Team RUSH rockets to success

Clarkston News Staff Writer
Team RUSH 27 finished in third place during their competition in the Rocket City Regional in Huntsville, Ala., during the weekend.
The Clarkston High School Robotics team ranked sixth with a 10-5-0 record and won the Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” said Kyle Hughes, coach and mentor. “We were super excited to get a rocket scored in the first match and that helped our confidence through a tough competition. It seemed we were chasing our tails with mysterious issues with the robot, but everyone came together and most may not have noticed we were chasing issues.”

Kyle Brooks, Kyle Hughes and Ryan Wycoff drive the robot. Photo by Mark Kelly

She added the drive team did an incredible job with what did work especially with the tough competition they faced which reminded her of playing in the World Championship last year.
“The pit crew did an amazing job of diagnosing and fixing issues – sending the drive team out with their best,” Hughes added. “Our communications team wowed the judges which led us to one of the most prestigious technical awards, the Industrial Design. The scouting and strategy teams were incredible with their dedication to collecting the data on the teams, analyzing this data and coming up with a rock solid pick list for Saturday. Thanks to the parents who took the long travel in helping the team and supporting the tournament by volunteering. All in all, the entire team was outstanding.”
The Industrial Design award celebrates form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively achieves the game challenge.
“Their product and process reflect the mission of FIRST, by demonstrating sound technology development from start to finish. They went about building a great robot that wins in a hurry, but despite their name, good designs can’t be RUSHed! Congratulations Team 27, Team RUSH,” said the judges.
The Clarkston students gave out their own awards, continuing the tradition of the RUSHie Awards, which represent Respect, Unity, Spirit and Heart.
Hughes explained the students interview all the teams and decides who receives the awards, which were CNC cut by the students, the tops were created in Illustrator by the students.
This year, RUSHies awards included Respect: Engineers of Tomorrow, La Grange, Kentucky; Unity: Blue Devil Mechanics, Columbia, South Carolina; Spirit: PiBotics, FRC 3814, Florence, Kentucky; and Heart: Brazilian Storm FRC, São José dos Campos, São Paulo Brazil.
The team was also able to visit to the US Space and Rocket Center and had dinner and dessert under the Saturn V Moon Rocket.
Hughes explained Team RUSH and the other teams were the only ones there as it was closed to the public
“It was an amazing experience to see all the air and space technology as well as the US Space History,” she added.
Team RUSH raises money all year for their competition season, so they can travel to competitions outside Michigan.
“From the diverse school systems and expectations, to the difference in technologies in areas, to getting acquainted with the Brazilian team, our students learned so much from others,” Hughes said. “They met students from 12 different states. It is not something we can get within the Michigan District system.”
Team RUSH’s record after two competitions is 26-8 as they head to East Kentwood for a qualifying tournament for the state championships, March 29-30.
They are currently 17th in the state with 73 points and one qualifying competition for the state championship.
For more information about Team RUSH, visit and follow them on Facebook, “TeamRUSH27.” Live match videos are available on
“Team RUSH would also like to thank the community for sending us photos of good luck, posing on our Facebook page and liking our tweets,” Hughes shared. “Clarkston strong!”

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