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Black Hawk Robotics celebrates successful season with awards ceremony

(HEATH, TX – June 7, 2017) The Rockwall-Heath High School Black Hawk Robotics team celebrated its state championship-winning season with an awards ceremony recognizing its standout team members on Monday, June 5.

The following students were honored with awards during the celebratory event, held in the cafeteria at Rockwall-Heath High School:

Darius Day – Team Spirit
Brandon Diaz – Humor Under Fire
Garrett Short – Gracious Professionalism
Geovanni Copioli – Rookie All Star
Katie Layton – Outstanding Veteran
Madison Drake – Outstanding Leadership
Kamrey Mantz – Team MVP (non robot)
Ben Selle – Build Team (Robot) MVP

Each of the team’s six volunteer mentors also received honorary plaques during the event.

Black Hawk Robotics Coach Leslie Reese said the students put in well over 400 hours after school throughout the season, including Saturdays and some Sundays – a testament to their work ethic and dedication.

Reese said the team started the season with one goal in mind – qualifying for the Einstein Round Robin Finals of the FIRST Robotics World Championship. Not only did they qualify, the team placed second overall at the World Championship and eventually went on to win the Texas UIL Robotics State Championship, capping off their most successful season yet.

“The students’ biggest strength was being able to work together as a team, with the drivers telling the pit crew what’s wrong with the robot so they can fix it really fast, the scouts being able to pick the right robots that we’re going to pair with, that type of thing. Since they get along so well, they communicated very well. It’s all communication, and it all has to come together to have a successful season like this,” Reese said.

“I’ve seen us grow as a team a lot,” said Rockwall-Heath Junior and Team Media Captain Kamrey Mantz. “We were kind of shaky at first, but we have our own little groups that we work with so it’s pretty productive. It’s a good system – we make sure everyone’s involved all the time.”

Pit Crew Captain Ben Selle said the robot performed at a high level in competition despite going through a number of changes throughout the season.

“If you saw the robot at the start of the season, it looks nothing like it does now. Definitely a lot of iteration, we completely changed everything on there. But the robot performed phenomenally. Towards the end of the season it was running just like we wanted it to run,” Selle said.

By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News. Photos courtesy of Black Hawk Robotics.

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