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Heartland Community College

Hawks capture Esports National Championships

December 16, 2023

Heartland Community College Esports student athletes closed out the Fall 23 season with impressive performances, including both individual and team National Championships. 

Two returning Esports athletes gained another championship title with impressive finishes at the National Junior College Athletic Association Esports (NJCCAE) Fall tournament. 

Jonathan “Jono” Edmonson posted a second consecutive National Championship as a Heartland Hawk in NBA2k.

Luke Sherman joined Edmonson as a repeat champion, this time leading the Super Smash Bros Ultimate Crew 3 v. 3 squad. SSBU Crew involves a team of three players that compete against other squads of three. Despite some early season adversity, Sherman and fellow teammates Matthew “Bo” Larson and Alex Baccheschi finished as champions. 

“We have had an amazing season with players across multiple games in the postseason,” said Esports Head Coach Jarrod Rackauskas. “In two short years, Heartland Community College has become a dominant program in the NJCAAE and one of the best two-year esports programs. This is only possible because we have amazing student leadership and talent that works.” 

Caleb Spicer finished in second place at nationals in Street Fighter 6, while the Hawks solidified six third place finishes at nationals in Madden NFL (Jackson Grabel), Super Smash Bros Ultimate (Bo Larson), Mario Kart 8 (Kevin Gonzalez), Mario Kart 8 4 v. 4, Rocket League 3 v. 3 and Super Smash Bro Ultimate (Alex Baccheschi). 

Jack Hooker also placed for the Hawks in Street Fighter 6 in fourth place, while Luke Merian led the League of Legends squad to a fourth-place finish.

Rounding out the national trophy winners for the Hawks were the Call of Duty 2 v. 2 team and Caleb Larson in Super Smash Bros Ultimate. 

The future also looks bright for Hawks Esports as Tier 2 players also captured a championship at that level with the Hawks team winning in Fortnite Build (2 v. 2).

Written by: Steve Fast