Team 2481 would like to give our own standing ovation to every team at Crossroads

First, the Roboteers had an absolute blast at the Crossroads regional this past weekend and are definitely hoping to make a return appearance in 2014. Hats off to the planning committee and all the awesome volunteers. Incredible job from start to finish and it definitely didn’t seem like a rookie regional, at all. Everything ran super smoothly and the venue was amazing. Bravo!

Second, we would like to congratulate the winning alliance of 868, 234, and 1646. You guys were an absolute force and it was an honor to have our great season end at the hands of your sword. No doubt in my mind that you will all make some serious noise and turn heads in St. Louis. Also, special congratulations to our local Peoria area brethren: 1756 for punching their ticket to St. Louis with a well deserved wild card spot on the finalist alliance, 2081 for winning the engineering inspiration award, and 4143 for winning the judge’s award (Mantis!). All very well deserved and the Roboteers will be rooting for all of you who will be competing in St. Louis!

Third, team 2481 would like to give our most sincere appreciation to every team at the Crossroads regional that gave the greatest exhibition of gracious professionalism I have witnessed in my 5 years worth of involvement in FIRST. For those of you who are unaware, our robot, Optimus Climb, took a devastatingly brutal, somersault fall off the top of the blue pyramid in the final seconds of semifinal match 2. Our robot was severely damaged in the fall and required us to call a time-out prior to the deciding semifinal match 3. Immediately after the fall, I was swarmed backstage with offers of assistance in multiple forms (parts, tools, manpower, etc.) from more teams than I can individually identify when playing the scene back in my mind. I wish I could remember and publicly thank each one of you individually because you definitely deserve the recognition, but the scene was so intense and we were flooded with so many people offering their help in such a short time span that it’s become a complete blur of compassionate faces. Thanks to all the fast acting, hard work by our alliance pit crews and those myriad of supportive forces, we managed to get Optimus pieced back together in driving order to play the defensive match of our lives as the timeout clock was counting down to zero. In a moment that will forever give me goosebumps, as our drive team was rushing our robot back out onto the field just in time to play match 3, it seemed the entire arena rose to its feet to give us a roaring standing ovation! At this time, team 2481 would like to give our own standing ovation to each and every one of you! Thank you all for your support and for giving us an unbelievable season-defining moment that none of us will ever forget. We felt like absolute gladiators out on that field, giving it everything we absolutely had in the most critical of moments, and coming up oh-so-short of achieving the ultimate upset. Couldn’t have asked for a better end to our incredible season that didn’t involve a blue banner.

Lastly, the Roboteers would like to thank our incredible alliance partners from 1741 and 3947. You guys were awesome and we would definitely jump at the opportunity to work with each of you again in the future. I felt like we worked like a well-oiled, collaborative machine in elims and my only wish is that I would have been able to keep my strategic mind clearer in the midst of the match 2 aftermath to pull the trigger on 1741 busting out the full court shooting for semifinal match 3. I’ve wondered if that could have been the surprise trump card to offensively offset our lack of climbing ability due to the damage sustained in the fall to get us to the finals. Regardless, both of you played a big part in allowing us to get our robot back onto the field in time for match 3 and we obviously would have never even made it to that point in elims without your collective offensive prowess and ability to flawlessly execute the game plan. Best of luck to you guys in the future and the Roboteers will be cheering you on whenever and wherever we see your numbers moving forward!

Your time will come, some day the curse will be lifted and you guys will win a regional! You always have a great bot, help the other teams, and are a great partner and a ferocious competitor. Team 4143 is grateful for all the support you have given us and is proud to stand up and cheer for our ‘homies’ the Roboteers!