Jadon Grimes of Centralia College, Centralia, WA, has been named the college NAECAD Player of the Year for 2020-21. In addition to Jadon, the following players earned NAECAD All-American status: Dakota Damato of Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO; Gavin Eldridge of South Dakota Schools of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, SD; Carson Fitzgerald of Baker University, Baldwin, KS; Kit Fynaardt of Northwestern College, Orange City, IA; Miles Herget of Boise State University, Boise, ID; Trent Kudsk of Midland University, Fremont, NE; Justin Parent of St Clair College, Windsor, ON, Canada; Bret Vester of Dickinson State University, Dickinson, ND; and Chris Winkel of Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City, OK, the NAECAD national office announced Tuesday.
Jadon is captain of the Centralia Varsity Rocket League team and also provides leadership for the entire Centralia College esports program. In a summer full of uncertainty and adversity, Jadon reached new career best in-game milestones including his first Grand Champion ranking while still balancing his work, home, and social life. Jadon arranged practices, held players and himself accountable, and even reviewed coaching sessions of his teammates to assist them in making progress on their assigned individual goals. He has set himself apart this year by dedicating himself to his skill development through focused effort and willingness to learn. His coach and nominator for the award had this to say about Jadon, “We set high goals for Jadon to improve this year and Jadon made considerable improvements practically overnight which in turn challenged the entire esports program to reach even higher and find more areas to improve on. Jadon’s ability to receive information, filter it, and apply relevant material is exceptional and his modest yet confident presence is appreciated in our program and he deserves to be recognized for his astounding effort and improvements.”
These coveted awards recognize individuals for a balance of athletic achievement, sportsmanship and citizenship. While elite performance in the game is important, these awards are aimed at recognizing the overall impact the individual has made. Example characteristics include:
Jadon and the other All-Americans will be receiving their awards from NAECAD and will be recognized at the next NAECAD National Convention.
The National Association of Esports Coaches and Directors (NAECAD – pronounced Nay-cad), founded in 2019, is the primary professional organization for competitive esports coaches and directors at all levels of competitive play (club, high school, college, and professional). NAECAD strives to serve, legitimize, and advance competitive esports at all levels with NAECAD members at the epicenter of leadership, advocacy, and professional development. NAECAD’s vision is for esports to be viewed as a prominent competitive sport with highly trained NAECAD members leading the professional development, growth, and quality of competitive esports. Visit naecad.org to learn more about NAECAD.