Sketch of Eminence Independent School Building

Eminence Robot Gladiator Team wins 2024 State Runners-Up at Championship Tournament

The Robot Gladiator League’s first-ever tournament season held its grand finale Championship Battle at Morehead State University on April 30th. This electrifying event featured eight different schools from Kentucky, with Eminence High School’s very own team competing as one of the first teams to be a part of the league. Each team was provided three base robots designed by the founders of the League and given months in preparation to design weapon systems. Student teams are given the opportunity to use ramp wedges, spinners, pneumatic systems, and have almost complete engineering freedom within safety and battle regulations. The battles are played in three-minute halves, with a 10 minute halftime. Three bowling pins are set at opposite ends of the battle arena, where robots fight to knock down the most pins in exchange for scoring points. 

Representing Eminence High School at the State Championship was coach Sherry Curtsinger and the following students: Jackson Curtsinger, Gus Curtsinger, DaYoung Choi, DaYou Choi, SungHyun Choi, Truman Gilbert, Harrison Gilbert, Anthony Wayman, and Beau White. The Eminence team showcased a ramp robot designed for flipping opponent bots and two dual-pronged spear robots designed for offensively scoring points. As a 6th-seed ranked team based on results from previous matches this season, Eminence High School first battled Jackson Independent and won a hard-fought victory. This was Eminence High School’s first battle win during the League season and it advanced them to the semi-final round. Following the first rounds of tournament battle, the following teams advanced to the semi-finals: Eminence High School, Russell County, Nelson County, and West Carter High School. 

Eminence High School battled West Carter High School in the semi-final round, winning a close victory after a fierce battle fighting for advancement to the championship round. Eminence was ahead by 13 points, with the final score at 81 - 68. Team member and driver for the ramp robot, Truman Gilbert shared, “Advancing to the final round was an amazing experience and I was able to learn a lot. By playing multiple matches in the same day, I think I was able to better adapt to the robot and how it moves.”

At the final battle for the Robot Gladiator League State Championship, 1st-seed Nelson County and Eminence were set to battle. By gaining a quick lead of just two points, Nelson County had the advantage at the start. Eminence overtook the lead about half-way through the battle and set a close distance ahead in points but Nelson County. With less than 30 seconds left in the last half of the match, Nelson County scored the last few points. The exciting final battle for the first Robot Gladiator League State Championship resulted in Eminence’s loss to Nelson County at 45 - 49. Eminence High School was named 2024 Robot Gladiator League State Runners-Up. The team was awarded the People’s Choice Award for crowd-favorite robot designs and the Rotational Excellence Award to Jackson Curtsinger and DaYou Choi for building one of the League’s first spinner robots. Jackson Curtsinger, Eminence senior and student at the Craft Academy shared on the team’s success, “We went from 0 earned wins in the regular season, to 2nd overall in the League.”

Excellent teamwork and engineering talent from the Eminence team was proudly showcased during the championship, where team members quickly worked together in addressing broken robot weapons, technical struggles, and driving strategy. Beau White, Eminence senior, shared about his first year on the team, “There were so many great and awesome things that happened at our championship match that allowed us to make it to the final match and only fall short by four points. Not bad for a 6th seed!” Eminence’s successful season reaped impressive awards and taught students valuable skills to prepare for next year’s season. Gus Curtsinger about this year’s tournament said, “I learned how to overcome adversity and learn from my mistakes. And because of the competitions, I have grown a lot closer to my teammates. The Robot Gladiator season has made a lasting impact on me and I will remember it for the rest of my life”. The Robot Gladiator League is projected to have more teams join the League as additions to the tournament season and Eminence is geared up for another excellent year.