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 KHS Robotics Team Competes

December 17, 2008 - The Knightstown High School Panther Power Robotics team competed Saturday, December 6, in its first competition. The team walked away with a 13th place finish out of the 39 teams and 37 different schools.

There were four two-minute matches and then an “alliance round.” In the alliance round, Panther Power Robotics pulled into the eighth and final spot, which gave them another shot at winning. Next, the team and their two alliance picks battled to win the best out of three. The opponents won the first match and then the Panther Power team won the second. The third match resulted in an unfair advantage for the opponents and a rematch was granted. When it was all said and done, the Panther Power Robotics team ended the day satisfied with what they did accomplish that day.

Even though the team didn't advance to the international competitions in Omaha and Dallas, they are proud for doing as well as they did, according to KHS technology teacher Doc Keesling. “This being Knightstown's first year in the robotics competition, they certainly have nothing to be discouraged about,” Keesling said.

Team members that attended Saturday included Brittany Driesbach, Ben Wright, Corey Back, Zachary Mullen, Taran Simpson, Seth Stephens, Ashlee Northern, Lydia Long, and Mylee and Cayla Simmermon. The team coaches KHS Principal Scott Ritchie, Keesling and Neff Engineering employee Larry Selvidge also attended.

The two drivers of the robot during the competition were Ben Wright and Brittany Driesbach. Ashlee Northern and Lydia Long photographed and scouted for the team. The rest of the team intently watched every match and kept scores and records to report Wright and Driesbach. According to Keesling, the whole team worked together all day to keep a good strategy and teamwork process going.

To help with finances and support, the robotics team received help from 12 different sponsors, including Gregory C. Keesling, Henry County Retired Teachers Association, Lowder Graphic Design, J&W Machine Repair, Oberle & Associates, Carolyn A. Morgan, Fantastic Sams Hair Salon, French Insurance Agency, Knightstown Elevator, Keesling Farms, The Banner and The Knightstown High School Alumni Association.

For now, Keesling said, the Panther Power Robotics team is taking a break for the holiday season. Afterwards, they will continue to modify their robot and prepare it once again for an upcoming competition in March 2009.

More about the team can be found on its website,


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