ATASCADERO — The Atascadero High School robotics team, last featured on the cover of this paper on May 3 for their third World Championship win, was honored for their work by the Atascadero Unified School District Board of Trustees and San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Debbie Arnold along with Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham at the AUSD Board meeting May 21 and again by the Atascadero City Council and Fire Department on May 22.
The hero’s welcome ride to City Hall with the Atascadero Fire Department took the entire Fire Station One fleet plus two support vehicles to get the team, officially FIRST Robotics Competition Team 973, or Greybots 973 to the proclamation ceremony in style.
They were welcomed there by elements of the Atascadero High School Band and their cheer squad, along with Atascadero’s senior City Staff, City Council, and Mayor Heather Moreno.
Moreno read the proclamation recognizing the fact that the team faced down a pool of 6,000 competing teams in the Championships and that they were given less than nine weeks to design and build their winning robot, the “Fireball.”
AHS Principal Bill Neely introduced each member of the crew, explaining their roles, which included: computer-aided control and design operators, assembly, fabrication, design and drivers.
As well some of the program’s seniors were recognized. Some will be moving on to the UC system, Berkeley and San Diego, next year and had been with the team through all four of their high school years.
In a break from all the pictures being taken by proud parents and community members, Team President Drew Daner said the only thing not changing in the whirlwind of activity since their return from the championships in Houston, Texas had been the unwavering support they’ve enjoyed.
“The amazing support this town, the city and community, in general, has been the same throughout,” she said. “That really helped push us along through the whole thing.”
After graduation in June, Daner has a place ready for her at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind.
“We’re very proud of them; because how many world championships are there at anything? Not many,” said AUSD trustee Donn Clickard, “and this makes three times for this team.”