Notre Dame VEX robotics outstanding at regionals

Middle and high school advance six teams to the state finals.

On Saturday, Feb. 17, eight teams from Notre Dame's VEX middle- and high-school robotics activities did great work at the Michigan East Regional Championship at Monroe County Community College in Monroe, Mich., according to one of the teams' mentors, Jerry Palardy.

"Overall they did outstanding, but it wasn't easy," Palardy said. "There were many unexpected technical issues and disappointing match results along the way, but in the end, we prevailed with six teams advancing to the Michigan State Championship next Sunday at the Jenison Field House in East Lansing."

The high point of the day Saturday for Notre Dame's middle school was during the final playoffs when the All Bees Alliance knocked off the favored #1 Alliance, advancing them to the finals thereby qualifying three of ND Marist teams for the states finals.  

On the high school side, team 33T, called He Who Shall Not Be Named, finished ranked in third and also won the Skills Champion Award.

"Not every team from Notre Dame won, but everyone had fun, while at the same time learning about robots, teamwork, planning, perseverance, sportsmanship, and other important life skills," said Palardy, who also noted that NDPMA was awarded "volunteer of the year" at the event for helping organize the competition and for providing fields and the emcee.

Here are the NDPMA teams that won awards and advanced to the state championship this weekend (Sun., Feb. 25) in East Lansing:

Notre Dame middle school awards and accomplishments:
3333Y – The Queen Bees (Jaimie Krankel, Manath Mohindra and John Jernigan)
– Excellence Award (the highest award at the event); Skills Champion for Middle School Award; Teamwork Finalist  
3333B – SMASH (Joe LaSota, Jackson Plas, Payton Beckman, and Aaron Palardy) – Teamwork Finalists
3333Z – The White Dragons (Trevor Rowe, Joe Schiefer, and Sean Chaiyasate) – Teamwork Finalists
3333J – The Flubb Drive (Josh Lyiynen, Jonathan Hubbard, and Lee Lindsey) – Semifinalist in playoffs; advanced to states as a wildcard

Notre Dame high school awards and accomplishments:
33T – He Who Shall Not Be Named (Nic Genord, Santiago Plazas, Josh Samuels, and Tom Joppich)
– Skills Champion for High School; Ranked third in qualifications and advanced to playoffs
33K – The Gold Team (Evan Melucci, Evaristo Garcia, and Cooper Isham) – advanced to states as a wildcard

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame's upper school enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three schools are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at