FHS Robotics competes in Glen Allen

Published 5:30 pm Friday, March 29, 2024

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By Brandon Yanna

The FHS Robotics Team, Blackwater Robotics, competed at the Week 3 Richmond.

The event will be held at Deep Run High School in Glen Allen on March 16th and 17th.

Blackwater Robotics was one of 30 teams from across Virginia and the District of Columbia competing in the event.

The Saturday qualification matches for Blackwater started fast initially but ran into issues during the day that had the team scrambling to make repairs. After diagnosing and repairing the mechanical issues between matches, the team was 13th in the standings with a 5-3-1 win/loss/tie record at the end of Saturday.

On Sunday, the team had three very competitive qualification matches. Putting the woes of Saturday behind them, the team steamed on with three additional wins, putting the team ranked 6th after all 60 qualification matches were completed.

Through the alliance selection process, Blackwater became the 4th seed captain and chose Team 5724 – Spartan Robotics of Salem, and Team 6194 – Aftershocks of Cumberland.

Using the double elimination format, the 4th seed faced off the 5th seed in the first round, captained by Metal Jackets, Team 2068 from Manassas. In a fierce match, both teams stayed competitive, being decided by penalty and teleop points. The 4th seed narrowly defeated the 5th seed to stay in the upper bracket with a score of 55-49.

In the second round, the 4th seed went up against a tough 1st seed headed up by the Official Robotics Constructors of Ashland (ORCA), Team 3136. The Blackwater Alliance fought hard to have a strong showing in this match but lost 33-88, sending the team to the lower bracket.

In the third round, the 4th seed went up against the 6th-seeded alliance led by CircuiTree, Team 1599 of Mechanicsville. The 4th seed put up a superior effort against the 6th seed, but with the pouring on of the autonomous points by the 6th seed early in the match, the Blackwater alliance came up just short of overcoming in teleop and endgame with a 66-70 loss, ending Blackwater’s Week 3 appearance.

Even with the team’s up-and-down performance on Saturday, the team stayed in the competition, drawing attention from the event judges. During the awards segments on Sunday, several judged awards were announced, and Blackwater Robotics, for the second week in a row, was selected as the Quality Award recipient for this event. The FIRST Robotics defines quality Award as “Celebrates machine robustness in concept and fabrication.”

The team would like to thank their sponsors and the many team supporters for their support!

Blackwater has earned 68 district points after competing in their two registered district events and is looking for one of the coveted District Championship slots at Virginia State University. FIRST Chesapeake will wrap up the regular district season on March 24, with other teams competing in Falls Church, Virginia, and Owings Mills, Maryland, vying for district points at their second events. FIRST Chesapeake will officially announce the 54 team District Championship field the week of March 25th.