Coach Gaines in the movie Friday Night Lights once said, “Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It's not about winning. It's about you and your relationship with yourself, your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasn’t one more thing you could've done.
”During eliminations, there is nothing more the drive team could have done. We were at the top of our game. With clear eyes and with joy in my heart, I can promise you when I tell you we gave it our all. Tim is one of the dirtiest drivers in the country. Similarly, Josh is one of the most systematic people I have met in my life. He has trained us to perform to the highest level we can. The past two years, we have been through it all. We have broken parts, made mistakes, and even almost run over a squirrel on the way to a steakhouse. It has been an extraordinary journey and an immense pleasure standing behind the glass driving the heck out of Talyn and the Fat Swan with these guys by my side. From all those dinner humiliations to entering scouting data till late night, the drive team will always have a separate spot reserved in my heart.
At the end of the day none of this would be possible without the help of our mentors. First, I want to thank Mr. Chidley for sacrificing sleep to make sure the team runs without any hiccups. You took care of all the paperwork that no one wanted to deal with. You heckled with the school staff, the sponsors, and the principal to get us the things we needed. You sacrificed spending time with your family to come help us build the robot. You are the only teacher in school who cares about leading the robotics team. Then with the help of Aram, Matt you modeled the Fat Swan in Solidworks. Other mechanical mentors like, Justin made a huge commitment traveling back and forth across the state to make sure everything was assembled correctly. Also, Josh and Christian made sure everything was running the way it should. The Fat Swan wouldn’t have been able to move without the help of the programmers. They gave her life! This year we had an amazing group of programmers led by James and Kevin. These mentors helped us compete at the highest potential possible. They figured out very complex problems in a very limited period of time. They hooked the Fat Swan up with the Falcon Claw. All of these mentors presented themselves as very approachable with their wonderful sense of humor we all appreciate.
FRC Team 2168 is the optimal definition of what a team should be. This team has taught me so many valuable lessons. Everyone on the team has been awesome. In one way or another, each and every one of you guys have helped make my senior year very special. It is going to be incredibly difficult graduating this year. I cannot describe how much I’m going to miss this team. This is the most incredible group of people I have been around. You are all amazing. I thank this team for giving me a lifetime worth of memories. It is going to very emotional the last time I get to operate the Fat Swan at Beantown. That is one of the things I’m not looking forward to. From the bottom of my heart, I thank all the mentors and friends for an amazing year of robotics and pray that FRC 2168 keeps soaring higher the way it has. So keep calm and chive on!
- Niral Patel, 2011-2012 Operator (2012 Drive Team Captain)
University of Massachusetts Kinesiology/Pre-Dental Class of 2016