December 18, 2023

Ames High Senior Signs to Play Esports

Ames High senior Shaun Carver is taking fun and games to the next level by becoming the first Little Cyclone to sign a letter of intent to play esports collegiately. Carver will be taking his talents to Northwestern College, located in Orange City, which is the county seat of historic Sioux County. 

As of the 2022-23 school year, Northwestern College is one of 12 institutions statewide to be a member of the National Esports Collegiate Conference (NECC).

“It means a lot not only because of the opportunity to sign, but I have always wanted to do something with video games so this is like a dream come true,” Carver, who will pursue a degree in Sport Management, shares. 

He has been with Ames’ esports team since his junior year of high school.

“Shaun has been playing with us from the start last year and he will be playing Overwatch 2 there but is also a starter on our team this season for Overwatch 2,” esports head coach Patrick Donovan said.

“My experience is a little different than most because I helped start the team at Ames with the help of a friend and coach Donovan,” he adds. “So, I have participated in every season we have had so far and enjoyed getting to know the people who had similar interests in video games as me.”

In addition to playing Overwatch 2, Carver will be with the Red Raiders’ Smash Brothers Ultimate team. Who someone uses as their main character is vital to playing Overwatch 2 and Smash Brothers Ultimate.

“In Smash, I main Incineroar and Samus because I like their move sets. They have very different move sets, but they cover each other’s weaknesses,” Carver said. “In Overwatch, my top three are the supports, Lucio, Lifeweaver, and Baptiste. I main Lucio because I like his abilities as well as the way his gun works. I main Lifeweaver because he has an ability that allows him to pull teammates out of dangerous situations. I main Baptiste because he has high heal output and high damage output if played right.”

With the upcoming winter and spring seasons within the Iowa High School Esports Association (IAHSEA), Carver has clear goals for the remainder of his time in orange and black.

“I would say my biggest goal with the Overwatch team is to make it back to state and hopefully win the entire thing this time,” Carver said. “With the Mario Kart team is to get our first appearance at state. And I look forward to seeing how our Rocket League and Valorant teams do as well.

To support the esports team, contact coach Patrick Donovan at