Northern Lights Regional Champions

This weekend was nothing shy of amazing.

We started our competition on Thursday morning, unpacking our pit and diagnosing the function of our robot. We did practice matches, practice field time, and practice code to start uncovering all the flaws in game play our dear Sally had yet to reveal. There were issues with the hopper and feeding, our autonomous code, our add-on climber, and even our bumpers. It was a rough start, and we left the pits exhausted.

Friday is when the game got real. Qualification matches started right away, putting our code and drivers to the test. We battled with misfeeds from early on, but found right away our true identity: the Bouncer Bot. After our shooter was out of commission, we did everything in our power to stop the other team’s robots. Sally can push. We were unstoppable racing across the field, and proved that some times defense can be the best offense. The struggle for reliable feed continued for all of our matches, and we finished the day ranked number 8. By the time the pits closed, we had a new hopper add-on and code values that would seal our fate for elimination rounds.

By Saturday, we were ready. Our shooter was more or less consistent and accurate, and we were ready to start taking some shots of our own. In the first match of the day, we scored a comparatively better 24 points alone, and even with this jump in point values, we lost the game. Same trend happened for the next round, with a more impressive 30 points by ourself. But with a loss. In our last qualification match, right before the final 8 alliances were chosen, we had a very intense and well orchestrated match against one of the best teams. But as life has it, we lost that too.

By the time teams were ready to pick an alliance, we had dropped to 17 in the rankings, and we’re hoping eagerly for a better ‘bot to pick us up. Lucky for us, there are some astute teams in the stands that saw us for what we could be, and what we could do for them. For their second pick, alliance captain 2169 King TeC and 525 Swartdogs chose Team 3061.

With genius robots and a killer strategy, we whipped through elimination matches. Team 2169 would line up at the feeder, and continuously shoot to the 3 point goal, which commanded the attention and defense of our opponents. Team525 then ran happily across the court collecting missed shots and sinking them into the three pointer. Loyal to our captain, we made it quite clear to any robot trying to get in King TeC’s way that it won’t be an easy fight. With a full court shooter, a reliable side shot, a robot body guard, and our perfect autonomous, we crushed it. In fact, we won!

This weekend was so incredible from the exhilaration of competition, and that certainly would have been enough to build our energy. But what was truly inspiring was the levels of team work we achieved. We were a risk: scoring nearly no points in tele-operated period for an entire day, a jamming hopper, a bit of a wobbly robot, it’s quite understandable how less inspecting teams could have overlooked us. But our alliance saw in us potential, strategy, an overall synergy that just might be enough to win it all. We are so grateful that these teams believed in us, and we are so pleased that we were able make their success possible. Our alliance is what FIRST is all about. And because of it, we came in first!

See you at Championships, 2169 and 525!

– Cari C

Teams 2169, 525, and 3061 after winning the inaugural Northern Lights Regional.
Teams 2169, 525, and 3061 after winning the inaugural Northern Lights Regional.


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