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PHS 'Jacket Bots' compete at regional tourney

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The Perham High School Yellowjackets robotics and engineering team, top, puts the ball in action during the 10,000 Lakes Regional Tournament held earlier this month at the University of Minnesota.2 / 5
Above, a close-up of the soccer-playing robot in action.3 / 5
The Yellowjacket Robotics Club with their soccer-playing robot.4 / 5
An overview of the competition at the University of Minnesota.5 / 5

Perham High School's 'Jacket Bots' robotics club members were at the Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus for the FIRST Robotics Regional Competition April 1 - 3.

The Jacket Bots were one of 13 rookie teams at the competition, along with another 50 veteran teams that made up the 63 team field.

The competition was a learning experience for the Jacket Bots. At the end of day one of qualification competition, the Jacket Bots were in 15th place. However, due to technical difficulties on day two, the team dropped down to 36th place-which is where they ended up finishing in the competition.

"The competition was a fast-paced environment which made for good teamwork amongst teams," said Nic Smith, a PHS senior and captain of the team. "It was amazing how teams helped out other teams in need; a great show of gracious professionalism."

The fast-paced environment was also great for spectators as half of Williams Arena was filled with fans and teams cheering for each other. Fans not only were able to watch the robots in action, but also the many team mascots which danced as the music played during the matches.

Mentor and Perham High School Principal John Rutten said, "The environment was unbelievable for fans. It made them want to join in and come back year after year."

The Jacket Bots would like to thank the following sponsors who helped them get to the regional competition: 549 Family Foundation, Barrel O' Fun, JH  Signs, Pentair Corp., Hartfield Automation, Seelye-Eiler Plastics, Braas Company, and Werner Electric.