Madera’s world champs get the spotlight they deserve


The city of Madera is still on a high after Madera High School’s robotics team won the FIRST Championship in Houston last week. The team not only won over hundreds of other teams, but also edged out the reigning world champ for the title.

On Saturday, Madera gave Madtown Robotics 1323 the celebration they deserved. Not only with a parade, but with a community rally at Madera High School where each member of the team got the spotlight for their hard work and dedication to get the title.

Of course, that included a demonstration of the robot that outperformed the rest. The team has six weeks to build the robot, with the help of their coaches and mentors.

“We came back from losing a match to winning two in a row. I was really proud of the mentors and our seniors, they worked super hard this year,” said team member Rajan Vains. “Some mentors have been working for ten years just to become world champs. I was really happy for them.”

The team has made it to the finals several times over the years, but just didn’t have enough to win it all — until this year.

Part of Saturday’s festivities included watching the moment the team won. Advisor Vern Valmonte said the community backing has been huge for him and his team.

“Watching it again and just watching the reactions of the crowd — I can’t describe it,” Valmonte said. “It’s an indescribable feeling. [They] had the same reactions we had on the field.”

All students on the team are enrolled in Madera High School’s manufacturing or engineering pathway. The team has been around for 15 years.

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