HVA takes first place in Smoky Mountain Robotics Regional
“We won!” Hardin Valley Academy’s Robotics team lead mentor Cary Busby exclaimed in an e-mail Monday, April 4, following the team’s win at the Smoky Mountain Robotics Regional Competition in Thompson Boling Arena Thursday through Saturday, March 31-April 2.
“Our alliance swept playoffs to become the 2022 Smoky Mountains Regional winners,” Busby stated.
HVA’s RoHAWKtics FRC Team 3824 joined two other teams in winning first place at the SMRC. “All three teams on the alliance qualify to compete in [the] regional For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology World Championships, which takes place April 20-23 in Houston Texas,” she stated.
Forty-four schools, of which HVA and Farragut High School were two, had teams competing last weekend in the high-intensity regional.
After the qualifying rounds on Saturday, HVA’s Team 3824 was chosen to join Alliance 3 with Team 4451 Robotz Garage from Laurns, South Carolina, and Team 4265 Secret City Wildbots from Oak Ridge.
“We also received the Entrepreneurship Award, our second of the season,” Busby said, noting HVA won its first Entrepreneurship Award at the Electric City Regional in South Carolina last month, where it finished as finalists in the robot game.
“The Chairman’s Award went to our alliance partner 4451 (Robotz Garage) that has been running an initiative called Robotics United, which spotlights mental health and is inspired by Project Semicolon,” she said.
“It was a great tournament, and I was very impressed with my team in how they played, worked and their spontaneous testimonies afterwards basically saying that they were really glad to be part of the team and FIRST in general,” an FHS team mentor Eric Manneschmidt said.
He recalled one student staying he did not know what to expect when he joined the robotics team, but it has been incredible.
“All those here care for me and my betterment, not just the team members and mentors, but other teams as well, the FIRST community,” the student added. “With that, I would say we won as much as any team that received a blue banner.”