Red Hawk Esports Recognized For Two National Championship Wins

The City of Hickory and Mayor Hank Guess declared Thursday, May 30, 2024 as "CVCC Red Hawk Esports Day".


Red Hawk Esports team stands with Mayor Hank Guess, CVCC President Garrett Hinshaw, and Esports head coach Cody Dalton.

HICKORY, N.C.—The City of Hickory honored the Catawba Valley Community College Red Hawk Esports team last Thursday for winning back-to-back National Junior College Athletic Association Esports (NJCAAE) national championships.

Hickory Mayor Hank Guess arrived on main campus Thursday morning to make the official proclamation, which declared Thursday, May 30, 2024 as “CVCC Red Hawk Esports Day.”

NJCAAE National Championships won by the Red Hawk Esports program include Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, in which Red Hawks defeated Missouri State-West Plains by a score of 3-0, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, in which the Red Hawks again beat Missouri State-West Plains by a score of 3-1.

Red Hawk Esports is led by head coach Cody Dalton and assistant coach Daniel Connor.

“This is a giant blessing,” Dalton said during Thursday’s ceremony. “Everyone standing here is a benefit of that blessing. Hank and I had talked about a way to honor these kids and showcase what they’ve done. They’re getting it done in the classroom. They’re getting it done in the virtual world. They are all doing some amazing things in our community, both here on our campus, in Catawba County and wherever they go. I’m excited to have them honored today.”

During the presentation, Mayor Guess spoke to the growing success of the athletic team, sharing that “there are so many people that help put this team in motion.”

“The attention that this team has received and the good that it has accomplished, not only for individual students, but also for the community, reminds us that it is all about partnerships,” Mayor Guess said. “We want you [students] to be successful. The city of Hickory is proud to have a partnership and relationship not only with CVCC, but also with the Esports athletic program. We are proud of all that you have been able to do. I am delighted to take some time today to recognize each and every one of you for your accomplishments.”

Many student athletes, such as Call of Duty team captain Colin Robinson, felt encouraged and inspired by the recognition of their accomplishments.

“Esports has changed my college experience,” Robinson said. “I was on the first Esports team in 2019, and then took a year off from school, but coach Dalton reached back out to me and encouraged me to go to school again. To have the support of this coach and this team is more than I could ever ask for.”

Robinson graduated from CVCC this year and plans to attend UNC Charlotte this fall.

Since its establishment in July 2019, the Red Hawk Esports team has become one of the most popular athletic teams on campus—boasting 47 student athletes this past school year.

Five Red Hawk student athletes have received scholarships or signed with four-year colleges and universities as a result of their participation in Esports. The program has won five NJCAAE championships overall and one National Association of College Esports championship.

In the past three years, the program has hosted more than 100 competitors from more than 10 states for its annual Campus Series LAN tournament. The program also won a brand video contest hosted by the NJCAAE, which allowed all team members to receive free competition dues for the entire 2022-2023 school year.

Red Hawk Esports would like to thank and recognize our program sponsors, Red Fox Gaming, Corporate Armor, and Mr. Game & Lounge, for their continued dedication to the success of our student athletes.

To learn more about Catawba Valley Community College, our programs of study, and how to apply, please email You can also visit our website,

Pictured Above: Red Hawk Esports team stands with Mayor Hank Guess, CVCC President Garrett Hinshaw, and Esports head coach Cody Dalton.

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