Teacher leads fantasy league


Parker Nolan and Avery Degenhardt

Jasen Eairheart brings his competitive spirit to the class room with fantasy sports.

Competitive in and out of the classroom, AP Language and Composition teacher Jasen Eairheart enjoys interacting with students in a unique way. Whether it be fantasy baseball, football, or basketball, Eairheart loves the intensity and camaraderie that fantasy sports provide, and he’s sharing that passion with his students.

“I started by just joining random leagues, but now I’m in leagues with friends I’ve known since junior high, and I have leagues with students,” Eairheart said. “One baseball league has students from my first few years of teaching, and we just keep it going every year. Now, I have leagues with my Lovejoy students.”

Eairheart has been a huge fan of fantasy sports ever since the days of hand-calculating his team’s stats.

“The summer of ‘98 was when I started playing, the summer between high school and college,” Eairheart said.

Students in his leagues enjoy seeing a different side of the teacher.

“It’s fun to play in his league because you really get to connect over something a little more light-hearted and fun,” senior Brandon Merrill said. “Trash talking and trade proposals would occur almost daily last year.”

Successful teams in fantasy are typically teams that are carefully put together and strategized over.

“Pre-kids, I could spend hours perfecting my lineups,” Eairheart said. “Post- kids, I’m lucky if on the weekend I can set it and forget it for the week.”

Though there are many sites to choose from, Eairheart has a preferred site when it comes to playing the game.

“I stick with Yahoo! just because that’s what I’m most familiar with,” Eairheart said. “I’ve used ESPN, but that was when they were just getting into the fantasy game, and the site was clunky and not user- friendly.”

Fantasy sports unites an entire class as well as bringing Eairheart closer to individual students.

“All of us are in the same class, so we get to talk trash throughout class,” junior Blake Motl said. “And it’s a lot different because we’re obviously with our English teacher, so when I tell people that they think it’s cool how our teacher has such a good bond with us.”

Although fantasy football is most popular, Eairheart has a sentimental connection to the original fantasy sport.

“I like baseball simply for nostalgic reasons,” Eairheart said. “It was my first experience. However, football is easier to follow and has a higher interest level.”

Eairheart plays for reasons both personal, and connected to his work at the school.
“I play because it’s a way to keep me up-to-date on sports with a mild level of competition,” Eairheart said. “Plus, it’s the closest I’ll ever be to a GM or manager. I create leagues for students as a way to bond with them and have a shared interest.”