The second time was the charm. Twice.

Last year, Ratchet Rockers of Wentzville and Team SCREAM of Smith-Cotton High
School were alliance partners in the finals of the FIRST Robotics Central Missouri
Regional, but they came one win short of capturing a championship blue banner. After
dominating through qualifying matches all day Friday and on Saturday morning, the
teams joined forces again, this time winning the 2024 Central Missouri Regional and
ensuring trips to the FIRST World Championships in Houston.

Joining them on their three-team alliance was Cougar Robotics of Shawnee, Kansas.
Ratchet was the top-seeded team after qualifying matches, with Team SCREAM landing
in the No. 2 slot. After Team SCREAM accepted Ratchet’s offer to join their alliance, the
teams were surprised that Cougar Robotics was still available at the last slot of alliance

Team SCREAM Head Coach Michael Wright said Cougar was “a team that was high on
our list … so they were a steal for us to have. They were a huge part of our success.”
In the finals matchup, the top alliance faced Broncobots of Lee’s Summit, Wildcard
Robotics of Polk City, Iowa; and 3RingCircuits of Lebanon. Ratchet, SCREAM and
Cougar won the first match, 92-77 but initially appeared to have lost the second match.

KIX 105.7 logo
Get our free mobile app

“It was a tight match, a really close match, and of course when the first results came out
we were all disappointed but ready to go back for a rubber match,” Wright said. “When
we looked at the scores, we said, ‘Something is not right.’ We had all these points in the
end game and they missed it."

Game officials reviewed the video and found scoring discrepancies. Wright said they
explained to the teams that there are specific rules about arena faults and how they are
handled. Rather than rescoring the match, the second match had to be replayed.
This is where the second time was a charm again.

After a highly competitive battle, the top alliance came out ahead, 77-72, to win the best-of-three playoff and the regional championship.

Sedalia School District 200
Sedalia School District 200

Wright said replaying the match “was frustrating and disappointing, but in the end it was
another opportunity to play in front of our fans. I think we liked the result a little better for
the second match."

Michael Tran, drive team member for Ratchet Rockers, was grateful to team up with

“Team SCREAM is very versatile … they can do everything we needed to get a win,” he

Team SCREAM Captain Parker Ellison said their alliance worked well together.
“We were able to blend our strategies really well and it really helped us get that win that
we needed,” he said, adding that seeing the winning score go up “felt amazing, like all of your hard work is finally paying off."

Wright also is head coach for Team SCREAM Jr., which finished qualifying ranked No. 6
and had a solid run in the playoffs. Team SCREAM Jr. was awarded the regional’s Spirit
Award, Team SCREAM was honored with the Gracious Professionalism Award and
Wright was named Volunteer of the Year.

Sedalia School District 200
Sedalia School District 200

Team SCREAM and Ratchet Rockers are more than alliance partners.

“We look up to them, they are good friends of ours,” Wright said. “Last year, we were so close to winning in the finals here at the Central Missouri Regional with them, so it feels really good to get a win together. We are looking forward to going to their house in a couple of weeks and competing at the St. Louis Regional."

As for the Central Missouri Regional, there is plenty of praise going around. Tran liked the constant positive energy from the packed stands in the Smith-Cotton High School gym, and Ellison liked seeing so many people who are not tied to robotics come out to experience the event and support the program. Wright shared his appreciation for all of the volunteers and everyone else who played a part in making the event a success.

“We take a lot of pride in this event and we absolutely love showcasing how great our kids are, how great our community is,” he said. “We wouldn't want to have it any other way; we want to keep having this event year after year. It’s a lot of work but it is a labor of love for us."

In the photos:
Members: Members of Team SCREAM, the Smith-Cotton High School competitive robotics program, celebrate Saturday, March 9, after their three-team alliance won the FIRST Robotics Central Missouri Regional in the S-C gym. Their alliance partners were Ratchet Rockers of Wentzville and Cougar Robotics of Shawnee, Kansas.
Robot: Team SCREAM’s robot, Axl, fires a foam ring into the scoring chute during a playoff match in the FIRST
Robotics Central Missouri Regional.
Drive: Team SCREAM Head Coach Michael Wright, left, talks strategy with robot drivers Jordan Hoover, center, and Jackson Sparks during a playoff match Saturday, March 9, at the FIRST Robotics Central Missouri Regional

LOOK: Unique baby names from the year you were born

Stacker highlighted one of the least-used baby names from each year between 1950 and 2022, using data from the Social Security Administration.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

More From KIX 105.7