The Rockport-Fulton High School Pirate Robotics team secured a spot in the Regional Robotics Championship after placing in the top five out of 28 teams Corpus Christi League Championship Saturday, Jan. 26 at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi.

The Pirate Robotics team made up of LauraLee Dafft, Emma Jungman, and Vrunda Patel advanced to the Regional Robotics Championship after displaying a strong performance in the latter rounds of the contest and winning the league’s “Think Award.”

The contest consisted of five rounds followed by championship knockout rounds for qualifying teams after.

The Pirates had a rough outing early with two of their first three rounds being hindered by communication issues with their robot.

In the final two rounds, communication issues had been resolved and RFHS finished placing 10th out of 28 teams.

With only the top four teams advancing to the knockout rounds, those teams were also allowed to choose two non-qualifying teams to help their team win the contest.

The Pirates were selected by one of the top four teams and joined a team from Collegiate High School.

RFHS, as a part of the fourth seeded alliance, had to face off against the top seeded alliance in a best two out of three contest.

The Pirates won the first round for their alliance. However, the second round was lost by another team in their alliance and forced a third round.

In the third round, RFHS led their alliance to victory by scoring more points than both of the other opposing teams’ alliances and advanced to the championship round.

In the championship, RFHS’ alliance was not able to defeat the second ranked alliance and was defeated in two rounds.

However, the contest ended on a high note after RFHS won the leagues Think Award by a committee of judges from the TAMUCC Department of Engineering. The criterion for the award was, “Removing engineering obstacles through creative thinking.”

As a result of receiving the Think Award, along with how the contest played out, the Pirates earned a spot as one of five teams out of 28 in the league to qualify for the Regional Championship.

RFHS will compete in the Regional Robotics Championship Friday, March 1 at Canyon High School in New Braunfels.

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