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Monticello High School’s robotics team nabs tournament championship
Team Xtream wins in its first ever competition

Dec. 11, 2017

Well, that was an impressive debut.

Robotics team with coaches




Monticello’s Team Xtream are, from left, Omar Arriaga-Reyes, Devon Leaney-Levenson, coaches Eric Shewmaker and Kim Gordon, Tabitha Peplowski, Joseph Conklin, Gabe Menga and Ryan Smith. Teammate Erich Wegner is not pictured.








The Monticello High School robotics team, Team Xtream, went to Fallsburg on Dec. 2 to compete in its first VEX Robotics competition, In the Zone. They walked away as tournament champions with their alliance teams, Granville High School and Elmira High School.

The teams were challenged with designing, building and programing a robot that could pick up, move and stack cones on goals placed on the field. Students had to program 15 seconds of autonomous mode and then drive the robot with the controller for one minute and 45 seconds.

In the qualifying rounds, the 22 teams rotated through and worked with each other, said Monticello High School’s Instructional Technology Integration Specialist, Kim Gordon, a coach for the robotics team. The teams paired with each other, trying to score as many goals as they could in the allotted time.                                                                                              

At the end of the qualifying rounds, the top seven teams lined up to pick their alliances for the final rounds. Granville Jr./Sr. High School selected Elmira High School and Monticello High School to align with them. The teams strategized and worked extremely well together and they ultimately won in the final round, Gordon said.

“As a brand-new team, it was amazing to see Monticello work so well together with each other and with their alliance teams,” said Gordon. “They faced many challenges throughout the competition, such as losing all of their programing due to a technical glitch and having to quickly make adjustments to the robot because it was a quarter of an inch too tall. Through each challenge they faced, they remained calm and professional, staying focused on the task in front

They passed inspection and were cleared to compete. And compete they did.

Team Xtream at workBecause Monticello’s alliance team earned the tournament championship, all three individual teams in the alliance are now eligible to go on to the regional/state championships in March.

“Our entire team would like to give special thanks to Shelley Rossitto, executive director of Instructional Tech and Professional Development at Monticello schools for her continued support,” said Gordon. “We also thank Don Thomas who ran the Catskills New Bot Battle event in Fallsburg.”

Gordon was extremely proud of her team, not only for the result but for the teamwork and grace under pressure it displayed.

“We could not be more proud of their hard work and professionalism,” said Gordon. “They learned a lot about collaboration within our team and with others while being under pressure and we are looking forward to competing in the state competition in March.”