitive video game popularity is on the rise worldwide according to Mr. Watters, the eSports club coach. Colleges are becoming involved in the video game world, with more than 80 members of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) offering scholarship money, including full rides, and with arenas being built for video games.

“You are more likely to earn a scholarship through eSports than you are through football,” Watters said.

With popularity rising, Korea’s televised League of Legends tournament pulls more viewers than the Superbowl, he added.

Mr. Watters encouraged “noobs” in the school to come practice and receive coaching from the club.

“We just like to have fun,” Mr. Watters said.

Ms. Beagle, the Student Activities Director at VHHS, explained why the school added this new club to the mix.

“The goal of our school district is to provide opportunities for students to gain knowledge, pursue special interests, develop relationships and feel connected to the school,” she said.

According to Ms. Beagle, research shows active participation in after-school activities causes a student to feel more connected to the school. Additionally, it helps the student to learn time management and work completion.

“Allowing easy access to video games in our school provides students with the opportunity to feel connected to the school, and potentially increase their success at school,” Ms. Beagle said.

VH20 makes a comeback

For those who feel strongly about the environment and want to make a change, VH20 is a club specifically made for that purpose. Mr. Greenawalt and Ms. Macias are leading the student activists in actions to protect nature.

In VH20, students team up with existing organizations to tackle environmental issues surrounding our school. This year, VH20 is focusing on sustainable lunching.

The club is returning after a lack of participants caused the club to stop running. After Sneha Akurati (12) went to an environmental based semester school, she returned to VHHS with a passion for nature and advocated to bring back the VH20 club.

“The earth is something we all share. There really should be no concept of disinterest in the earth. We must all be active participants in advocating for a sustainable lifestyle,” Akurati said.

According to Ms. Macias, the VH20 club also participates in clean up efforts and invasive species removal at the Lake County Forest Preserve.

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