Orchard Park Academy’s Drone Soccer team is the best middle school team in the country and is giving high school teams a run for their money.
The team, coached by Melissa Garcia, placed fourth in the National Championship Tournament at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica, New York last month. They also placed first among all middle school students.
For those who don’t know about it, Drone Soccer is taking off as a worldwide competitive sport. Competitors pilot their drones inside a netted cage enclosure while working collaboratively with their teammates. The object is for the striker to get his drone though the goal while teammates provide support and also attempt to block the opposing team. Drone soccer requires skilled hand-eye coordination and electronic know-how as team members program and repair their drones.
Four players from the Westminster High School team are traveling to South Korea later this month to compete at the international level.
The Orchard Park Academy team was recognized by the Board of Education at the April 25th meeting and also profiled by 9News.