Janksters Competition Season Begins!

Robotics students with teachers and administrator

By Cerisa ‘26 and Heshma ‘25

From September 29 to October 1, The Janksters attended their first off-season competition, Chezy Champs, held at Bellarmine College Preparatory. This was their second time attending Chezy Champs since 2016. Chezy Champs is an annual robotics competition hosted by FRC 254, the Cheesy Poofs, where high caliber FRC teams compete for the title of “the best in the west.” The Janksters competed alongside 40 other teams that traveled from as far as Hawaii, Michigan, and New York. This competition served as a valuable learning experience for both new and returning Janksters. 

On Friday, a crew of students and the necessary equipment and supplies were transported to Bellarmine in school vans. Along with them came their competition robot, Caroline. Once they arrived at the venue, students were busy with a multitude of tasks. They were setting up the pit area, where the robot would be stored and fixed in between matches. With the help of all the students present, they were able to set up their pits in no time, giving them time to compete in a series of practice matches. 

The next day, the Janksters were up bright and early, ready to compete. All the students were hard at work. Scouters in the stands worked hard to gather data on other teams and cheered enthusiastically for Caroline. The team was also visited by our very own Sister Gillian, Mr. Truong and Ms. Garcia, who cheered us on throughout the day. In the pits, students were working efficiently to ensure repairs were ready before matches so Caroline could perform her best. Throughout the whole day, Drive Team competed diligently in 10 matches. During the very last match they showed their quick thinking and problem solving skills, and although the intake left the match shattered, the team was able to emerge victorious with a win!

Sunday morning, the students on pit crew worked persistently to repair the intake that had shattered. During Caroline’s final match, the team cheered as loudly as possible, showing their energy and dedication. In the afternoon, the Janksters watched elimination matches and supported their fellow teams as they received awards in between matches. Throughout the event, rookies and veterans were able to network and talk to world class teams, learning about robot design, team organization, outreach, and team culture. 

Overall, the team gained valuable experience competing at Chezy Champs, especially rookies who were introduced to the world of competitive robotics, serving as a preview for the competition season. The team is looking forward to competing at their next off-season competition, Capital City Classic, at Elk Grove.