The Pell City Board of Education recognized the Pell City High School wrestling team at their meeting last Tuesday. The high school wrestling coach, Del Hufford told the board that this was their best turn out in eight years. The team went 25-9 to cap off their 2018-2019 season. Out of those 25 wins, 19 were against 6A teams.
Coach Hufford also introduced eight wrestlers, two of them being seniors Jackson Stocks, who placed third in state, and Randy Cain who qualified for a spot in the state tournament, which is for the top 16 in each weight class. Blaze Isbell placed second in state and Mason Shell placed fifth in state. The rest of the players qualified in their respective weight class: Harrison Fausnaugh (126 lbs), Aidan Golden (132 lbs) , Dylan Thomas (145 lbs) and Tillman Patterson (152 lbs).
The PCHS Romans, a robotics team, were also recognized for placing 32nd in state at the Robotics State Qualifying Tournament at Oxford High School. Instructor Maja Clayton teaches a robotics class at PCHS. They took four teams to the tournament to compete on Feb. 7.
“This is an extension of the PCHS engineering program we offer,” Clayton said.
The Romans are comprised of two members. Sophomore Blaise Hollis designed the robot and was known as the “strategist”. Lawson Seay was responsible for coding and wiring. He was also the “driver.”
Seay named the robot Caesar. This intelligent robot scored a 32 on the ACT test. At the competition Caesar originally had a “flipper,” but Seay modified it for the middle school Beta Club so that It had an arm or claw to grab things like plastic bottles. The middle school Beta Club is borrowing the robot to help with their recycling theme.
Caesar runs off a 7.2-volt battery, which gives off 3,000 milliamperes said Hollis. Caesar can run autonomously but Hollis admitted that they had some shortcomings with the robot running automatically. Caesar can be controlled by a remote as well.
The audience could hear the winding of the gears and the different parts of the robot as it rolled around on 4 wheels on the conference floor as Hollis gave a demonstration at the Board of Education meeting.
Now that the season is over, Hollis’ main goal for next year is to make Caesar bigger, stronger and faster. Luckily the robotics team received a $2,000 grant. This will help paying for the programming and wiring cost.
“Caesar is little compared to some of the other bots that were massive,” Hollis said. “It’s an aggressive sport actually because robots can legally bump into one another or even can knock their opponents off the arena.”
“At the end of the day, robotics is a very strategic sport,” said Clayton, “and requires a collaborative effort. This kind of sport can really help students understand the value of teamwork. Robots are being used at Honda, WKW, Eissmann and Garrison Steel. Robots are getting rid of the heavy lifting jobs that humans cannot physically do.”