Winning Championships & Setting the Gold Standard
One Madden State Champion from Georgia is putting his school on the map with esports.
For Peach County High School, located in central Georgia, a state title in any sport has been few and far between in recent school history. That all changed last spring when junior Trevor Emmert, a former football player, decided to join his school’s emerging esports program and compete in his favorite game, Madden NFL 22. That decision led Trevor to be crowned the Spring 2022 Georgia High School Association State Madden Champion.
Trevor’s journey to the GHSA state title last Spring started way back when he was younger and picked up Madden for the first time. While at the time he was just playing casually with friends, Trevor’s older brother recognized his talent and knew the opportunities that could be presented to Trevor if he took it seriously. When his brother then learned about the newly formed esports program at Peach County High School and the state titles and scholarships that Trevor could earn, he pushed him to compete.
To get to that high level and have the chance to compete for the state title, Trevor knew that he needed to take it very seriously. This included giving up football. “I played football my freshman and sophomore years, but once I realized the opportunities I could get from esports and the time it was going to take to get better to make those opportunities a reality, I needed to focus on that one thing."
Trevor’s first season in the league was a dominant one. He never lost a match, going 3-0 in the preseason, 7-0 during the regular season, and then 5-0 in playoffs straight through to the GHSA state championship. Beyond his dedication to practicing and getting better, Trevor also attributes his success to sizing up every new opponent he goes up against. This involves studying player performance, either by watching past streams of his opponents or feeling them out during the first quarter of play. Trevor mentions aspects like, “What’s he running on defense and how can I attack it?”.
“You have to take time. You have to put hours in, you know, It's the only way to get better. Like anything.”
For his own game strategy, Trevor says that he is a heavy passer and that he likes to blitz a lot to send heavy pressure and try and get into opponents' heads. Though a Patriots fan when it comes to watching games on Sunday, Trevor competes each week as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In addition to Tom Brady being his favorite player of all time, he also thinks that he has the best game abilities in Madden. Trevor also credits players like wide receiver Mike Evans or the recently acquired Julio Jones for his reliance on the Bucs to dominate. As for playbooks, Trevor looks to the Las Vegas Raiders for offense and the Kansas City Chiefs for his defensive plays.
Started in Fall 2021 by Head Coach Dustin Chancellor, the Peach County esports program has competed in Super Smash Bros., Splatoon 3, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in addition to Madden NFL 23. In every single season so far, at least one of their teams has qualified for playoffs but Trevor has been the only one thus far to bring home the gold.
And Coach Chancellor is very grateful for what Trevor has done for their program. Since winning the state championship for their school, their Superintendent has decided to invest heavily in their program, including money to buy more equipment and even a new esports lab set to open next school year. With all that, they are hoping to draw more players into the program and provide more opportunities for those who otherwise couldn’t afford the consoles or games on their own. The only directive the Superintendent gave to the program: keep winning.
In just one season, Trevor has had quite the winning record:
Trevor's next goal? Besides of course repeating his state title run, Trevor is focused on going all the way and winning the national championship in the PlayVS Cup and earning that coveted scholarship. In this year’s PlayVS Cup, Trevor got very close, losing in the finals to the California state champion but knocking out the state champions from Alabama, Kentucky, and New Mexico along the way. Beyond high school, Trevor is hoping to compete at the collegiate level and specifically in the Level Next Tournament, the officially licensed national college esports league for Madden.
He also hopes to become a leader in the program and help the next generation of Madden players at Peach County and wants to thank his school and his family for supporting him thus far in his journey. His advice to others looking to get good at Madden is very simple, “You have to take time. You have to put hours in, you know, It's the only way to get better. Like anything.”