The Florida FTC State Championship was another fantastic event and all three teams did an outstanding job of representing Middleton. The Gracious Professionalism displayed by all team members was outstanding and I received lots of great feedback about all of the Middleton teams. I especially want to highlight the positive feedback I received about the Aionios Tyfonas team and their willingness to help, congratulate other teams, and their positive attitude throughout the day.
There is one individual I would like to highlight because of his tireless effort to watch and scout every match yesterday. The final success of our teams would not have been possible without the dedication of Nicholas Jimenez. He watched every single match and entered the scoring of every robot into our scouting spreadsheet. This was valuable input to Jason and Jasmine to help in their alliance round selections.
Middleton was also honored when Brian Neuman was asked to sing the National Anthem during the opening ceremonies of the State Championship. Michael Coleman was so impressed with Brian when he sang at the Middleton Madness tournament that he asked him to also sing at yesterday’s State Championship. Brian did an incredible job and several people commented to me that this definitely made the opening ceremonies special.
The Middleton Robotics Club did an outstanding job of representing Middleton High school when 2 of the top four teams after the qualifying rounds were Masquerade 4977 and Minotaur 1369. Masquerade was in second place having won all five of their qualifying matches. Minotaur was in fourth place with one loss in the qualifying rounds but the highest ranking points of the tournament. I was also impressed with how they worked together to make a very difficult decision during the alliance rounds. Only the captain of the willing alliance was guaranteed to move on to the World Championships.
Minotaur decided to accept Masquerade’s invitation and was hoping for a first or second place selection for the Inspire Award to get their bid to the Worlds. This combination along with a strong defensive robot called dent in the Universe was an incredibly strong team. In fact, the third picked robot was very controversial. Myself, Bob Howard, and Carson initial reaction was to question Jason’s and Jasmine’s decision. However, both of them made the best decision and created an unbeatable team.
Congratulations to Masquerade 4997 and Minotaur 1369 for being the Florida FTC state championships. This is not the end of the good news. The Middleton team’s also earned two judge awards with the Innovate Award going to Minotaur 1369 and the Motivate Award going Masquerade 4997. Unfortunately, Minotaur finished third for the Inspire Award and unfortunately will not be going to the World Championships. Middleton was less than 2 points from sending two teams to the World Championships.
Congratulations to Masquerade 4997 for being the captain of the winning alliance and getting their bid to the World Championships. Now the fun really begins as we start fund raising and of course preparing the robot for the trip to St. Louis at the end of April.
The last piece of incredible news is the combination of Masquerade 4997 and a team from Palm Harbor High School (506 Pandara) has smashed the world record high score with 584 points. The previous record was 504 points and if you would like to see a picture of the incredible lift go to the FTC Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FTCTeams?sk=wall). All of the people that support the FTC program in Florida are very happy that a Florida team is again the holder of the world record.
This has been another incredible and fun FTC season and I want to thank all of the people that helped. A special thank you to Scott Mead and Kathy Freriks for the long hours and incredible patience with the teams throughout the season. Kathy as always supported the team with her school funding expertise and help with managing the school system. Scott has helped every team learn how to use many of the machine tools and was always willing to stay late to allow the kids to continue working on their robots. Both of them spent long hours at the school support the robotics club. Thank you Kathy and Scott for your dedication.
All of the parents have been outstanding but there are a few people that I want to highlight due to the fact that I saw them helping at almost every meeting and tournament. The Middleton Robotics Club success is due to all of you. I want to send a specially thank you to the following parents:
· Bob Howard for leading the Masquerade team, volunteering at many of the FTC tournaments, and traveling to Miami to help me run this tournament.
· Rich Berglund for leading the Aionios Tyfonas team, helping with transportation, and getting a great price on our trophies for the Middleton tournament.
· Bruce Neuman for always helping Masquerade and more recently spending many hours with the Aionios Tyfonas team helping them try to get a crate lift working.
· Karin Howard for volunteering at many of the events, ordering our flags/banners, helping with the team buttons, and creating the most incredible gift baskets for the teams at the state championship.
· Alison and Henry Roth for helping with ordering the team t-shirts, supporting the teams with water and snacks at every tournament, always being to help with anything, and I am not sure exactly how many feet of string Alison braided for Masquerade’s and Minotaur’s lift system.