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FIRST Robotics – Trojanators!

Six weeks ago, my teammates and I listened to the description of this year’s FIRST Robotics Challenge.


We have poured every ounce of hard work, creativity, perseverance and inspiration we had into designing, building and testing our robot. Thank goodness for good mentors, generous sponsors, incredibly supportive parents, and amazing school support!

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Trojanators 2016

This year’s challenge, FIRST STRONGHOLD is a medieval-themed high-tech “capture the flag” that required us to develop a strategy, design our robot in CAD, assemble a drive train, fabricate parts, complete an electrical system, write our computer code, There were times we didn’t think it was possible. We ultimately finished in 10th place and were one of the 8 team captains for the playoffs.  This was out of 52 teams representing 5 different states and Canada in this Pittsburgh Regional competition.  Mr. Ball, one of our team mentors and parents, said “Our team overcame some significant hurdles, worked our butt’s off, maintained our composure and positive attitude, and far surpassed our ranking from last year…amazing!”

We compete again this weekend in Cleveland at the Buckeye Regional.  You can tune in to the live Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Trojanators Team 5740 Tee Shirtbroadcast on Friday and Saturday, March 18 and 19 at

There are a lot of ways to get involved with FIRST Robotics.  Let me know if I can help you form a team, become a mentor or coach, or become a team or regional sponsor.  The teams could not compete without their corporate sponsors.  Thank you to Shrugged Enterprises, Deep Well Services, Morris Great Lakes, Civic & Environmental Consultants, Inc., Maxim Crane, Babst, Calland, Clements & Zomnir, Paul’s Chrome Plating, Inc., Mark Lasky, Planet Mars, Breakneck Tavern, River Valley Tang Soo Do, Armstrong, Joe Vaccarello Dollar Bank, and Grow a Generation!  Your generosity equals future innovators!


Despite major damage from the the Pittsburgh regional, we made new bumpers, installed replacement parts, and headed off to the Buckeye regional competition in Cleveland. 

There were 58 teams in this event from 8 different states and Canada.  Many had much more experience. We were the 5th newest team to compete. We finished ranked #10 in Pittsburgh, but felt too bold to expect a similar high ranking this time. 

But we rose to the occasion, thanks to enthused and capable mentors and a great team spirit. We finished once again as a qualifying alliance captain and a ranking of #7.  Wow!

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