Program Spotlight- St. Joseph’s Academy All-Girls School


It was mid-December, and I was already a couple days into my Winter Break before I noticed a new message on Discord. It was from a student at St. Joseph’s Academy, an all-girls high school in Baton Rouge, contacting me about their esports program.
A senior and effectively the program’s co-manager, Claire Bonius introduced herself and explained the problem at hand, hoping it was one I could help address: “Being an all girls team is a very fun environment, but there is almost no representation at all for girl gamers in esports.”
For the Redstickers, this means a few things. “It’s harder to prove that I can play a game just as well as a man,” Sophomore Valorant player Paige Ashley says. Senior Overwatch player and President
Katie Thomas explains that maybe they are taken seriously by competitors— that is, until “they find out that we are entirely female.”
Nonetheless, St. Joseph’s players take themselves seriously, practicing and reviewing VODs just like any other team. In fact, Senior Overwatch player Katie Rabalais takes exceptional pride in practice, citing the moment “our team finally clicked and worked together during an overtime game in practice.”
The team’s inspirations include Team Liquid Brazil’s all- women Valorant squad and Kyedae, a content creator for 100Thieves and Streamer of the Year nominee, as well as other successful women in the industry.
A former competitor himself, coach Trey Gaudin comments on some of the inequities that still exist within esports and gaming.
“Many young women simply don’t have a PC or console available to game on (even when a younger male sibling does!),” he says. “We combatted this right off the bat by applying for a grant to finance school gaming PCs for the team to compete on.”
Although not many of the students see themselves competing beyond high school, that flexibility doesn’t detract from what they’ve contributed to the esports scene. With the proper tools and resources at their disposal, the girls at St. Joseph’s Academy have helped lay the foundation for the next generation of women in esports, whether that’s themselves, incoming students after them, or girls across the state and country who needed inspiration and representation of their own.

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