Whitewater Robotics competes at state

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(Front, L to R) Jonathan Lin, Colby Shaffer, Tyler Klinger, Owen Gutierrez, Ethan Gutierrez, Andrew Starkey, Logan Ayers, Nolin Collins, Mentor Tim Collins. (Back, L to R) Teachers Jon Johnson and Roger Starkey.

The Wildcats made their first of what they hope will be many trips to state. The Whitewater High Robotics Team competed at the Georgia FIRST Robotics state competition for the first time ever, placing 25th overall in the state.

For FIRST, teams build a large robot for a race, scooping up oversized tennis balls and shooting them in a basket. The end game is to lift up off the ground and climb up monkey bars.

It was a long road to get to state, with recent wins in qualifying events earning them their first spot at the state competition at Mercer University in Macon.

The Whitewater FIRST Robotics team is Tyler Klinger, Logan Ayers, Jonathan Lin, Colby Shaffer, William Komocsar, Andrew Starkey, Herschel Richards, Ethan Gutierrez, Owen Gutierrez, Nolan Collins, Cayden Shaffer, Harrison Bonner, and Thomas Houng, with teachers Jon Johnson and Roger Starkey.

“I’m really proud of the team. They are a unique group of individuals that merged together as a team,” said team coach Jon Johnson. “The pit crew was amazing. These guys rebuilt a gearbox in 20 minutes between matches. Complete disassembly and assembly, just like Nascar!”

— Provided by the Fayette County School System.