Van Wert Robotics Team makes hometown proud

Posted On: Tuesday, May 3, 2022


The 2022 FIRST Robotics World Championships was presented in Houston, Texas, last Thursday, Friday and Saturday with the Van Wert High School Robotics Club participating in it for the first time. The club competed against 400 other teams from among 30 countries. Team #8037 was one of four teams selected from the Cleveland regional competition to attend the Houston finale. The arena was packed with 20,000 attendees during the division championships.

The team finished the tournament with a record of 2-8. Two games were won on Thursday after a couple of loses and a few moments of strategizing. The competition was at a whole new level compared to the Cleveland event. Said Bob Spath, Van Wert High School Robotics Team Coach, “Now that our robotics team has returned from Houston either by plane or van, I have had a few moments to reflect on our season that began in September with 3 FTC (smaller robots) teams and ended with our big division FRC Robotics team competing with the best in the world. It’s a huge accomplishment to be in the top 10% of the world among the nearly 5,000 teams to advance to the highest level and to be a part of the FIRST Robotics Championship competition.

“The team had the opportunity to interact and compete with teams from all over the United States and the world. Our best match of the first day was when we led our team to winning against the #1 team in our division in our 6th match. This experience is one of the coolest and most memorable things I have ever been a part of in education,” continued Spath.

Spath said that the Saturday finals had 20,000 people watching in the area and the atmosphere was like that of a sports championship game.

Many Van Wert residents followed the link to watch the competition live at the arena. The CHP Home Care & Hospice Adult Day Center posted on their Facebook page photos of clients cheering on the team with home made signs in hand. Well wishers left their comments on the Robotics Club Facebook posts.

Besides the outstanding opportunity to compete against other top notch teams, the VWHS Robotics Club had several other fun experiences during the trip. They were able to enjoy an Astros game complete with postgame fireworks over the stadium.

Spath wrote in an email to the Times Bulletin, “Thank you to all our gracious sponsors, parents, supporters, Vantage Career Center, and Van Wert City Schools who made this season another incredible and memorable one. Thank you to our seniors, Kyle Ferrell, Grace Dowler, Keigen Martz, Ethan White and Josh Reichert. Your perseverance and dedication through some challenging years and focus on always improving and being excellent were critical to the team’s success. We will forever remember this season and awesome things we experienced together. VW Cougar Robotics will continue to invest in our future, the students in our classrooms and on the team. Cougar Pride.”

Original Article Courtesy to Times Bulletin

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