AHS senior earns Esports scholarship to Manchester College

Nestled away in the new Innovation Center, the Esports room at Anderson High School (AHS)  may be viewed by some as simply a space to relax. However, students like Deakin Borden are proving that it can grow into something much more than a hobby. 

Borden, a senior at AHS, has been part of the AHS Esports team for years now. Not only has Deakin competed at a high level, he is currently a nationally-ranked Super Smash Brothers player, but he has focused on helping to grow the program. 

“I really got into Esports towards the end of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Borden. “Once we were back at school I continued to give it my all. Just five days after joining the AHS Esports team I found myself in a position to start calling the shots and making it a more organized system.”

For his talent in playing and efforts in growing the AHS Esports program, which culminated recently with the Anderson Annihilation event hosted at AHS, he was offered a full scholarship to Manchester College to be part of their eSports program in the fall.

“The Anderson Annihilation event that Deakin put on was wonderfully held and was very well organized from a staff point of view,” said Mrs. Hermann, an Assistant Esports Coach at AHS. “You can tell there was a lot of effort and time put into it. You could see that the heart was there, and everybody had a great time. I was thoroughly impressed with how he ran it from start to finish.”

“The truth is, we would not have held an Esports tournament if it hadn't been for Deakin.” quoted Mr. Dick

While students have received partial scholarships in the past for Esports, Deakin is the first AHS student to receive a full scholarship. In addition to participating on the Manchester eSports team, he is interested in pursuing a career in teaching.

“I chose Manchester after learning about their phenomenal Esports program,” added Deakin. “I want to have a major in the technology field, maybe like Software Engineering, or Networking/Data Analytics, but my top career choice, as surprising as it sounds, is to be a teacher.”

Deakin credits AHS staff, teachers, and administrators for providing him with opportunities and preparing him for the next step in his educational journey.

“The eSports program has continued to grow with the input of dedicated student leaders, one of them is Deakin Borden, who since his incorporation into Esports has been perhaps, the finest leader we've seen in our six years of AHS Esports,” said “Mr. Ziuchkovski, Head Coach for the Esports Team at AHS. “He goes above and beyond and is instrumental in producing positive change that not only grows our program but also makes the people in our program want to continue this legacy as he prepares to leave.”

This article was written by Dayton Edwards, an intern with Anderson Community Schools.