Since there’s no thread for CHS 2022 I guess I’ll do my post-DCMP thank you post here. Haven’t written one of these in a while.
Team 401 had a great time at district champs, we were super excited to finally get to see all the northern CHS friends we hadn’t gotten to play with since 2019.
I’d like to of course thank our excellent alliance partners 4099: The Falcons and 5724: Salem Spartans for playing with us through some rough playoff matches. It was fun to finally get to play with our SWVA neighbors 5724, and I was impressed impressed with both their durability and capability throughout our elims matches. 4099 in general and @plusparth in particular have been a personal inspiration for a while but this season season they really stepped it up with their excellent Open Alliance content and I was thoroughly impressed at their organization, efficacy, and ability to persevere when facing challenges.
There were a LOT of people from 1086, 614, 612, and 620 who were quick to offer us help when our turret spontaneously switched to wireless mode due to a DIO short, and I’m grateful for all of the assistance. With all of their help we had replacement Ethernet, wire, crimps, and tools and were back to fully functional faster than I thought possible.
In addition to their help with the turret wiring repair, I’d like to once again reiterate how much I appreciate Jen and Joey from 614: Night Hawks for listening to all of my complaints and answering all of my inane questions over the course of another district champs. I’d also like to thank another hawk team, 1111: Power Hawks who loaned us tools several times over the course of the event and even gave our strategy lead a snack as a pick-me-up when he was feeling lost and stressed.
I was generally extremely impressed with the volunteers throughout the district championship. The robot inspectors seemed plentiful and mostly compassionate in their interactions with teams to a point that 30 teams were through inspection in just two hours on Wednesday and every team was inspected before practice matches started on Thursday. The FTAs and field staff were similarly kind in their interactions with teams, and managed to keep teams functional in a complex wireless environment. This event might have been the best experience I’ve had with queueing at an FRC event- I forget names but the person running queueing on the low number side of the FRC pits and the person on the red side of the field in particular were both awesome.
The last but by far most important part of this post though has to go to 422: The Mech Tech Dragons. Team 401 has been pit neighbors and friends with 422 since at least 2017, if you go back through my thank you posts you’ll find 422 listed time after time, year after year, after year. In this strange and challenging season comprised of single-day events, limited space, and limited team members Team 422 beyond stepped up across both of our district events and all the way through district champs. When we couldn’t get enough people together to remote scout for our district events 422 took in the scouts we did have and let them help gather and analyze their data. Regardless of if they were our alliance captain in one week or our opponent in finals the next whenever we inevitably lacked tools or parts or people 422 was steadfastly willing to lend a hammer or a hand or a hair tie or whatever we needed. Across those three events I couldn’t possibly enumerate all the times and ways we got help from the 422 pit crews, scouts, and team members so instead I asked the 401 students for anecdotes, here are just a few:
“Our scouting operation would simply not have been possible without them. I love @AMysterium he is really nice and also willing to help me out which was such a relief.”
“Having a friendly group of people even if you don’t know every member personally, that you can count on to even go farther than the expectations of gracious professionalism reduces oceans of stress”
“It was cool to stay in the same hotel. In the mornings they’d always wish us good luck and ask about our schedule for that day.”
“They really saved us several times with tools. We hadn’t packed L-shaped allen wrenches and couldn’t get to a bolt on the robot, one of their pit crew members went through a lot of theirs to find the right one and ended up working on our robot since I couldn’t get to the bolt myself.”
“They are a really fun group of people and are generally hilarious. Although sometimes the meme/productivity ratio gets a little off track, you need a laugh during competition or else you’ll go crazy so I thank them for that”
At some point they even repaid our old pit prank photo with one of their own.
So to @AMysterium, @weisenhauer, @Xenite, @Karstman, and all the other 422 members and mentors: We appreciate you and to us you are the epitome of gracious professionalism and some of the best that this program has to offer. Thank you all.