Hayward school’s drone soccer team advances to national championships

Hayward Middle School’s drone soccer team has advanced to the national championships, and is now recognized as the first drone soccer team to represent Ohio at that level.

The team won at regionals and is headed to the U.S. Drone Soccer 2024 National Championship in Virginia.

The team is consisted of students Collin Bostick (Striker and Defender), Neetchy Eugene (Striker and Forward), Christopher Moore (Goalie), Jamir Rolls (Forward), Anna Hollingsworth (Forward), Joesph Kelly (Defender), Eric Rofe (Defender) and Hart Underwood (Crew Member). It’s coached by William Luke Kelly and David Zeller, and sponsored by The Braxton Miller Foundation, which also sponsors the school’s XTreme Bots team.

“This sport is preparing our students for the fast, modern and technological world that awaits them,” said Coach Kelly. “A special thank you to LaShonda Miller and The Braxton Miller Foundation for their support along this journey. Let’s bring a national championship home to Springfield!”

At the national competition on April 27, Hayward will face 15 other middle and high school teams from around the country and an international team from Turkey.

Earlier this school year, Hayward also “made history” when they hosted and won Ohio’s first official drone soccer match.

Drone soccer is a fast-growing new sport, originating from Asia, that involves two teams of up to five players per team. Each player is equipped with a drone and has a position, similar to traditional soccer, which are flown in a large cage. The winner is determined by the team that scores the highest number of goals.

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