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Jo. Co. robotics heading to state tourney

All of the Johnson County robotics teams come together for a photo after the competition. Photo by Meg Dickens.

By Meg Dickens

Students at Johnson County High School and Johnson County Middle School have been hard at work since their last robotics competition at Brentwood Academy in early November. This past Saturday, JCMS hosted the Vex Robotics “Turkey Call” Tower Takeover Tournament. Teams from around Tennessee, along with a group from Kentucky, gathered to compete for a spot in the upcoming state competition. There were 36 teams signed up for the tourney.
As the name suggests, the 2019-2020, competition game is Tower Takeover. Two alliances, designated red and blue, made of two teams apiece use their robots to stack colored cubes on a 12’ by 12’ field. Basket-like towers are scattered around. Any block in a tower adds a one-point bonus to that color of block. The majority of these baskets are open to all teams, but each alliance has a designated hoop as well. This game tests the autonomous programming for the first 15 seconds and driver skills for the remaining 1 minute 45 seconds.
“They have made a lot of improvements since the last competition,” said JoCo Robos Assistant Coach Lane Sentell during a recent practice. “I think they have a good shot.”
Sentell was correct. JCHS Robos Team 63303A ranked number 1 and partnered with Robo Panthers Team
97934X to win the tournament 41-28. JCHS Robotics Team 63303V ranked number 13 and won the High School Design Award. Joco Robos Team 3075B ranked number 8 and won the Middle School Excellence Award. All three teams will be heading to the state competition in March.
“I am super proud of the work the students put in and their teamwork this year,” said JCHS Robotics Coach Kasi Dishman after the final match.
The state competition is scheduled for March 6 and 7 at Brentwood Academy, located at 219 Granny White Pike, Brentwood TN. The teams want to thank State Representative Timothy Hill, Senator Jon Lundberg, Danny Herman Trucking, the East TN Foundation, the Johnson County Community Foundation, and the public for their support.