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McFarland High School Cougar Bots Robotics Team make history

The Cougar Bots robotics team has defied all odds and brought home a new title of being the first team from Kern County to reach the quarterfinals at the annual VEX Robotics World Championship
Posted at 5:43 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-15 12:10:56-04

The Cougar Bots, a team of three from McFarland High school recently became the first team from Kern County to make it to the quarterfinals at the annual VEX Robotics World Championship.

  • The McFarland High School robotics team has worked long hours over the past year, securing their success in multiple competitions. The team of three ended their high school years by finishing in the top 1%.
  • The McFarland Cougar Bots advanced to the World Championship after becoming the Region 3 State Champions in competition at the 2024 California Region 3 VRC High School Regional Championship in Bakersfield in March.
  • Although the team is getting ready to graduate and pass the torch onto the next class — their legacy will live on as a mural is currently being painted to honor their achievements.

    This is the robot that took the McFarland Cougar bots to the VEX robotics world championships, traveling all over the country and coming home with a prestigious title. It's an accomplishment that has never been seen in Kern County.

    It’s a journey that started in middle school for current seniors Yasir Rubio, Francisco Vejar, and Eric Ontiveros.

    What started as a newfound hobby turned into intense competitions, countrywide travel, and leaving their high school years making history for the classes to come.

    The Cougar Bots are the first team ever from Kern County to reach the quarterfinals at the Annual VEX Robotics World Championship.

    “It feels really good making history,” said Ontiveros.
    “It means a lot because since this is our last year, having been in it for so long, we’re finally able to accomplish something,” said Vejar.
    “Its like in any industry, you really want to be the top and we accomplished that and it’s really, really good,” said Rubio.

    The team says this was an achievement that wasn’t easy to come by, making it to state in the past but not being to qualify for worlds was a tough struggle to over come, but their coach David Cisneros says this team continued to give it their all.

    “Roughly 20 to 30 thousand teams worldwide that compete at VEX. Only about a thousand of those teams make it, I would say about 800 teams make it to the world championship,” said Cisneros. “Just making it to the quarter finals, you’re only one of about 160 teams about of 20,000 teams that make it to that stage.”

    It was an experience that Rubio says he’ll never forget. Not only being able to meet new people and see how other teams build their robots, but Rubio says robotics has given him a path to new opportunities.

    “We’ve been able to go to Dallas twice, we’ve been to Iowa, we’ve gone to all these roadtrips that are so amazing and most of it was paid for by the school so that’s why I say it gives you a lot of opportunities to go out there and find who you are,” said Rubio.

    With this new achievement being left at McFarland High for future students to see, he wants people to know that these opportunities are still out there.

    “Its not just about us doing good it’s about like showing what can happen,” said Rubio. “Showing that even if you’re from McFarland you can do a lot of damage out there.”

    Although the team is getting ready to graduate and pass the torch onto the next class, their legacy will live on as a mural is currently being painted to honor their achievements.


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