Robotics trip inspires winning spirit

The robotics team 525 Swartdogs left school early on Saturday, Nov. 1 in order to drive to Kansas City for an offseason regional game called Cow Town ThrowDown.

Lee’s Summit High School’s robotics team 1986 Team Titanium hosted a regional using last season’s game Deep Space. Fifty teams showed up to this event ready to compete. 

A benefit to this event was that it taught freshmen and new members to FRC how a regional game goes. As a freshman, I learned all sorts of new things during the weekend. 

Something I learned was that scouting out other teams is exceedingly important to the gameplay. If our team advances to quarterfinals after the qualification matches we need to know which teams work well with us to choose our alliance, so having a spreadsheet full of what every team can do helps. 

On the first day of the weekend-long game I was given the job to take a photo of every team’s robot for scouting and record all of our team’s matches for the archive. This caused me to witness how all of the other teams work on their robots, and I had the chance to meet some new people.

The second day I was told to observe how all of the teams blocked their opponents. I was told to write down if they were being aggressive, if they are able to completely stop the other alliance from scoring or if they get any penalties. This allowed me to see how teams interact with their opponents. It also showed me if they knew the rules on how to properly block.

Our team only managed to get to the semifinals, but it taught me a huge lesson on gracious professionalism, which is a big thing in FIRST. Despite not winning, I felt proud of my team for getting so far and was excited to see the other teams play the winning match. 

The whole weekend was full of cheering for our team and insanity. I am glad to get this experience before an actual regional game during the season so when it comes around I can get to work without any training and possibly help out even newer members.

This offseason game is a chance for new members to come accustomed to the controlled chaos that is an FRC event.

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