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Team 16101E Receives Finalist Award at Western PA State VEX Robotics Competition

After launching its robotics competition program for the first year, New Castle High School Team “16101E: 005” was awarded the prestigious “Tournament Finalists” Award. The award celebrates the team as the tournament Runner-Up and honors the team's accomplishment of advancing to the Tournament Finals alongside their alliances. New Castle Robotics Team “16101E” consists of six students: Ryan Hunyadi, Ricky Zheng, Matthew Ball, Anton Green, Emily Brightshue, and Morgan Daily.


“During the first few qualifying matches, Team ‘16101E’ ran into a problem when, in simple terms, its drivetrain stopped working,” said New Castle Robotics Teacher/Coach Matt Dado. “The robot would run for a few seconds, and then the whole left side would stop working, thus leaving the robot immobilized for the rest of the match.”

Without hesitation, both Ricky Zheng (team leader and head mechanic) alongside Emily Brightshue (coach and mechanic) began replacing both motors on the left side as their teammates held the suspended robot. At the same time, Matthew Ball (lead programmer and driver) began altering the code so the robot would run less aggressive with a slower speed. Even though the team had to forfeit two matches to make these changes, the payoff was tremendous with a working drivetrain for the rest of the tournament.


“Being able to adapt and solve problems under pressure is ideal to being successful during a robotics competition and in life,” said Matt Dado. “These students put a ton of hours into preparing for this competition, and though faced with adversity, they showed great resilience.”

Additionally, both New Castle Robotics Teams “16101A: Alpha” and “16101D: New Castle SD” were awarded the honorable “Tournament Semi-Finalists” Award. The award celebrates the team's accomplishment of tieing for third place and their advancement to the Tournament Semi-Finals alongside their alliances. Team members for “16101A” include: Joey Pauletich, Rachel Lyden, Dasianae Florence, James Thompson, and Jade Bodie. Team members for “16101D” include: Arielle Recchione, TeAsia Stewart, Evan Brown, Kerrionna Lyles, Micah Killion, and Dylan McClaren.