FIM Week 1 Event Preview - Calvin University

There are 5 Michigan districts this week and I hope to do a preview for each event, as well as ranking each event. This is Rank 3 for 2023 Week 1, Calvin University.

Calvin University District

Last Year Winners (3357-2075-6128)

Favorites: Calvin University is a great example of what I see as the average Michigan District. 3 great teams at the top, a second small group of good teams, and then followed by a large group of teams at around the same skill level. At the very top of the team list is 3357-COMETS, who had an absolute dominant season at the Michigan level in 2022. Looking more in depth, you will notice that at 3 of their competitions, including last year’s Calvin University District, they were with Team 2075; but sadly they won’t be able to continue that streak, as Enigma Robotics decided to go elsewhere. The question becomes which team will they be allied with, and more than likely win alongside. That is where the real challenge about Calvin University comes to a head. There are two main candidates, Team 2054-Tech Vikes and 1918-NC Gears. My initial guess is 2054, who did substantially better at MSC last season than 1918, but to be honest it’s a coin flip. Especially considering that both 2054 and 1918 faced off at the West Michigan District Finals last season, where 1918 ultimately came out on top. 3357 would be lucky to pair with either team to help them win the district, but they’re still going to have to play at the highest level to make sure that they’re not the one that gets left out, and goes home empty handed.

Contenders: Now if for some reason the Favorites don’t run away with it, or rather the team that gets left out needs some help, there are two teams waiting in the wings. Team 85-B.O.B. and 1711-RAPTORS. 85 is a newcomer to Calvin University, but they are a welcome addition as this past season saw them as an Alliance Captain at Worlds; alongside two top 4 finishes at the district level. Now 1711 does have one thing above 85, that being a blue banner from last season, a Rank 1 Win at Traverse City. The Raptors do come with some baggage though, as they were the 3 Seed Captain at Calvin University in 2022, but lost in a sweep the first round. Now there were many other teams I looked at for my last Contender slot, and ultimately I decided on a team a little lower on my shortlist than anticipated. That being 4967-That ONE Team. That ONE Team actually beat Team 85 at Gull Lake last season , but ultimately settled for a Finalist appearance. They may not have had a better 2022 then some of the other names on this list, but last season they made a very unique robot that showed some great engineering skill and impressed me. My hope is they come up with another unique design to tackle this year’s game, and take a shot at the top of the leaderboard.

Outside Looking in:
2771-Code Red Robotics the Stray Dogs
3603-Cyber Coyotes
5086-Cadillac Connectors

Dark Horses:
7160-Ludington O-Bots
7054-SC Sailors

Playoff Teams to Make a Jump:
6753-CBA RoboKings
4377-Boyne City Blaze
6033-Gadget Agents

1 Seed 3357-2054 v 2 Seed 1918-85

Next up is Rank 2, Kettering 1.
Coming Soon.

Week 1

4) Jackson
5) Escanaba


Thanks for the glowing review of last years robot. Hoping That ONE Team can make a splash here. Enjoyed the writeup, thanks for doing it.

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Absolutely; sadly I’m guessing there won’t be any dual catapult cube/cone launchers this season. :frowning:


Not a bad prediction overall. The glaring omission being 6081. They brought a quick, solid robot handled by a well drilled drive team, seeded third and were picked first.

Qual matches saw just two instances of an alliance picking up 4RP, with COMETS on both of those. 3357 was way out ahead of the field when their robot was clicking, and held their own when technical difficulties plagued them — which was frequently the case. The #1 alliance persevered and put up two very convincing displays of dominance in the Finals.

As anticipated, several historically strong west side teams figured prominently in the Playoffs. Shout out to 2054 for scoring a last second cone that lifted the #3 alliance past #2 into the Finals. By a single point. Very high drama.

Calvin University didn’t disappoint. Last year’s event exceeded expectations by a big margin, and this year’s was even better. I will be back to volunteer, and would love to see even more competitive teams join the field in future seasons. Looking at you, Average Joes.

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Yeah, not too bad. I’m working on my week 1 recap post now. Still hoping to post tonight but the snow delay hurt my timing.

It was actually #8 the beat by one point. As a member of the 7160 drive team I saw them going for it after we were engaged and I was like “aww… well maybe there were penalties?”

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That number 8 alliance was great. Not sure how such good bots slipped to 8. We got picked by 7 and our scouting was telling us the two 8 picks had been better than us over the weekend. They made a tough alliance that wasnt doomed by the best 2 out of 3 bracket. Fun to see.

I think your bigger miss here was team 3767 that ended up overall #2 in qualifications and was the Number 2 Alliance Captain. They won two in the playoffs and if not for a burned out SPARKMAX that required a hurried fix leaving their Gyro unplugged, they would have won the Lower Bracket. Many thanks to their alliance partners 85 BOB and 7054 - The SC Sailors for staying focused.


Thank you for the compliments on our robot and drivers. We have always been a lesser known team with glowing brightness every now and then. Our drivers did amazing this weekend. As the human player, I had a great time. The one worry going into the event was drive time. Even though yes, our drivers are experienced, they had a total of about 5-20 minutes of driving on our robot before going into Calvin, spread across 2 days of rushed drive practice. The rest of the 5 weeks and 5 days were used for coding, and building. :rofl: On behalf of team 6081 I would like to thank Chelsea’s robotics team (1502) for letting us use their facility. As well as a thanks to team 3357- Comets and team 2771- Code Red Robotics for being the most amazing alliance possible.