News Release: CNY Drones and SUNY Poly Announce U.S. Drone Soccer National Champions

News Release: CNY Drones and SUNY Poly Announce U.S. Drone Soccer National Champions

Monday, April 17, 2023 - 11:57
News Releases
CNY Drones

For Release:           Immediate – April 17, 2023
Contact:                  Steve Ference, Director of University Marketing & Communications | (518) 429-7742 |       
                             Lisa Marie Payne, CNY Drones Administrator | (315) 292-2002

California Team Prevails in First-Ever National Competition in the United States

UTICA, NY – CNY Drones and SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s (SUNY Poly’s) Academy of Model Aeronautics University Model Aviation Student Club (AMA UMASC) are pleased to announce the winners of the U.S. Drone Soccer National Championship held on Sunday, April 16, 2023, in the SUNY Poly Wildcat Field House. Teams of high school students, ages 12 to 18, from Alabama, California, Colorado, and New York battled for National Honors. The event featured the first-ever use of four professional drone soccer arenas for the drone league. Lead organization, Drone Sports, Inc., was in attendance to run matches and provide video coverage. The National first place trophy went to Team Sato Red, from Sato Academy of Mathematics and Science, in Long Beach, California. Second place went to the Sky-Blazers from Englewood, Colorado. Team Sato White, also from Long Beach school, took home the third-place trophy. 

“The SUNY Poly Field House provided an awesome host location, right here, adjacent to all the activity in the New York State Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) Test Corridor,” said Bob Payne, CNY Drones Volunteer Coordinator. “New York State teams are growing at the fastest rate in the country. We plan on continuing to support educators choosing this great STEM sport as we ramp up for a second season this September.”

The first U.S. Drone Soccer International Competition and Exhibition is scheduled to take place in Denver, Colorado. The event is part of AUVSI XPONENTIAL, an annual conference for drone technology companies and educators taking place May 8 to May 11, 2023. Mohawk Valley Community College’s GEAR UP Program Team, the Rome Free Academy (RFA) Black Knights, have accepted an invitation to travel to Denver for the Competition. Rome’s team placed 5th in Sunday’s National event.  U.S. Drone Soccer will also be featured in a presentation by the MVCC GEAR UP staff and community partners, CNY Drones, at the 2023 National Council for Community and Education Partnerships Conference this July in San Francisco. Drone team members will join presenters to demonstrate their skills and share their stories with other programs from across the country.

Drone Soccer was brought to the United States three years ago by Colorado-based company, Drone Sports, Inc., later introducing the sport nationally in late 2021. Aligned with the Academy of Model Aeronautics, U.S. Drone Soccer offers a STEM-based build program with a competitive sports model.

CNY Drones set out to establish Drone Soccer with funding, technical expertise, and logistical support from the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate in Rome, NY, and in cooperation with SUNY Poly’s AMA Club. Combined efforts created a regional technical support hub in the Mohawk Valley responsible for assisting educators and students through the process of getting started and offering advice on independent league activities throughout the State. The two organizations will work together to provide a September Kick-Off Event, Tech Meets, and the Region II New York Championship in Spring 2024. For more information on U.S. Drone Soccer in New York State, visit: For information on U.S. Drone Soccer’s Nationwide program go to:  



About SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly)
SUNY Poly is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience programs at its Albany campus, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, game design, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica campus; thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts billions of dollars in high-tech investments and hundreds of corporate partners since its inception. For information visit