ST. LOUIS — For Team SCREAM, the hope is that today’s disappointment is the seed for tomorrow’s celebration.
Smith-Cotton High School’s robotics team, competing here in the FIRST Robotics World Championships, finished the qualifying matches Saturday with a 5-5 record and despite gaining the attention of some of the upper-tier teams, was not picked during alliance selections — the creation of three-team squads to determine divisional and overall champions.
Team SCREAM competed in the 2013 championships as a rookie all-star team, but had to win a regional title earn a ticket to this year’s event. Using a last-minute invitation, the team won the Oklahoma City regional earlier this month. So despite the past weekend’s disappointment, team mentor Michael Wright reminded his students of all they have accomplished in the team’s two years of existence.
“Just getting here in itself is quite an accomplishment,” said Wright, S-C’s instructional technology teacher. “We’ve had a great season, just really proud of how we fought through all the way to get to this opportunity. I think we had a pretty good showing against the best of the best in the world.”
Team captain Chase Bussey is a member of the robot’s driving duo along with sophomore Levi Anderson. Bussey, a senior, enjoyed the experience in St. Louis and sees it as a springboard for the team’s underclassmen.
“It was absolutely amazing to be able to see all the best teams from around the world competing,” Bussey said. “Even though we didn’t do as well as I would’ve liked, I hope that the younger members of the team were inspired to keep improving, and to go back next year and win it all.”
Wright praised the students for the performance and durability of their robot, and thanked the team’s sponsors and the community for their support.
“I know our kids have seen a lot here, they’re excited for next year already,” Wright said. “They want to come back and compete at the higher level so we can be up there for eliminations and eventually become a world championship team. We’re going to keep on moving forward and working hard.”