Thanks Teams 1444 and 45

This is my third year involved in the FIRST program and our teams sixth. By all of the proper standards we have been a successful team. We have has students become interns and co-ops at companies like Eli Lilly and Rolls-Royce. Students have personally told me that they never even considered going to college before being on the robot team. We have mentored the middle school FLL teams and Vex teams and last year even gad a summer camp for younger students. So every year I have been happy with our season and our fantastic long term sponsors Rolls-Royce and Proportion Air have understood what the program was about and have never put pressure on us to win.

But with all of that comes the low points, we have never had much success on the field. After last year when we didn’t win a single match at Western Michigan it was difficult to stay positive. But things come along that keep you going. There is a young man on our team who I have known for many years outside of the team. Through the years I have asked him what he wants to do for a career and he has always told me “I don’t know.” Three weeks ago when I asked him that question he told me that he wants to go to Purdue and become a mechanical engineer. That is what FIRST is all about.

But you know what? Winning on Saturday was one of the most exhilarating things ever to happen to me. Being able to share that moment of victory on the field with my son will go down as one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Running into the stands and being mobbed by the team and the joy and happiness was something that I will carry with me forever. Getting a win for our long suffering school sponsor Randy Decker was amazing. He has worked so hard for six years to keep the program alive going, this win is for him (that monkey has to find a new job now Randy.).

I can’t even begin to properly thank team 1444 for picking us and team 45 for lobbing to have us join their alliance. You guys were great. Discussing game strategy with Andy Baker was fantastic (I guess when we do the “Coaching Winning FIRST Matches” seminar next year again more people will listen.) This win will do nothing but inspire us to do better and work even harder to spread the word about FIRST.

See you all at Purdue and Atlanta.

BTW anyone got $10,000 lying around that we could use?

We enjoyed working with your team very much! Your robot was a wonderful design, and we hope to see you at Atlanta!