As the 2021 season is coming to a close, Senior, Blake Pennington, is looking forward to graduating this May. The 25-year-old Business Administration major is one of the original members of the first esports team here on campus and has enjoyed having this as a place where he can meet new people. “I like having those people who I can compete with and go to that next level with,” said Pennington.
The Wendell, North Carolina native, is a transfer student from Wake Tech Community College where he attended four years and later took a gap year before coming to Barton. “Financially it made sense and the Esports was just a bonus,” said Pennington. While having his mindset on UNC Charolette or North Carolina State, he admits not knowing of Barton until his grandfather set him up a campus visit.
The current Madden team member has been playing the game since he can remember. Since picking up his first copy of Madden back in 2003 with Marshall Faulk on the front, he believes that he has not missed one since. “If I haven’t bought every year, I have bought pretty much every season of it,” said Pennington. Blake not only has a favorite team in the league but he also has a couple of favorite teams he could beat you down with in the game. Growing up he has always been a Washington Football Team fan with that being his first-ever NFL game attended. However, in Madden, he has his go to’s being the Saints, Steelers, and Seahawks.
However, Pennington does not have a bigger passion than watching Nascar. As most do, his father was the one who introduced him and is arguably a bigger fan than Blake himself. With his favorite driver of all time being Tony Stewart, it is no surprise that he turned to root for the Stewart Haas Race Team when Tony retired back in 2016. He recalls the time he and his father went to the Nascar race in Martinsville, Virginia, and watched Tony Stewart win his second of three titles there in 2006. “It not only reiterated that I was a Tony Stewart fan, but that was just the moment I realized I was enjoying not just the race, but the time spent with my dad too,” said Pennington.
Pennington plans on carrying his passion for Nascar into post-grad life. His ultimate goal is to eventually run his own racing team and make it onto the big circuit. However, outside of Nascar, Blake has been working at the large retail sporting goods store, Dicks since going to college and has plans of managing his own store one day.
By: Jakob Ryan