The Fall of Team 858?

Hello everyone. I’m Cassie from The Demons, Team 858 in Wyoming, Michigan. We’ve been competing in FRC since 2002 and we’ve been going strong every since. We’ve gone to championships in Atlanta, gotten first place at a district event in Lansing, Michigan, and overall been a strong competitor as both a defensive and offensive bot. Our team is small, but close. We’re not just a team. We’re a family. Unfortunetly, the woods and metals shop teacher at our school retired last year. He was also our head mentor. As of last year, we were under the impression that we weren’t HAVING a team this year. Since then, I’ve managed to scrape together about 20 members total. We have 2 professional engineers and that’s it. We have no teachers helping and no school support what so ever. We have a handful of sponsors and $300 in our bank account for the year. We are working with minimal help from team members’ parents as well. What we’re looking for is help. Any help at all would be fantastic. We’ll take what we can get in order to compete this year. We’ll be competing this year so long as we can get the money to build a robot. Unfortunetly, without more help and support, this may be the final year for The Demons. Please email our team at if you can help us in any way or know of anyone interested in helping us. Thank you.

-Cassie Villarreal

At the very least, you can build a kitbot. put some weights on it for traction and you got a good defensive robot with almost no more expenses. work your way up from there.

Working with limited funds and help is not fun, but it sure is challenging - and that’s what FIRST is all about anyway. Try maximizing your team’s effectiveness and usefulness on the field with what you have.

You can do some fund raising during the season, and it should be a very important goal for you in the offseason after LogoMotion.

Good luck, and may the FIRST be with you.


Please contact First who will likely put you in touch with your Senior Mentor or FIM. There may be a sponsor who is waiting for just such a team as yours.
Good Luck!

This has been a pretty recurring theme recently. Last year we had a neighboring team lose both their sponsor AND their workspace. Check with other local teams and see if there’s anyone that could sponsor. Be sure to remember that teams don’t have to have school sponsors. FIRST is all about gracious profesionalism and I’m sure you can find some help.

Have you asked around the local companies for funding?

Hey, there is an upside to this: this season would be a GREAT story for college apps. Always keep your chin up.

There’s a much bigger upside here: the potential for lessons about the disappearance of something taken for granted, and firsthand experience persevering through hard times. The reason colleges like these stories is because the life lessons behind them are priceless.

Never give up, never give in, and never assume that anything is the final straw that will kill your team, and you’ll find a way. I’ve been part of an extreme low budget team for years. If you need any help keeping robot costs down, post to the forums or PM me, and we can help on a more case-by-case basis. There’s always a way.

And definitely seek out the help of other local teams, you’d be amazed at what they can, and are willing, to offer.

Trust me things will be better.

I just sent an email your way. I don’t know what I can do from the other side of the state, but I’ll definitely be seeing your team at the GVSU district and can probably help out there if needed.