James Clemens Esports pauses games to serve at fundraiser

MADISON – Players on Esports teams at James Clemens High School temporarily will pause their controllers for Mario Kart and Splatoon to pick up an apron and order pad for their upcoming fundraiser.

The award-winning team members of James Clemens Esports will serve guests at a pancake breakfast at Applebee’s of Madison, 302 Hughes Road. The fundraiser is scheduled for Feb. 3 from 7 to 10 a.m.

“The cost is $5 per person, and our players for the teams Overwatch, Madden, Super Smash and Mario Kart will all be selling tickets and serving the patrons,” James Clemens Esports Coach Pam Paquette said. Paquette teaches cyber security and networking classes.

“During 2023, my teams all participated in PlayVS esports (a scholastic Esports platform that provides the infrastructure and platform for amateur esports). We had Madden, two Overwatch teams, two Mario Kart Teams, Splatoon and Super Smash Brothers,” Paquette said.

“The teams that were in state playoffs were two Overwatch teams, one Mario Kart team, Splatoon and Madden. The two teams that won Alabama State Championship titles in Montgomery on Dec. 11 were the Mario Kart Varsity Team and the Splatoon Varsity Team,” Paquette said.

“We are actively recruiting players for the new Spring 2024 season. We will be practicing in my room during lunch for the Nintendo games, and all teams practice on Mondays from home. Our official season starts the last week of January,” Paquette said.

James Clemens Esports teams will practice and compete with Madden, Mario Kart, Overwatch, Splatoon and Super Smash Brothers this coming season, she said.

Proceeds from the pancake breakfast will be used to purchase Esports equipment and offer students that have financial needs with a ‘scholarship’ to participate. “Some students have the device but not the game or don’t have a headset to use to communicate with their team from home. In addition, we may need to hardwire a Nintendo system to the network, so we have to purchase docking stations with an RJ45 port,” Paquette said.

Setting goals for James Clemens teams in 2024, Paquette “would love to see the two State Champions receive invitations to the National Championships and then have them win in June. I would also like to see more students come out to participate.”

“We don’t have a Rocket League team right now, and we need Splatoon players,” she said about other New Year goals.

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