The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX


November 5, 2013

GCS robotics team wins local competition

GREENVILLE — When the Greenville Christian School entered the B.E.S.T. robotics competition in 2011, they stunned everyone (including themselves) by winning first place.

The next year, things didn’t go so well. But the school turned disappointment into a learning experience, according to teacher/sponsor Tom Witt, and again placed first at the Lion Pride B.E.S.T. regional, hosted by Texas A&M University-Commerce.

“Last year we were overconfident, and it was good to be humbled,” Witt said. “Our unofficial motto this year was ‘Not Last.’”

And the team wasn’t last. On Oct. 26, GCS and their robot, Black Talon, competed against 21 other teams in the A&M-Commerce Field House and won first place. They will be competing in the state championships in Garland Nov. 8-9.

With 15 new team members, team president Alicia Guthrie is the only one with competition experience. The new members were impressed with the competition.

“Once you see all the teams and realize how serious people are, you get hooked,” Parker Blue said.

B.E.S.T. is a national robotics competition that challenges high school teams to come up with solutions to game problems using only materials provided by the competition organizers. The robot must fit in a 24x24x24 inch box at the beginning of the match. But the game is only a portion of the competition.

Teams also accumulate points by submitting a detailed engineering notebook, making a presentation, exhibiting school spirit and portraying good sportsmanship. Teams that excel in these areas win the more prestigious B.E.S.T. award., as GCS did on Oct. 26.

The team is working on upgrading their robot between competitions, a decision Witt said was necessary if they hoped to perform well in Garland.

“I challenged them to try and make the semi-finals,” he said. “I think it’s a good goal.”

The team held a presentation at Crossroads Mall on Nov. 2 and will continue to practice leading up to Nov. 8. But finishing well at the competition is not the sole goal of the robotics class.

“I want them to learn problem solving skills through the class,” Witt said. “I want them to know how to approach a problem, brainstorm, come up with multiple different options and analyze them, instead of jumping feet first.”

The team also learns physics, mathematics, and even utilizes computer programs to engineer parts.

“I learned AutoCAD over the summer,” Dalton Griffis said, adding that the gears for the robot were designed using the program.

Team members are: Timothy Allen, Parker Blue, Lynsie Brown, Tiffany Buchanan, Emily Dawson, Elisabeth Erickson, Dalton Griffis, Alicia Guthrie, Morgan Henry, Chance McManus, Molly Money, Anna Scott, Samuel Scott, Brooklyn Seward, Austin Thomas and Katie Wittmer. To keep up with the team, visit

Text Only
  • GMSVEX.jpg Gig-A-Bots win multiple trophies at nationals

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Merit.jpg This Lone Oak High School student has merit

     Gaston Luke Gilbert, a senior at Lone Oak High School, is the first student in the school’s history to be a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colt1.jpg Reaching the people of Morocco for Christ

    Most students use their summer break to unwind and relax.
    Others see it as an opportunity to do something more.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Troy Dorsey.jpeg Dorsey, boxing greats to headline ‘Boxing With the Stars’

    On March 19, famous figures of the boxing world will all visit Texas A&M University-Commerce as part of the Boxing With the Stars event, a one-of-a-kind opportunity for A&M-Commerce students and local community members to meet and interact with some of the most important figures in boxing, both past, present and future.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3-2-14_Brunch_feature_.jpg Providing a helping hand

    A mailbox decorated with Wisconsin license plates reading “Feases” makes it pretty clear who owns the quaint little one-story house on Kathy Lynn Place in Quinlan.

    March 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do A Good Turn Daily

    March 10, 2014

  • Cokes Test 1.jpg Boxing greats to visit A&M-Commerce on March 19

    Curtis Cokes is a genuinely nice guy. Enter his gym in South Dallas, and he’ll greet you with a smile, a firm handshake, and one of his captivating stories, like the time he met Jackie Robinson during the Brooklyn Dodgers spring training camp in 1955.

    March 4, 2014 3 Photos

  • McCowan_Conrad_write_coloring_book.jpg Local coloring book salutes famous African-Americans

    Many of Hunt County’s historical African-Americans are celebrated in a coloring book published this month under the auspices of the Hunt County Historical Commission.

    February 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Titleholders_strike_pose.jpg Taking up residency

    They may not currently live in Hunt County, but the two new titleholders say they want to spend as much time in the county where they will be considered residents.

    February 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Living a life of pie

    Shannon and Robert Foltz plan to carve a slice of downtown Greenville business this spring, when they open the “Ain’t Just Pie” restaurant in the Farmers Market.

    January 23, 2014

Featured Ads

What's your favorite spring high school sport?

Swimming and diving
Track and Field
     View Results
Must Read

See more photos and purchase prints here.

AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide