Article: High School Drones Teams Claim Third Consecutive National Title

High School Drones Teams Claim Third Consecutive National Title

Posted Tuesday, June 4, 2024
The Hog Flyers swept almost all the subcategories to win the Drones in Schools National Championship in May during a trip to San Diego, California. 

The Hog Flyers won head-to-head racing, the Capture the Flag event, the high school marketing video, high school portfolio and display and design and engineering. The only category they didn’t win was the Judges’ Choice Award. 

The team was much the same as last year with Rylan Carper, Garrett Becker, Mikuya Ford, Seth Gedeon, Zach Goodrich, Charlie Olds, Ben Roach and John Lefeld returning. 

While it was the third-straight National Championship for Bellbrook High School, it was the second consecutive National Title for the Hog Flyers. All of the Hog Flyers will be attending various universities next year in engineering and STEM-related fields.  

“One of the most intense moments of the competition was when the Hog Flyers (pilots Rylan Carper and Garrett Becker) tied with Full Throttle (pilots Darius Gainer and Connor Spriggs) in the capture-the-flag competition,” coach Dave Lambright said. “These two Bellbrook teams engaged in a sudden death tiebreaker and the Hog Flyers were able to outfly Full Throttle by mere fractions of a second.”

Full Throttle earned second in all of the subcategories except head-to-head flying, where they earned third. Members of that team included Gainer, Spriggs, Zachary Hansen, Andrew Bruckart, Hayden Fisher, Connor Paryne and Olin Eppers. 

A third team, the Speed Demonz, also had an impressive showing at Nationals. 

Lambright said one of their highlights was a tortoise vs. hare head-to-head competition between the Speed Demonz and a highly-skilled team who had to land several times during the race to fix their drone. 

Pilot Xander Howell was able to fly slow and steady and beat the quicker Burrito Bandits. The Speed Demonz team consisted of Katherine Pryor, Erin Secody, Tyler Feix, Rithik Mall and Howell. 

Next year, Bellbrook will have four Drones in Schools teams, including the return of Full Throttle and the Speed Demonz and the formation of two new teams.

Watch the Hog Flyers Marketing Video here:

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