2016 State Championship slideshow

Twelve teams from the OPEF VEX Robotics programs at Brooks and Julian headed to the Illinois VEX Robotics Middle School State Championship early Saturday, March 5, to compete against the best middle school teams in Illinois. This was the first year that Illinois middle school VEX teams had a stand-alone championship separate from high schools. Twenty-four middle school teams from throughout the state battled it out in a 12’ x 12’ arena in this year’s VEX Challenge game, Nothing But Net.

The teams competed in a series of exciting matches in which robots jostled to pick up balls and fire them into one of two scoring nets before each 2-minute game ended. Teams were also interviewed and observed by judges for awards such as best robot design, best autonomous design and best sportsmanship.

Four of our teams made it into the Semifinals: Fist Puma, Hoopz, Kryptonite and Mighty Little Pinkies. Kryptonite and Hoopz faced each other across the arena in an exciting Finals round, with the Hoopz alliance being crowned the Tournament Champions. Kryptonite took top honors in the Robot Skills event and Fist Puma took top honors in the Programming Skills event.

Thanks to all the families and fans for coming to Batavia and hanging in over a very long day to cheer on our young engineers. And special thanks to our VEX Coaches for helping make this year our most winning season ever!

Gwendolyn Brooks

  • Head Coach: Brian Shinners
  • Coaches: Marc Bishop, John McDowell, Marsha Turner-Reid

Percy Julian

  • Head Coach: Tim Walsh
  • Coaches: Gretchen Junker, Jessica Moncatch, Jason Morrell


The State Championship award-winning teams are:

  • Tournament Champion, Julian Team 7480H Hoopz:  Ruby Brice, Liam Finn, Kegan Jones, William Martin, Hasan Rinaldi, Zephy Roe
  • Programming Skills Winner, Julian Team 7480F Fist Puma: Michael Drobot, Dylan Hendrixson, Emma Langelan, Rachel Molho, Julian Rindler, Ethan Ulrich
  • Robot Skills Winner, Julian Team 7480K Kryptonite: Emily Hsieh, Mia Rossbach, Madeleine Share, Daysha Walker, Sam Warzecha, Xander Wells
  • Amaze Award, Julian Team 7480K Kryptonite: Emily Hsieh, Mia Rossbach, Madeleine Share, Daysha Walker, Sam Warzecha, Xander Wells
  • Build Award, Julian Team 7480E Mint-E-Fresh: Jacob Arquette, Evan Dominguez, Luke Elwart, Will Kasiak, Zachary Traczyk, Nick Zurawski
  • Create Award, Julian Team 7183E Hydra Revolution: Takuma Kawamura, Danny Lingen, Emily Maldonado, Caden Scheuring, Rachel Taylor
  • Design Award, Julian Team 7480M Mighty Little Pinkies: Dylan Carson, Will Crosby, Devin Hayes, Hugh Lipic, Danny Ramos, Eleanor Ruszcyk, Kai Yokoo
  • Energy Award, Julian Team 7480J Lime Lizards: Astrid Brunk, Olivia Evans, Jude Kasiak, Azmer Khan, Miles Kirk, Emmeth Murphy
  • Sportsmanship Award, Brooks 7183C Gearheads 2.0: Cole Hunnewell, Matthew Irving, Aiden Klass, Charlie Matyas, Jack Mitchell