VICTORVILLE, CALIF. — The Robotics Team from Excelsior Charter Schools’ Aviation, Medicine and Engineering Academy is a VEX Robotics California High Desert League tournament champion once again. Team 7209X, which comprises members Cody Borne, Bryce Romero, Adam Angle and Brandan Miller, won the school its fourth title at the tournament held Saturday, Dec. 16 at Sultana High School in Hesperia, Calif.
Team 7209X also earned the Robot Skills Champion title along with being Tournament Finalists, a big honor on its own.
Mr. Denny Vasquez, Excelsior AME’s Robotics teacher for the last five years, says the win is symbolic in many ways.
“In 2013, we started this program from nothing. The same students that began the journey with me when they were 12 and 13 years old are the ones who are holding the trophy,” Vasquez said.
The Excelsior AME Robotics Team has a remarkable VEX Robotics record. For the 2016-2017 school year, the team placed 4th in the State of California and 19th among 100 in the National Championship. The team has competed three times for the State Championship, three times for the U.S. Open National Championship, and as the C.R.E.A.T.E. U.S. Open National Championship Bracket Buster Award winner, they were the lowest seeded team to eliminate a Top 2 team.
Excelsior AME Senior Cody Borne has been a member of the Robotics Program for five years, as long as he’s been a student at Excelsior. He drives the team’s robot during the 1-minute, 45-second competition rounds. For Cody, the team’s big win at the Dec. 16 tournament is a reflection of years of hard work.
“The competition gets your blood flowing and it requires you to be the best that you can be,” Cody said. Participation in the program has been an added incentive to maintain good grades and stay current in his school work, a requirement for all members of Excelsior’s Robotics Teams. “It just means a lot, with all the work we’ve put in, to finally have something to show for it.”
Vasquez is appreciative of the enormous support Excelsior gives to the program and he’s proud of his students.
“Excelsior has stood by all of us every step of the way and I think winning pays enormous tribute to their willingness to ensure our success,” Vasquez said. “This also represents a victory for their parents and myself because it’s hard to get kids to be completely committed to something. This win symbolizes that commitment. Their faces say it all. Words won’t express how proud I am. They earned all of it.”
Excelsior’s Aviation, Medicine and Engineering Academy is located next to Southern California Logistics Airport on the former Harry R. Sheppard Middle School campus in North Victorville. Excelsior provides students in grades 7-12 with a fully WASC accredited, blended learning program that enables them to develop, execute and achieve a strong vision for their future.
(source: Excelsior Charter Schools news release)