GHHS First Robotics takes its first win

Grand Haven High School shined on the basketball court not only in East Lansing on Saturday, but also in Allendale.
Kyle Moroney
Mar 20, 2012


The GHHS First Robotics team, the Buc ‘n’ Gears — along with two other teams in their alliance — won the West Michigan District Championship at Grand Valley State University.

“The kids were in shock almost,” GHHS coach Chuck Priese said on Sunday. “We didn’t expect to rank as well as we did here. This is all a new experience for us.”

The GHHS team has only been in existence for a year —and, until Saturday, its best ranking came earlier this month in Gull Lake when they placed eighth out of 36 teams.

Forty-one high school teams from across the state competed at GVSU in numerous rounds of “Rebound Rumble,” in which teams use robots to shoot 8-inch foam basketballs into several hoops at various heights.

The GHHS team surprised themselves when they qualified for Saturday’s final rounds, and they were one of eight “alliances” competing for the top spot.

An alliance consists of three teams that work together to win the competition. The GHHS team paired themselves with West Ottawa and Hopkins high schools, and competed in 12 matches to win the final round, 64-40, against an alliance made of Zeeland, Madison Heights and Newaygo high schools.

How to help:

The GHHS First Robotics team is seeking $5,000 in donations to help fund the $4,000 registration fee, plus additional funds for travel and other expenses, for the state competition in mid-April. If you want to donate, e-mail the Robotics GHHS advisor Rory Callendar at or coach Chuck Priese at

Checks can be made out to Grand Haven Area Public Schools (note in the memo “First Robotics”) and mail to: Grand Haven High School, attn: Rory Callendar, 17001 Ferris St., Grand Haven, MI 49417.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.


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