FIRST Robotics; Season's End

Apr 8, 2013 2:15 PM ET

FIRST Robotics: Round 2 and Season's End

After 6 simultaneously stressful and fantastic weeks of robot building, the students at LaSalle Community Comprehensive High School, their Vigilant Global mentors and their pet robot Sonic Howl made off for their first competition in Oshawa (Ontario) for the weekend of March 9th. Despite several last minute mishaps and adjustments, the team made it to semi-finals, and the competition for them ended on a good note. Encouraged by their successful performances, the team was prepared and positive that they would do very well in the competition of the Montreal region.

LCCHS and mentors were on the field in Montreal at the Uniprix Stadium from March 14th to March 16th. They rolled through a series of qualification matches that lasted a day and a half, at times playing in matches only 5-10 minutes apart, which gave them little time to recuperate and adjust their bot. Though the speed at which the competition unfolded was dizzying, LCCHS and Sonic Howl stayed at the top of their game throughout. They zipped through qualifications without trouble, up to the round where alliances were formed. As one of the top performers, they were selected to join forces with the second strongest team of qualifications, as well as a third team, at whose side they would compete for the final stages of the competition.

Semi-finals were challenging and nerve-wracking, but Sonic and his robot allies passed through relatively unscathed, and victorious. The students grew more nervous and excited as the final match approached. The teams against which they were pitted were fierce competitors; one of the teams in their opposing alliance had a decade of experience in FIRST.  In order to win the final match, and the entirety of Montreal FIRST, one of the alliances had to win two out of three games. The first match played out tightly; the two alliances kept within several points of each other during the game, but Sonic’s team was overtaken by twenty-so points during the last countdown.  The students were tense in the bleachers as the second match began, and felt like it ended almost as quickly as it had started, with a bittersweet defeat for LCCHS and allies who fell several points behind halfway through.

Despite their disappointment, the LCCHS team, their allies and their Vigilant mentors came down to the field after the match to proudly claim their medal for second place in the 2013 edition of FIRST Montreal.