Fitch Falcons end season with Worcester victory
The winning alliance of Aluminum Falcons (center) Apple pi (left) and Orange Chaos at Battlecry 16 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. | Courtesy Everett Wilhelm
GROTON — The Aluminum Falcons, the Fitch Senior High School robotics team, pulled off another spectacular win at the largest post-season robotics competition in New England over the Memorial Day weekend in Worcester, Mass. It was the sixth time the Falcons have participated at the “BattleCry@WPI,” and the third time they have emerged victorious.
Fifty-five teams from across the Northeast participated, and after eight rounds of qualification matches, the Falcons were ranked second overall, right after the New England champions, the CyberKnights from Southington.
In the end, the finals came to a showdown between a team consisting of the Falcons, Connecticut state champions Apple π from Guilford and Orange Chaos from Brewer High School, Maine, versus the Cyber Knights, Nutrons from Boston and Who’s CTEKS from Housatonic Valley.
The Falcon’s alliance proceeded to win the best of three final in two matches.
“This was an unexpected victory,” said senior Matt Nowak, the lead CAD designer for the team. “We suffered so many hardships and bad luck this season. It’s nice to end the season with a big win.”
The victory capped off a very successful year in FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics for the Falcons, who were champions at the Pioneer Valley tournament in Springfield to start the season. They finished fourth in qualifications in Smithfield, Rhode Island, 25th in the New England championship qualification and 30th overall in the region.
The Falcons also finished 21st in qualifications on the Galileo Field at the world championships in St. Louis, eventually getting knocked out in the semifinals of their division.
Seniors Nowak, Dominique Harris, Jacob Kowalski, Kush Kumar, Zach Lanzicky, Finian O’Connor, Jazmyn Scott, Emma Stark and Cam Wilhelm leave the team as champions and in capable hands.
In finishing the season, the team extend a debt of gratitude to coaches and mentors Brian Chidley, Joshua Miller, Kevin Harrilal, James Corcoran, Kevin Brown, Aram Mead,and Everett Wilhelm.
The Falcons extended a special thanks to the Groton Board of Education for their support in getting the team to the world championship competition in St Louis. In addition, they thanked their sponsors, consisting of large corporations, small businesses and individuals; without them the program could not exist.