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Students Excel In Robotics Finals

Early next month, a group of 17 Ohio County Schools students will head to Dallas to compete in a rock-em, sock-em event: the VEX Robotics World Championship.

A team from Wheeling Park High School and a team from Bridge Street Middle School qualified for the championships at last month’s state competition in Fairmont.

Park’s Mark I and Mark III team jointly captured the state high school championship, while Bridge Street’s Steel Devils I and Steel Devils II teams finished as runners-up in the middle school division.

This will send both squads to Dallas from May 2-8 to compete in the world championships. And it happened in Ohio County Schools’ first year of fielding competitive robotics teams.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of these kids,” Wheeling Park robotics teacher and coach Luke Shepherd said. “Two years ago, I started with five kids and COVID robbed them of their last year. This year I started fresh, and some of these kids had never seen a robot before.”

But that didn’t stop them from excelling.

Members of the WPHS Mark I and Mark III are Azariah Bayes, Will Fuller, Ethan Matz, Seth Scott, Elio Khamsoucksaly, Carlos Zavala Romero, Joshua Perez and Wyatt Wheeler.

“They are literally the epitome of dedication. They eat, sleep and drink this stuff,” Shepherd said of his students. “They are one of the most dedicated groups I have ever seen.”

Bridge Street robotics coach Ken Dague sees a bright future ahead for his school’s robotics program.

“We will win the whole thing next year,” Dague said. “We will be a powerhouse starting next year.”

Students from Bridge Street headed to Dallas are Levi Henry, Dillon McNabb, Mya White, Emerson Kosol, Emma McNickle, Josh Hess, Khadija Rizwan, Morgan Kandis and Lily Dague.

These are the types of accomplishments this community should be proud of. We wish the students and their coaches the best of luck as they prepare for the world championships.

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