Grandville First Robotics Teams Complete their Most Successful Season Ever

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High School students from Grandville, Michigan find success on the field and in the classroom

FRC Championship

Grandville RoboDawgs

The Grandville High School RoboDawgs returned home to Michigan today from the first Robotics Competition World Championship where they set new team records.

Two RoboDawgs teams (#288 and #244) spent the last four days in St. Louis (Missouri) competing with the top 400 high school robots from around the world. Both teams played hard, and both RoboDawgs teams came home with better records than any RoboDawg team since 2004. Team 288 compiled a 4:4:1 record against tough competition, finishing in 22nd place in the Curie Division. Team 244 delivered an exceptional performance, winning eight of its nine qualification matches. This outstanding record placed them sixth among their Curie Division competitors, and the RoboDawgs moved on to the playoff rounds for only the second time in the school’s history. The RoboDawgs then led an alliance which won two straight quarterfinals matches, advancing them to the semifinals. They were unsuccessful at moving on past that, and lost in the semifinals to an alliance including teams from Las Vegas (PTC), Cocoa Beach (NASA), and Los Angeles (Boeing).

The Grandville RoboDawgs teams have had a great season. The Grandville RoboDawgs compete as three FRC teams – The RoboDawgs (team 288), More RoboDawgs (team 216), and RoboDawgs 3D (team 244).    These teams made history on March 24 at the FRC Regional Tournament in Waterloo, Ontario. The RoboDawgs teams all played their way into the semi-finals at that event – making Grandville High School the first school in history ever to advance three teams to the semi-finals at an FRC event. One of the teams, RoboDawgs 3D, played in the finals at Waterloo and lost, bringing home honors as the runner-up. A week later, in Troy, our teams all played into the quarterfinals, and again our RoboDawgs 3D played in the finals. This time their alliance won, and they brought home a winner’s banner.

Beyond their success on the competition field, the RoboDawgs also claimed three judges awards in the last two weeks of March. At the Waterloo event, team 216 earned the RoboDawgs the Judges Award. This special award was given to the RoboDawgs in recognition of their unique robotics program. Judges singled them out for the breadth of their program, running from their autonomous boats to VEX and FRC. They recognized the RoboDawgs as a program where students do the work – designing, building, programming and competing with their student-designed, student-built robots. The judges also recognized the fact that all team members are hands-on with the robots, and noted that “when the RoboDawgs’ robots are in the pits, the stands are empty because all the RoboDawgs are back working together on their robots.”

RoboDawg teams also claimed two awards in Troy, with The RoboDawgs (team 288) bringing home the cooperatition award and RoboDawgs 3D (team 244) claiming the Xerox Creativity Award. The Coopertition™ Award celebrates the team that best demonstrates the greatest level of Coopertition™ during the event, based on their performance on the field. Coopertition is a unique FIRST concept, encouraging teams to compete with vigor, while also cooperating with opposing alliance members to achieve higher scores. The Creativity Award celebrates creative design, in process, execution, or via a creative or unique strategy of play. It is focused on a feature or features of the machine or development process. RoboDawgs 3D received this award for their highly effective (and creative) adaptation of a lacrosse racquet for use in shooting baskets.

The Grandville High School RoboDawgs have also had a great year in the classroom, with the team currently posting an overall 3.7 grade point average.

Each of the Grandville RoboDawg teams are led by co-captains. FRC team 216, "More RoboDawgs" is captained by senior Abby Wilson and junior Teddy Tran. Senior Alex Vasziony and sophomore Mike Hepfer captain FRC team 244, "RoboDawgs 3D." FRC Team 288, "The RoboDawgs" is led by captains senior Karl Apsite and sophomore Kyle Brown.

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Doug Hepfer

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