Leading up to the Houston Robot Remix (H.R.R), our team invested in the progress of our eager rookies. We began the process by training them in the proper use of tools, heavy machinery, computer design, and most importantly the safety which is perpetually our number one priority. Business and public relations training, such as photography, also come into play as we slowly, but surely readied our new members for an experience that would help define them for the rest of their lives.
Our plan was to set H.R.R as a testing ground for the rookies, so they could experience a sample of what our next competition season had in store. Although H.R.R was the last competition driving with STAG, it was the first competition with this year’s rookies.
We began the day with a slight disadvantage. Our team captain, who usually takes the role as the primary driver, was set to take his SAT’s that day. Without his expertise we were forced to search for a temporary replacement. We held tryouts and selected the most optimal drive team available to be at competition. The competition started off slow, with our team yielding a blunder-streak in our points and driving strategies. After 4 qualifying rounds, our team was ranked 22nd out of 24; a considerably disappointing score for STAG’s last time in service. Despite this, our drive team was consistently stacking a set of 6 totes or more, which allowed us to stand out against the other teams. By our 7th qualification match we were in the same rank, so spirits were relatively low among the team. As time passed we felt increasingly dejected, and began to accept the idea that we would end with a low score. At about the same time a few of the Klein Bots Alumni made a special appearance to see what their treasured team had in store. Our Alumni acknowledged our low score, but instead of scolding and despondency, they offered advice and encouragement to our drive team; true to FIRST’s Gracious Professionalism.
With the new sense of confidence ignited by our Alumni, the Klein Bot’s drive team refused to look solely at our previous indiscretion. Instead we focused on how we could rise above our mistakes. We wanted our rookie’s first taste of competition to be one of victory. From then on we decided to “Go hard or go home!”. Our newly-found team spirit seemed to match our strategic thinking and experience. Our desire to win overcame several obstacles and helped us move up the ranks to 13 out of 24!
After a series of promising qualification rounds, it was time for the Alliance captains to select their partnering teams. Team 624, AKA Kryptonite, was Alliance captain number 1, and surprisingly our team was their first pick! This was great news for our team, considering the fact that 624 has upheld an impressive record at competitions. With 624 at our side, along with our Alumni’s motivational words we went forwards with our team in high spirits.
After the semifinals, a problem found its way to our plastic intake guides, which is responsible for properly in taking the totes as planned. Repairing this would be an absolute necessity for our teams’ victory. Under considerable stress our pit crew was able to quickly but calmly get our intake guides back in order, enabling us to once again perform at optimum standards.
Lastly came the Final rounds, where our Red Alliance, including Team 624 Kryptonite, and Team 5427 the Steel Talons, were pitted against the Blue Alliance in a struggle for victory. Through hard fought competition, our team, the Red Alliance, was triumphant, winning 1st place; our team was ecstatic! It was the first outright win in our team’s history. All in all our rookies had a taste of victory, and STAG got to terminate its competition service with a figurative bang!