2016-10-20 / Life in Leelanau

Norsemen robotics team starts strong


FIVE NEW students from Suttons Bay got a taste of FIRST Robotics competition at a post-season event Saturday in Pellston. FIVE NEW students from Suttons Bay got a taste of FIRST Robotics competition at a post-season event Saturday in Pellston. The Suttons Bay Robotics team welcomed five new members while competing in Pellston Saturday in a postseason event. The high school team placed second overall.

Last spring, the Norsemen qualified for and competed in the State Finals for the fifth time in six years after strong performances at two District Events.

At State, the team participated as an alliance captain in the playoffs — a first for a Traverse City area team. Its 22nd place finish out of 411 teams at that event, coupled with numerous accolades and titles such as earning a finalist spot in St. Joseph and winning the Traverse City District Competition, qualified the Norsemen to advance onto the FIRST Robotics World Competition for the second year in a row. Team members advanced to become finalists in their subdivision.

The team is seeking to maintain that level of performance despite the loss of senior members. Team members are optimistic, though, as they will have 11 veterans returning, along with more than 10 new members signed up.

And five of those new members played key roles in Saturday’s success in Pellston. New members participating were sophomores Tyler Vezina, Otto Mork, Jacob Lindstrom; and freshmen Eric Smith and Troy MacDonald.

“Our new students were so poised, attentive, and eager to lead that we had all of them rotating on our official drive team down on the field all day long,” returning senior Kelsey Pease said. “I hope they realize the great feat they accomplished.”

The 2017 season begins with the announcement of the FIRST Robotics theme detailing tasks each student-built robots must be equipped to compete. The date is Jan. 7.

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