Driving to victory

Robotics team takes first, moves on to state


Photo by Truth Dukes

Story by Sophie Keller, Staff writer

The sounds of motors whirring and metal clashing against metal fill the room. People crowd around the fields, straining to see the metal contraptions fighting over plastic goals. Everyone watching is filled with adrenaline. A timer goes off, and the sounds of machines are instead replaced with an uproar of applause, yelling, and cheering.

The Texas High robotics club hosted their first competition on Jan. 29. A total of 34 teams attended with the hopes of qualifying for state, but in the end, only two teams actually saw that dream come to fruition.

“[Hosting a competition] is pretty stressful,” robotics sponsor Mark Ahrons said, “but it’s all worth it in the end. It’s nice to be able to have people from all over come in and just do the best they can and post something that they’re all passionate about.”

Of the two teams  going to state, one is Texas High’s own T-Bots . Senior Peyton Philyaw as well as sophomores Gavin Smith, Aidan Spivey, and Brett Sparks make up the team known as AllSpark.

“I did not think we were actually going to win,” Smith said. “That was the thing I was really nervous about. But we picked a really good team to work with and just went from there. We just focused match to match.”

This was only their second competition of the season, but it seems like luck was on their side with a win in finals by a mere six points.

“I went into [the finals] hopeful but I wasn’t going into it expecting anything,” Philyaw said. “I didn’t want my hopes to be let down if I expected to win, so I was just like we’re gonna put our best out on the field, and we’re gonna come back with whatever we come with.”

AllSpark is confident in their abilities, but they understand that they’ll have to up their game if they want to take state too.

“We gotta get our game up to state level,” Philyaw said. “Yeah, we won here, and there was a little bit of luck that went into that, but we still got a lot more we got to work on.”

This was a day of firsts for Texas High robotics. Not only was it their first time hosting a competition, but also the first time one of their teams has qualified for state.

“We got one team that’s going to state,” Ahrons said. “I think we can get the other one to state. Just gotta keep working at it and preparing for each competition.”