Making NFHS History: ESports


The Esports Arena located at North Forsyth High School where the team’s come to practice and prepare for a match. (Photo by Maddie Lewis)

On Sept. 7 2022, Max Stalling got the gracious announcement that the ESports “Madden” team here at North Forsyth had placed eighth in the nation. Only around five months since the team qualified for playoffs on April 9, 2022 along with other teams such as “Rocket League” and “Smash Bros”. As the team progressed throughout the season(s), they exemplified how they can achieve the greatest things in life. 


Stallings, a lover of video games since he was little and the coach of E-Sports for around five years, explained, “I’ve always had that hobby, that passion and when I heard that we had an ESports team, I was floored”. In simpler terms Stallings claimed, “I love that world. I love that culture.” 


On another note, former high school student Brandon Ferraro, who now plays “Madden” at Brewton-Parker College, claimed that family and friends really got him into ESports, especially his brother. Ferraro explained, “I’ve been playing Madden basically my whole life…I would have [a] competition in everything.” 


Ferraro not only gave credit to the outstanding players on the teams but also to the team’s wonderful coach, “Having a great coach, that takes time out of time the day to support us and make sure we are feeling good…I think [that’s what] got us to number eight in the nation.”  


When asked what his reaction was to being rewarded eighth in the nation, Stallings responded that he was mostly shocked and couldn’t believe that the team was getting this much recognition outside the state of Georgia, but overall he knew the team had a strong supportive back bone.  

“We were the first ever State Madden champion[s] ever [before this]…so I knew we had a good team,” Stallings claims.


Stallings also feels pressured to keep up the good traditions of winning, he explained “We want to have fun. We also want to win and keep up these great traditions.” 


According to Stallings, Madden can be defined in his own terms as “football in the metaverse” and to Ferraro it’s a way to take the “competitive edge off.”


If you are interested in ESports, it’s very simple to join. As stated by Stallings, “It’s really not that hard to join…[it shows me] that they want to be a part of the community and have a love for video games”. Ferraro as well gave a positive outlook for people to join ESports. He claims that by joining ESports, it gives that person a chance to meet new people with the same interest and is compromisable for people who cannot play “traditional” sports. 


Overall, the team is looking forward to celebrating their huge accomplishment as well as continuing to be the best to their ability.