I’m glad to see so many Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas teams going this year. (Thanks for going to districts, Texas!)
TLDR: I’m glad to see everyone I’ve ever worked with who I noticed is going, going.
I’m personally pleased to see every team which qualified at Rock City punching that ticket: 3039 is always competitive (champion captain AND EI this year), 2992 has been doing great the past few years, 2080 is a seriously class act. 3937 always gives good value (though they’re a bit vulnerable to defense this year), and 4087 Ben Franklin Falcons put together a solid entry this year. 7767 had the most awesome rookie robot I’ve ever laid hands on, or even eyes on at a regional (I did part of their inspection), and I’ll be watching them for years to come. TAUBATEXAS 7459 from Brazil, who won Rookie All Star, was my “inspection project,” and I fell in love with their spirit and attitude, and they put together a rather solid rookie robot as well, especially when you realize that they didn’t even own a pair of wire strippers, and I can only guess what other tools they made do without. 7459 is definitely on my list to track.
From Rocket City (which I did not attend), 364 Fusion is always awesome, and I’m always glad to see them go to CMP. I don’t think I’d seen 4013 Clockwork Mania (from Florida) until Bayou, but another class act, and #16 Bomb Squad, though I didn’t see them live, I know that they are always CMP quality.
From Bayou, 4013, 364, 2992, and 3039 all “re-qualified”. I’ve always liked 1421 Chaos 'cause the people are so awesome (I work and have worked with quite a few of their mentors) and of course 3991 Knight Vision (As an Episcopalian in the same diocese, I was predisposed to like them, and they’ve exceeded my expectations.) It was awesome hosting 6025 Adroit Androids, and chatting with them right from the loading line Wednesday evening as 3946 provided a trailer for their load-in, and they were great to work with as well. A shout out to 7661 SciHiNautili; I wished I’d noticed them more. Finally, I am certainly glad that 3946, my old team qualified on a wild card. This is the first trip to CMP for all of the students, and most of the mentors; I hope they get as much out of it as the 2015 team did for 2016 and 2017.
And finally, a shout out to 3339, Team Bumblebee! I’ll always be a fan because of 2015.