The Pacific Northwest has always been a small, somewhat quiet section of the FRC Community. While a couple teams have left their mark, PNW was never a force to pay attention to. Since the transition to districts in 2014 though, the PNW district has almost silently started to become a more dominant force within the FRC Community. 2990 was the first team to touch carpet on Einstein in 2016 and the district came back with a vengeance in 2017 with a record 6 teams (1318, 1595, 2046, 2903, 2907, 2928) making it onto Einstein, with 2928 becoming the first PNW team ever to win a World Championship. While these teams look to capitalize on their success last year, there are even more who are still waiting for their taste of fame and glory, and this just might be their year. 76 of the 154 teams will bear the cold and Power Up for the first time, all of them are vying for the first banners of the season.
37 teams will be unloading tonight to take part in the first event of the season in Oregon. Teams from both states have converged on this suburb of Portland, and it’s looking to be very heated. The usual suspects of 1540 and 3674 look to repeat last years success, while 2046 and 5803 are looking to get a taste of early season play and make a mark early. 6445 had a wickedly powerful rookie year, and are looking to capitalize on their success and defend their win. 4125 is coming across Oregon to rival the Chickens and punch in their ticket to DCMP early, and 4513 is making the farthest journey for a Washington team, looking to repeat the last 3 years of week 1 success they’ve had. If you’re looking for a dark horse, 753 is the team to watch. They placed 10th last year and barely missed getting into the finals, but I wouldn’t count them out.
Mount Vernon is looking to be one of the strongest events in PNW this year, and for good reason. With 14 banners from 7 different teams from last year along with 4 of the team that appeared on Einstein last year, it’s sure to be an event to watch this weekend. 3238 is going to be looking to defend their only blue banner from 2017 with their 2 stage elevator, while Turing alliance partners 2907 and 1595 will be looking for ways to pair up and dominate. Though not always on the front stage, DCMP Finalists 3663 and Glacier Peak winners 2930 are both teams to keep an eye on as the event progresses. 4911 will be looking to capture their first chairman’s award since 2016, though both 1318 and last year’s winner 2980 will be looking to keep them at bay for now.