June 6, 2024

Tavares High Robotics Team Competes & Wins At World Championships

2.7 min read| Published On: June 6th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

Tavares High Robotics Team Competes & Wins At World Championships

2.7 min read| Published On: June 6th, 2024|

The Tavares High Robotics team known as Ace Robotics recently got to compete at the VEX World Championship in Dallas, Texas. These world championships are the ultimate battleground for future engineers. For 820 teams from across the globe, April marked a pivotal moment in their journey, as they converged upon the stage of innovation and competition.

Among them stood Ace Robotics from Tavares. Ace Robotics, led by Trevor Totherow, Jacob Sabeolli, and Logan Thomley, poured their heart and soul into their craft all year long, determined to leave a mark on the world stage. And in a whirlwind of metal and code, they found themselves standing victorious, crowned as division champions in the Research Division alongside their alliance partners Unknown Robotics from Fujian, China.

(Ace Robotics from Tavares on the right standing with Unknown Robotics from Fujan, China on the left.)

Only 10 alliance teams made it to the finals to compete in the dome of 9,000 spectators. Ace Robotics is ranked as the #7 team in the world. This small team from Tavares represented Lake County with so much class on the biggest stage in High School Robotics. We are so happy for them. It was the most challenging competition of these young competitors’ lives.

(Ace Robotics from Tavares came into the competition ranked as the #7 team in the world.)

“Leading up to the competition, we spent a tremendous amount of time preparing by undertaking our most difficult and complex robot build to date. The persistence, tenacity, and long hours paid off. It was coupled with overwhelming stress to make the most competitive 6-inch robot that we’ve never designed, built, programmed, or competed with. There were many unknowns and uncertainties coming into this competition, but with great risk comes great reward. None of this was possible without every team member putting forth their best efforts to compete at such a high level,” says Tavares High School’s Engineering/Robotics Teacher Christopher Crosby.

(Ace Robotic team members stand with their robot which went on to have a terrific performance in the competition.)

On February 15th of this year, Sheriff Peyton Grinnell of Lake County Sheriff’s Office presented members of the Ace Robotics team with a check for $2,500 in order to attend the International Tournament in Dallas, Texas. The team did not disappoint.

“Every year, ACE Robotics proves itself to be a top performer.  The team has advanced to Worlds (the world’s largest robotics competition, sponsored by Northrop Grumman, Tesla, Microsoft, NASA, and other top tech companies) every year since the team’s inception in 2022. Last season (2023-2024), we earned the highest skills score in the world 5 separate times, made it to the world semifinals (ultimately finishing in 3rd place out of the over 820 teams who had qualified to participate), received the prestigious Excellence Award at three REC Foundation national “signature” events, and finished with a record of 131 wins to 8 losses, one of the best in the competition’s history. Despite being high school students, we collectively have over 14 years of experience working in VEX Robotics and we strongly believe this coming season will be our best.” says Ace Robotics Tracey Hyland.

With the conclusion of the 2023-2024 season of VEX, comes the inevitable farewell. Logan, William, and Mirah, the pillars of the team, are set to embark on new journeys at prestigious universities such as the University of Florida and Georgia Tech. The future for these young students are bright.

(VEX Worlds 2024. Ace Robotics performed alongside Unknown Robotics from China. The two teams would take home the district championship in the Research Division.)

As one chapter closes, another begins. Seniors Jacob and Adam step up to lead the charge, their resolve unyielding as they face the challenge of filling the shoes of their departing comrades. We look forward to seeing how this team develops and grows. Much interest has been shown in Ace Robotics. The team will no doubt continue to grow with the success they are having. The future looks bright!

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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