Team 1967 Closes Out 2022 Competition Season at Silicon Valley Regional

Team 1967 Closes Out 2022 Competition Season at Silicon Valley Regional

By Sam L ‘24, Samanya G ‘25, Sareena G ‘24, Shrijani B ‘25, Valerie K ‘25, Joyce Y ‘23, and Anchal ‘24

As part of an eventful weekend, the Janksters attended the 2022 Silicon Valley Regional (SVR), at San Jose State University in California. After an intense one-week turnaround from our previous regional in Monterey Bay, Team 1967 was ready to hit the field again with our 2022 competition robot, Josh. Becoming the most decorated team at SVR, the Janksters came home with a grand total of four awards: the Woodie Flowers Award, the Safety All-Star Award, the Judges’ Award, and the Dean’s List Finalist Award. Alongside 58 other teams from the Bay Area and around the world, our students had an exciting time at our last tournament of the FIRST Rapid React Season. 

Filled with newfound motivation from the Monterey Bay Regional, our team members were efficient and strategic when making improvements, on and off the robot. Whether it be maximizing robot performance or preparing ourselves for award judging, the Janksters worked hard to put the team’s best foot forward for SVR. On the first day of qualification matches, students arrived early morning at the competition venue ready to collaborate and compete. A team of five Janksters in the pits quickly prepared Josh for the first qualification match of the competition. Throughout the day, Janksters spent time scouting other teams’ robots and exploring the pits, a designated space each team has to prepare their robot for upcoming matches. New members gained valuable information by asking other teams questions about their robot’s mechanisms and functions. One student connected with Team 2367, Lancer Robotics from Saint Francis High School, about how they mounted their electronics on the underside of the robot and how they specially fastened these parts for easy access. All members also took part in the traditional pin-collecting activity and had the chance to make many new robotics friends! On the field, our drive team utilized scouting data other team members collected in order to create effective strategies with alliance partners, achieving rank 8 in the middle of the day. Team 1967 contributed a considerable amount to our alliance's match performance by earning points through climbing, shooting balls into a target, and deploying a consistent autonomous routine at the beginning of each match. Behind the scenes, our pit crew communicated issues and quickly figured out solutions. The day’s qualification matches concluded with the Janksters at rank 37.

 At the first day’s closing ceremony, the Woodie Flowers Award, which recognizes mentors who lead, inspire and empower using excellent communication skills, was presented. Founded by Dr. William Murphy in 1996, this prestigious award asks for students to write an essay on a chosen mentor and was given to one mentor among the 58 teams at SVR. This year, we are proud to say that our beloved “robotics dad”, Mr. Dean Mulla, earned the Woodie Flowers Award at the Silicon Valley Regional. In the 14 years he has dedicated to Team 1967, Mr. Mulla has had an enormous impact on over 150 Janksters. He has guided generation after generation of the team through many obstacles with his expertise and skill in the STEM field. Mr. Mulla expressed his deep gratitude to the team: “I am truly honored that students took the time to submit me for this award and that they appreciate my support and the work I do with them”.

For the final day of SVR, the Janksters returned to the stands of SJSU’s event center at 8:30am with two more qualification matches to tackle before alliance selections would begin. Our teams’ pit crew and drive team worked extremely hard to guarantee that these last two matches would showcase our robot’s consistency in the autonomous routine, shooting, and climbing. Although our team lost the first match of the day, we came back strong with a 77 to 74 point win in the last match of the day. Despite being defended by Team 2367, the drive team’s ability to maneuver around obstacles resulted in the team being ranked in twenty third place. Back in the pits our team was elated to not only have won our last match but to also have Alana, our Safety Captain, be presented with the Safety All-Star Award, which recognizes the Safety Captain's outstanding ability to maintain the team’s safety. As all the qualification matches came to an end, the entire team gathered in the stands, hoping that they would be selected by other teams to join them in partnership during playoffs. Through this selection, captains began to form their alliances for eliminations. Unfortunately, the Janksters were not selected to play as a part of an alliance but earned a spot as one of the top five substitute bots. If another robot faced multiple damages, our bot would be substituted for them throughout the rest of the matches the original team was meant to play. Additionally, four of our rookie members volunteered at the event, which improved their understanding of the behind-the-scenes of the competition. They helped with making sure the competition ran smoothly by queuing robots and making announcements. As part of their volunteering, they were able to get front row seats for the final matches!

At the conclusion of the competition, the Janksters all gathered in the stands for the final closing ceremony and awards. The Judges Award was the first award that was presented to our team, marking the first time the Janksters have ever won this award in the team’s history. The team was beyond excited to win this award, which celebrates a team’s unique efforts, performance, or dynamics which merit recognition. In an effort to recognize the leadership and dedication of FIRST’s most outstanding secondary school students, the Kamen family sponsors awards for selected 10th or 11th grade students known as the FIRST Robotics Competition Dean’s List Award. The Dean’s List Finalist Award recognizes an accomplished student leader and their efforts and commitment to their teams at the regional level. One of our juniors, Joyce Yang ‘23, won the Dean’s List Finalist Award at the 2022 Silicon Valley Regional. After her name was announced, the Janksters gave a standing ovation, cheering as she made her way down the stands. She says, "This was truly a humbling experience, and I’m grateful for my coaches’, mentors’, and team’s support throughout my FIRST experience! This season was a special one for me, and I look forward to all the work there is to be done with my Janksters”. 

At the Silicon Valley Regional, we could not have been so successful without our amazing coaches, mentors, and parents who have consistently made time to support our students through this challenging season. Team 1967 would also like to thank the volunteers and judges that made this tournament an exciting experience. Big thank you to drive team, pit crew, scouters, and student volunteers for staying enthusiastic and engaged throughout this competition. A special thanks to each and every member on Team 1967 for all the hours you put in and hard work you gave this season! While competitions may be over, the 2022 season certainly is not; the Janksters are already beginning to work towards new goals and new milestones. As always, go Janksters!