Perham robotics team alliance finishes 3rd at tournament, has chance to qualify for state

The Full Metal Jackets finished in third place alongside their alliance at their recent competition in Duluth.

The Perham Robotics team, the Full Metal Jackets, smiles as they show off their robot.
Contributed / Perham Public Schools

PERHAM — The Full Metal Jackets Perham robotics team traveled to Duluth to compete with 60 teams in a game called Infinite Recharge.

The Full Metal Jackets finished third overall out of 60 teams competing in the event in Duluth. For this game, students had to gather two different game pieces — cubes and cones — and place them in scoring positions on a 27-by-54-foot field.

Although the team only builds one robot, teams get randomly paired with two other robots from other schools to compete, three on three. At the end of the qualification matches, the top eight ranked teams become captains and select two robots to be in their final alliance to compete in a double-elimination tournament.

The Full Metal Jackets finished with a record of 5-4 during the qualification round, which gave them a ranking of 26 out of 60. While the record wasn’t spectacular, the individual statistics showed the Full Metal team had one of the top 10 scoring robots in the event. The Full Metal Jackets were selected by The Mechanical Masterminds out of St. Francis. They were joined by Team ToolCats from New London-Spicer.

In the first round, the team faced the No. 2 seed which consisted of Fairmont, Dassel-Cokato and Chippewa Falls. The team opened with a 106-64 victory.


In the second round, the alliance squared off against the No. 3 seeded team which consisted of Minneapolis, Rocori and Babbitt. The squad was able to pick up the 87-75 victory due to great defense by the ToolCats and great teamwork from Perham and St. Francis.

The third round featured a match-up against the No. 1 seeded team, which consisted of teams from Sartell, Milwaukee and LaCrosse. The ToolCats suffered a tough defensive hit which led to a malfunction that opened the scoring for the opposition. Sartell took advantage and helped them to a 134-104 victory.

The next match featured a rematch with the No. 2 alliance, which the Perham alliance had defeated previously. The No. 2 alliance made some adjustments and they paid dividends for the squad, earning a 113-87 victory. With that defeat, the alliance finished third overall.

“The team had a great time and learned a lot over the weekend. We have 26 students on our team, but only five of them had been in robotics before, so it was a great learning year for everyone involved,” Perham robotics advisor Andy Paulson said. “Although we did not qualify for the world championship, we have a chance to qualify for the Minnesota State High School League’s state championship. There are approximately 200 robotics teams in the state, and the top 36 advance to the state championship. At the end of the first week of competitions, we were ranked 14th and had a qualifying score of 37 points. Historically, the cutoff for qualifying is around 30-32 points, so we should qualify, but we won’t know until every robot competes in the middle of April.”

Perham Focus newsroom
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