Blackwater Robotics competes in Richmond event

Published 7:40 pm Thursday, March 19, 2020

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The Blackwater Robotics drive team rolls the robot out to the field for the next match. From left to right are Anthony Bunn, Pacey Virtue and Dalton Virtue. — Submitted Blackwater Robotics


Franklin High School’s Robotics team competed on March 7-8 at the Arthur Ashe Center in Richmond against 35 other teams across Virginia. They finished qualification matches ranked 9 of 36 teams, and were selected as the first overall pick by the No. 1 alliance led by Team 2106 – The Junkyard Dogs of Goochland High School. Team 1123 – AIM Robotics from Fairfax rounded out their alliance.

In the quarterfinals, the alliance played the eighth seeded alliance led by Team 401 – Copperhead Robotics of Christiansburg. The Blackwater alliance had to survive a scare and play three quarterfinals matches to secure a berth in the semifinals. Match scores were 185-199, 173-108 and 174-132.

In the semifinals, the Blackwater alliance faced the fifth seeded alliance led by Team 1262 – The Stags of Martinsville. The Blackwater alliance worked with their alliance partners to punch their ticket to the finals showdown with scores of 204-138 and 151-75.

The Blackwater drive team observes the number of power cells in “Dorothy” during a match. — Submitted Blackwater Robotics

Their alliance had an excellent showing in the finals matches and put up the highest score of the event, but lost in the last match to the spectacular alliance led by Team 1086 – Blue Cheese of Deep Run High School in Glen Allen, allied with Team 5804 – TORCH of Henrico and Team 1522 – Defenders of the Multiverse of Hanover High School in Mechanicsville. Scores were 92-174, 273-66, 144-170.

The team was originally scheduled to compete again March 14-15 at Churchland High School in Portsmouth. But the governor’s actions to stem the novel coronavirus has required cancellation of events in the foreseeable future.

The team is supported generously by Franklin Southampton Charities, Franklin City Educational Foundation, BAE Systems, Collins Machine Works, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Showbest Fixtures, International Paper, Newport News Shipbuilding, Burgess & Company, Solidworks, Intentional Innovation Foundation, Marine Specialty Painting and Franklin High School.