Notre Dame’s high school VEX teams are competitive at Cass Tech


Notre Dame's high school VEX Robotics Competition teams participated in an event last Saturday, Nov. 18, at Cass Tech High School in Detroit. Six Killer Bee teams, each with their own robot, were on hand for the event and for four of the teams, it was their first robotics event ever. 

All six Notre Dame teams at the event made the elimination round, with two of the teams serving as alliance captains. Two teams made it to the finals, and one team ended up on the winning alliance.

A summary of Notre Dame VEX teams and results from Nov. 21 follows. . .

Team 33F, which included Kevin Cragg, Vince Larsson, Gabe Birchmeier, Nolan Weimer and Dawson Hubbard, was on the winning alliance and qualified for the Eastern Regional championship. 

"This is a veteran team, but the win was still special," said Jerry Palardy, a school parent and one of Notre Dame's robotics mentors. "It's only their third year in VEX and it was their first win."

Evan Melucci, Evaristo Garcia and Cooper Isham, represented the 33K Gold Team, which was the overall competition's runner up.

The 33T Red Team, with Thomas Joppich, Santiago Plazas, Nicolas Genord Joshua Samuels, won the skills competition with a score of 72. Their team was designated the no.-6 alliance captain and the team's skills score places it at the top of the wild-card race to qualify for the Eastern Regionals.

Harley Collins, Jason Stewart and Marshall Autrey in 33H Mechanized Shopping Carts, were designated the no.-7 alliance captain.

Team 33S, the Queen Bees, consisting of Maya Judd, Nancy Frias and Sophia Yeras, advanced to the semifinals and won the Sportsmanship Award.

Calvin Zondag and Matt Weibelhaus, Team 33Z, made it to the quarterfinals

"We definitely are off to a great start," noted Palardy.

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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. The school's upper division 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 divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions 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