CyberKnights 195


Over 60 high school robotics teams from across New England travelled to Worcester, Massachusetts this past weekend, April 9-11, to compete in the New England District Championship, held at WPI. Southington’s CyberKnights were among those competing, and proved their success to the world once again. With 3 hard-fought wins in their season already, including 2 first-place finishes and the prestigious Chairman’s Award, the Knights were hoping for another impressive showing in their penultimate competition.

The CyberKnights, also known as team 195, went into this event with their sights set on gold, and their determination for a win showed in all 12 of their qualification matches. Retaining a top 2 rank for the entirety of the qualifying rounds, Southington effectively proved their offensive prowess to every team in attendance. After breaking their record for the highest score in New England throughout their 12 matches, the CyberKnights knew exactly what they were capable of heading into the playoff rounds Saturday afternoon. These playoff rounds, wherein the 63 teams competing were narrowed down to the top 8, who then select 2 other teams to join their alliance, saw an unprecedented level of competition.

DSC_1715-X3Southington was selected by the #1 seed, team 1519, Mechanical Mayhem from Millford, New Hampshire, to compete with them in the playoffs. This combination of the top 2 teams in New England worried many of the other teams selected for the playoffs, and rightfully so. Joined by team 2067, Apple Pi from Guilford, Connecticut, the #1 alliance roared into the quarterfinals with an astoundingly high average score of 208. After the quarterfinals, in which 4 alliances were eliminated, the Knights and their partners saw no trouble getting through their next 3 semifinal matches. Putting up 3 extremely impressive scores of 233, 230, and 225, the Knights took the field for their 3rd finals appearance of the season. Played in a best 2 out of 3 format, the finals were over before they started. Southington’s alliance won the first match with a score of 239, and shattered their high score in match 2 with an incredible 256 points, one of the highest in the country overall, and for a brief period of time, the highest seen in any district competition in 2015.

195’s accomplishments don’t stop there, however. After being crowned 2015 New England District Champions, the team was also awarded 1 of 4 Chairman’s Awards available at the competition. This award, given to teams who best embody the mission of robotics and set a precedent for other teams to follow, is the most prestigious and highly regarded award given at events. By winning Chairman’s at the regional level this past weekend, the Knights are able to compete for it at the World Championship competition being held in St. Louis later this month.

With four events under their belt thus far, the CyberKnights have truly had one of their most successful seasons in the team’s 16 year history. Bringing home 5 major wins before the World Championships take place is an incredibly difficult feat to achieve, yet one that is inherently well deserved. For the fifth year in a row, Southington will be travelling to St. Louis to compete in the World Championship on April 22-25. This competition will see 600 of the best teams from across the globe gather to find out who will be crowned the 2015 World Champions. 195 has made it clear that their powerhouse style of play will not hesitate to move beyond New England territory.

The CyberKnights have been busy making sure the future of the team is in good hands. We have been very involved with a program known as VEX IQ. Every week, we have groups of 4 or 5 students go to elementary schools and mentor the kids on building robots. We have 5 teams in total that always do very well. It is very fun for both the elementary school kids and for our Team 195 members. They learn so much and it is just a great experience all around.

The CyberKnights also teach elementary school kids about engineering through FLL. Every week the CyberKnights go into schools to mentor the children. Our newest team earned a Golden Ticket in its rookie season. Parents and teachers are ecstatic about our program and the opportunities it provides. Recognizing our program’s merit, our District Science Coordinator asked to work with us to bring the FIRST experience to all 8 elementary schools in the next two years.



This past weekend, 36 robotics teams from high schools across North America traveled to Troy, New York to compete in the second annual New York Tech Valley Regional Competition. Among these teams were Southington High School’s Cyber Knights, also known as team 195. Held at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, this regional competition was the first for the Cyber Knights since New England’s transition from a regional to a district model following the 2013 season.

Aiming for a reassuring bounce back from their first competition 3 weeks ago, where the Knights were eliminated in the quarterfinals, Southington truly proved what has made their team a force to be reckoned with in recent years: team 195 was ranked 3rd following their qualification matches, and after several intense playoff rounds, the Knights went home with a first place trophy under their belt. In their 12 qualification matches, wherein 2 alliances consisting of 3 randomly assigned teams each compete against each other, the Cyber Knights maintained a formidable average score of 102.75. For reference, the #1 ranked team had an average of 117.08, while the last place team had one of 41.5.oscaraction

Following the 72 qualification matches, the top 8 teams participate in alliance selection, which sees 2 other teams join each of the 8 alliances to prepare for the playoff rounds. Moving away from the traditional “best 2 out of 3” style of eliminations, these playoff rounds eliminate the lower half of alliances based on their average score in matches. Thus, the quarterfinals saw 4 alliances sent home, with another 2 alliances ending their day in the semifinals. For the finals, the last 2 alliances competed in a simple “best 2 out of 3” order. As mentioned earlier, Southington finished their qualifying matches ranked 3rd out of the 36 teams in attendance.

The Cyber Knights selected team 340, Greater Rochester Robotics from Churchville, NY and team 4930, Electric Mayhem from Buffalo, NY to join their alliance. All three teams, in all 7 of their playoff matches, demonstrated incredible synergy with each other and gracious professionalism towards their opponents. Finishing their day with back-to-back 150+ point matches, Southington’s alliance secured their victory in a commanding manner.

Since this event was classified as a regional competition, as opposed to a district event, the 3 teams on the winning alliance have all qualified for the World Championship competition held at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri in late April. 195, 340, and 4930 are just three of the 600 teams being invited to this competition, where matches, playoffs, and finals will run throughout a 2 and a half day period to crown the 2015 World Champions. Additionally, 195 will be competing at the Hartford District Event on March 28 and 29, as well as the New England District Championship, held at WPI in Worcester, Massachusetts on April 10 and 11.