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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

MSHSL Team Member Stories - Part 1

The MN State Robotics Championship did not go perfectly. We had mechanical failures, mental errors, poor alliance execution, inspection issues, and a myriad of other problems. BUT here’s the thing that makes FIRST Robotics so great and the main reason why I love our team so much: I could care less.

Moments like having the whole team in a hotel room scouting on laptops or exchanging weird faces on a bus or dancing in the stands or inside team jokes or doing whatever it is that needs to be done. These are the things I’ll take away from this competition. 

Every year the team has a new identity and a new culture. The MSHSL Competition was this year’s swan song. It showcased everything I love about our team. Our smiles, our laughs, and our positive attitudes. I could not possibly be prouder.

MSHSL. To me this is probably the coolest thing, besides FIRST itself. Why? Because even though we struggled throughout the whole competition for a plethora of reasons, it was amazing to keep my head held high no matter win or lose. Those were our Minnesota teams. In Regionals, we have a mixture of anyone from anywhere. Here though, it was Minnesota. That’s it. It is one of those times where you are even prouder to be part of something bigger than yourself, not just a team or not just representing your city but being a Minnesotan along with every other team member there. This may have been my senior year but it was also my rookie year, I was fortunate enough to be part of the drive team and see what a difference there was from Regionals. The MSHSL was so much faster and so much more to do and of course so much fun. Through and through, from bus ride to robot breakdown, I could not have felt prouder to stand by my fellow Minnesotans.

My head's still spinning with Team numbers and OPR and a bunch of other numbers I don’t even remember what they were for. Scouting is probably my favorite part of the competition. I get to specifically look for strengths and weaknesses and how to use them to our advantage. Then Zack and I ran to the drive team and told them the plan for the next match. It felt more like Recon than Scouting. 

The State Robotics Championship is the second robotics event I have scouted as head of scouting and the third event I have went to total. Not only that but I have watched many youtube videos on the robots for this competition. Needless to say, in the past few months, I have seen a lot of robots made to do the exact same goal. Yet, it is still amazing to me how many different ways there are to go about this challenge. I keep seeing new robots made with great ideas from the teams. It makes me proud to be a part of FIRST. 

I was not expecting much from the MSHSL Competition, but it was outstanding experience like all of the other robotics events I have attended. I wasn't nearly as excited for this as I was the regional competition, but it's hard to beat the experience of a regional. I had a fantastic time conversing with fellow FRC teams. Throughout the day, I chatted with Blue Twilight and the Robettes. Thanks to all the truly wonderful and unique people attending the MSHSL, I was able to fully enjoy my day.

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