Courtesy of The Newsbreaker:
The month of March is an exciting time for all robotics enthusiasts, since it is when the bulk of FRC Regionals take place. For Pacific Grove’s robotics team, this meant competition first in Fresno and then in Seaside.
At the Central Valley Regional, held from March 6 – 10 in the Fresno Convention Center, over 40 teams from as close as Madera to as far as China faced off with robots built in just six weeks. The BreakerBots went in with their bot, Nebula, feeling confident that they could perform well. However, on the first day, meant for last-minute fixes and practice matches, various unexpected mechanical changes left the team feeling quite deflated going into the qualification matches. By the end of qualifications, the BreakerBots were not ranked too highly, but their overall improving performance was noted by the fourth seed alliance. The alliance won the exciting quarterfinal round, but faced and lost to the strong first seed in semifinals.
Two weeks later, the first-ever Monterey Bay Regional was held at the nearby Seaside High School. This meant that the crowd was filled with Breakers supporting their robotics team and experiencing the exciting atmosphere of an FRC event. Fueled by the energy and the experience they gained at CVR, the BreakerBots enthusiastically began with good practice matches, where they were able to work out some remaining issues.
The BreakerBots had some bad luck in their initial qualification matches Saturday morning, but they pushed through, scoring points with utmost speed and efficiency. Driver Liam Snow said that “it was stressful and had a lot of pressure before the match started, but once in the match it all went away [and] I was only focusing on the game.” As their rank climbed, the BreakerBots also added to the excitement with drive team member Evan Clark’s idea to have a hype circle before every match. The team ended the day Saturday with a win, which pushed them to be ranked second in the tournament.
Surprised but extremely proud and energized, the team finished qualification matches Sunday morning by solidifying their standing. After alliance selection, the BreakerBots were ready to go into the elimination round with the teams Deep-Space from Hollister and the Boba Bots from San Jose. The quarterfinal round was a solid victory for the alliance. However, sudden mechanical issues during the semifinals meant the second seed alliance lost to the third seed by a narrow margin.
Although disappointed that the season is over now, the BreakerBots are exultant about their success in Destination: Deep Space. “While our performance at CVR was underwhelming, I feel like we lived up to our full potential at MBR,” reflected captain Tyler Smithtro. Business lead Anneka Keller, when asked how she felt about the team, said “Being a part of this team has made me proud. Proud of our second place, proud of our robot, proud of the team we built. We performed so well this season, and I know we are only going up from here.” Clark agreed that “our best robot by far, built by one of our smallest teams, made an epic comeback to achieve its greatness.” He then added, the “Breakerbots made sure to bring the hype to Monterey Bay!”