Robotics team places second in Bayou Regional, prepares for national championship

With a record of 13-3, Team 2468 Appreciate placed second in the Alamo Regional March 1 in San Antonio. The team also won the Entrepreneurship Award, which is based on designing new products and managing team funds. One of the team’s mentors, Scott McMahon, won the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award, which recognizes an individual who has done an outstanding job of motivation through communication while also continuing to challenge the students.

In the Hub City Regional March 6 in Lubbock, the team was the regional winner with a record of 15-5. The team won the Entrepreneurship Award again, along with the Chairman’s Award, the most prestigious award in For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. This award encompasses teamwork and ingenuity and honors the team that best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST.

“We had some technical problems at Lubbock like half of the robot not being on during the qualifying matches,” sophomore Ben Gorr said. “We fixed everything for the elimination matches though, and we did very well, even if we had a rough start.”

In addition to competitions and tournaments, the robotics team participated in more philanthropic events. Eight students attended the Run With Rex 5K March 22 at the Austin State Supported Living Center in order to support Rex Ryan, a 2-year-old fighting cancer.

“We named our robot RexStrong,” Ben said. “Our coach is a friend of Rex’s parents, so he wanted to show them his support.”

The team competed in the Bayou Regional tournament April 3-5 in Kenner, Louisiana along with 57 other teams from various states. With a record of 10-6, the team advanced to the elimination tournament, where they lost in the finals. The team also won the Entrepreneurship Award. This was the third time in three tournaments that they have won the award.

“Winning an award at three separate competitions is pretty rare, so I’d say it’s a pretty big accomplishment,” Ben said. “We also think we have an excellent shot at the award at worlds.

The team will be heading to the national championship tournament on April 23-26 in St. Louis, Missouri. With their recent successes and accomplishments, the members and coaches have high hopes for the championship.

“At the championship, we want to win, and I think we can,” Ben said. “We have one of the top robots in Texas, with all of the pieces necessary on a winning robot. With good scouting, we can assemble a team with the chance to go far in the tournament.”