It was a weekend of firsts for Team SCREAM.

The Smith-Cotton High School competitive robotics team captained the winning alliance at the FIRST Robotics Central Missouri Regional on Sunday, April 3, in the S-C gym; joining them on the top-ranked alliance were the Broncobots from Lee’s Summit North High and the Jesubots from Rockhurst High in Kansas City.

In the finals, they defeated the No. 3 alliance, featuring teams from the Park Hill School District and the Barstow School, both in Kansas City, and the Burger Bots from Warrensburg.

It was the first time that Team SCREAM entered regional elimination playoffs as the overall No. 1 ranked team. The victory marked the first time Team SCREAM has won more than one regional in a season; it also was on the winning alliance at the Oklahoma Regional a few weeks ago.

Team SCREAM Jr., composed of mostly freshmen, finished the qualifying rounds as the third-ranked team, and became the captain of the No. 2 alliance for the playoffs when the second-ranked Broncobots accepted Team SCREAM’s invitation to join its alliance.

Michael Wright, head coach of both Team SCREAM units, beamed with pride at the end of the competition.

“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “Both teams performed fantastically at this regional. … There are a lot of firsts for us this year, especially with the junior team. They were ranked very high all throughout the weekend and we thought there was a chance we would see them in the finals."

The teams competed in “Rapid React,” which requires alliances of three robots to deliver cargo (playground balls) to a lower hub and upper hub to score points; at the end of the match, the robots can climb tiered bars for additional points that increase with the height of the bar. The alliance that wins a regional earns spots in the FIRST World Championships later this spring in Houston.

Team SCREAM Captain Levi Barth-Fagan, who is one of the robot operators
during the competition, was pleased not only with the victory but also with Team SCREAM’s ability to host a regional competition for the first time since 2019.

“It feels really good,” he said. “Finally hosting (a regional) again and winning, as well. This is the first time ever Team SCREAM has won two blue banners in one season, so it’s kind of exciting."

Barth-Fagan said the key to victory Sunday was Team SCREAM’s and
Broncobots’ ability to consistently shoot into the high goal, which Jesubots
made easier for them by playing tough defense.

Team SCREAM also received the regional Excellence in Engineering Award,
which celebrates the team that demonstrates a professional approach to the
design process. The team won that award at the Oklahoma Regional, too,
and the Quality Award at the Heartland Regional in Olathe, Kan.

“Those awards really are meaningful to us, especially that Excellence in
Engineering Award,” Wright said. “That is what we try to do, have a program of excellence and to see the kids be recognized for that makes me really proud."

It also was a good weekend for Stealth Panther Robotics from Knob Noster High School, which brought home the regional Chairman’s Award, the most prestigious award in FIRST Robotics. Head Coach Chris Adams said it is “an incredible honor for our team.”

“Having our team as a whole recognized for their dedication to advancement of STEM education in our school district, community, and in our nation is the culmination of our hard work and dedication over the past six years and helps cement a legacy for future Knob Noster students,” Adams said.

Being from a smaller rural community, Stealth Panther Robotics consistently
competes against larger teams; Adams stressed that “yearly, as a group, we
put in over 10,000 man-hours designing, building, promoting our team and
the importance of education for the future."

Before competing in the FIRST World Championships April 20-23 in
Houston, Team SCREAM will make some repairs and updates to its robot,
which many local residents got to see in action Saturday and Sunday.

“I am so happy to see the amount of support we had from the community,”
Wright said. “Sedalia rolled out the red carpet again; teams were talking
about that all weekend. We love robotics and we love showing everybody
what it is all about.”

In the photos:

SHOOT: Team SCREAM’s robot (4522) shoots two balls into the high goal
during a match Sunday, April 3, as part of the FIRST Robotics Central
Missouri Regional at Smith-Cotton High School. Team SCREAM’s top-ranked
alliance won the event.

TEAM: Team SCREAM, the Smith-Cotton High School robotics team,
displays the banner it earned as members of the winning alliance at the

FIRST Robotics Central Missouri Regional on Sunday, April 3, in the high
school gym.

Sedalia School District 200
Sedalia School District 200
Sedalia 200 School District
Sedalia 200 School District

More From AM 1050 KSIS