Robotics team hosts FTC competition Saturday, Feb. 11

Robotics places first winning the league championship

Meg McAfee and Callie Cahoy

Mill Valley and De Soto combined robotics teams and hosted and competed in the FIRST Tech Challenge tournament Saturday, Feb. 11. An FTC  tournament consists of teams stacking cones with the robots they have built, competing to score the most amount of points. The robotics team took home the league championship after coming into the day as the third seed. The team lost the first round but proceeded undefeated after finishing with a 9-1 record. 

Senior Isaac Steiner, who stressed that this was a group effort, explains why he believes the team did well and what they excelled in to help them secure their win.

“I think our team really came back stronger than ever after that first loss. We got our autonomous routine down and then just focused on securing our spot in the playoffs. Then we drafted our team with two sleeper teams we pulled up and they really helped us sweep those final rounds,” Steinter said. “What set us apart from other teams was our consistent and clean gameplay, we hardly ever got any penalties and were regularly scoring amongst the best.”

Senior Garrett Cowen explains what the team was able to do to secure a separate award in addition to their league title.

“At the competition, we worked as a team with other groups to form an alliance with the objective of scoring cones onto terminals of varying heights. We were able to become the number one alliance from the competition,” Cowen said. “Along with being the number one alliance we also won an award called the Innovative Award. Teams win this because of their out of the box thinking.”

Additionally, Steiner describes what he enjoyed about the competition and the amazing support he and his team received from their mentor.

“I love the FIRST environment, everyone is so friendly and happy to just be there to compete. Plus just meeting the amazing people and getting to hear their stories is always a ton of fun,” Steiner said. “I want to shout out our amazing mentor Mr. McLeod who, along with teaching three classes at MV and two classes at CTEC helps to run the FRC and the FTC teams. Despite being so busy he always makes sure to pull through for his students in any way he can.”

Overall, Cowen explains what the team stood out in and where they could have improved as well as his favorite part of the FTC tournament. 

“I think we did well in coming up with strategies and systems for scoring. The area we competed the best in was the tele-operated portion of the matches where the drivers were in control,” Cowen said. “We could have done a better job communicating during matches and using our time better between matches. Overall though it was nice to be able to compete and receive the amount of support that we did from the audience and the stands whenever we won.”

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