Maranatha Robotics Team Wins State Title
Give it up for Maranatha Christian Academy. The Mustang Gear Gang has won a state title in just their second season of competitive robotics.
“When we first got there I thought we had a chance,” said Maranatha Academy’s Alison Garland. “When we started getting closer and closer, it was like ‘Oh wow we’re going to be able to do this.'”
The Gear Gang is a determined group of eight students who all bring something unique to the table.
“Not everybody here is a great engineer, or a great talker, or a great programmer. But we have one of each and we can teach each other from it,” said Joshua Dereje. “We learn from each other and we’ve grown from it a lot.”
“Our kids get a really good experience of doing a lot of different things,” said Head Coach Ed Marvel. “They don’t just focus on one area and only do one area.”
These kids have a knack for winning and even when things don’t look good for their robot, they keep battling.
“We had a few bad matches, but our biggest thing is we fight through,” said Avery Warren. “Even if we start off bad we manage to come back and do pretty good.”
The gear gang will be one of 72 teams competing at the North Super Regionals in Iowa this weekend. They like their chances and believe their robot can win.
“Essentially we have one robot at these competitions,” Marvel said. “It’s been fun trying to keep it running all year with all the various parts it needs and things.”
On game day, two players run the robot.- One has a controller and the other controls rotation.
“As I’m driving they can rotate, they go up and down and so it’s all about the communication,” Warren said. “Our coach tells us what blocks to go after and where to go after.”
“We fill a crypto box which is a 4 by 3,” Dejere said. “We fill it as quickly as possible and as soon as we fill it, if we have time, we drop the relic over the side for a couple extra points.”
It’s a strategy that has certainly paid off for the Gear Gang.