From the basement to the banner-MCA Robotics state champions dedicate summer to winning triple crown

Maize Robotics team brings home a second straight triple crown, while members Adria Dumler and Evan Rogerson win the Skills Champions, Tournament Champions, and Excellence Awards to complete the Triple Crown.


Julia Higares

During their match, Elizabeth Akers and Emma Pike see a little robot spring out from the opponents robot to cover more tiles. “It was an interesting game,” Akers said. “I really didn’t expect the little robot to come out and pop the expansion.”

Leah Brown

Maize Robotics hosted the State tournament of Champions with the top 24 teams in the state at the Textron Aviation Activity Center last Saturday. Team 67101C had members in the semi-finals and in all four remaining alliances, and ended up winning the triple crown for a 2nd consecutive state championship for Maize Career Academy

Zach Helgesen is the Maize Robotics advisor, and has been with Maize robotics for a total of four years coaching the team at the Maize Career Academy.

In his third year coaching the group, the 266 team brought back the first state triple crown.

“Last year was the first time that team 67101C qualified for the world championships,” Helgesen said. “On the last night of the world championships, a field was lowered down from the ceiling and they revealed the next year’s game.”

As the adviser, Helgesen has been able to help team 67101C improve and accomplish their own team goals, and credits their efforts in conquering the challenges at each tournament.

Darec Wagner controls his robot to play the game spin off. Wagner and his teammate Easton Grantham took home two trophies and qualified for the world championship. (Julia Higares)

“Maize High senior Evan Rogerson and sophomore Adria Dumler have definitely collaborated on all of their designs and worked as a design team. Evan’s areas of expertise were building, coding, and driving, while Adria focused more on documenting the design process, strategy, and communication,” Helgesen said, “Evan probably gets most of the credit for winning the skills champion award, and Adria gets the lion’s share of the credit for winning the Excellence Award, and winning the Tournament Champion was an even split,” Helgesen added.

Maize High students Adria Dumler and Evan Rogerson, who make up Team 67101c, started right away drawing designs for their robot and also made connections with teams from all around the country who they collaborated with throughout the season.

Rogerson has taken home a total of 23 trophies this season, which include tournament champions, skills champions, excellence awards and others. Rogerson takes pride in being apart of another win this year, but has bigger goals in mind a the Worlds competition after Spring Break.

“I feel happy with the results, but I am hoping to take home another trophy from Worlds, later in April. The robotics grind never stops, there is always more work to be done and more room for improvement,” Rogerson said.

As Team 67101C worked in their basements all summer long and during the school year, they averaged about 20-30 man hours on their robot per week to prepare for their tournaments over the past few months.

“Maize knew that they were likely to win it because the other top contenders had already been given other awards and they had nothing yet. When it was announced I saw Adria burst into tears of joy and even raised his fists in celebration,” Helgesen said. “Even though it was expected, it was a moment that they could pause and enjoy the fruits of their labor.”

Helgesen believes that the most difficult part of this year is coaching a team that was the top ranked team in the state, and that there is high expectations amongst the team to be consistent with high placings at each tournament.

“I wanted to be surprised just like the crowd. When it was announced, my first feeling was relief, which quickly changed to joy,” said Helgesen. “This was a journey that started a year ago, with long hard hours, and they were rewarded for their hard work.”