Six Long Island Teams Advance to FIRST® Robotics Competition Championships in St. Louis Following the 2017 SBPLI Long Island Regional

Winning Alliance Comprised Team #263 “Sachem Aftershock” from Sachem High School, Team #329 the “Mohawks” from Patchogue-Medford High School and Team #1156 “Under Control” from Brazil
2017 SBPLI Long Island Regional - FIRST Robotics Competition

Robots from Team #353 the “POBots” from Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School, on the blue alliance, and Team #3137 the “T-Birds” from Connetquot High School, on the red alliance, go head-to-head during a qualifying round of the SBPLI Long Island Regional FIRST® Robotics Competition, which was held at Hofstra University March 31 and April 1.

Six Long Island teams are preparing to head to the FIRST® Championships in St. Louis following the biggest, and most intense, SBPLI Long Island Regional to-date. Presented by School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI), the 2017 SBPLI Long Island Regional FIRST® Robotics Competition was held at Hofstra University’s David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex on Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1. A three-team alliance-style bracket tournament for this year’s challenge, dubbed FIRST STEAMWORKSSM, the SBPLI Long Island Regional featured 55 teams from across Long Island and New York, and also Brazil. The event culminated with awards and honors (noted below) for areas such as design excellence, competitive play, sportsmanship and high-impact partnerships among schools, businesses and communities.


The winners of the 2017 SBPLI Long Island Regional are “Sachem Aftershock” (Team #263) from Sachem High School and the “Mohawks” (Team #329) from Patchogue-Medford High School, both of which are headed to the St. Louis Championship April 26-29, as well as “Under Control” (Team #1156) from Novo Hamburgo, Brazil, who are heading to the Houston Championship April 19-22. Following the SBPLI Long Island Regional, the “Regal Eagles” (Team #2869) from Bethpage High School, took home the coveted Chairman’s Award, which is the most prestigious award of the event and recognizes the team that embodies the goals and purpose of FIRST and that best represents a model for other teams to emulate, and also secures them a spot at the 2017 Championships.


The other three teams set to represent Long Island at the St. Louis Championships this year are 2017 Wild Card Winners and Regional Finalists, the “Kingsmen” (Team #5736) from Kings Park High School; 2017 Safety Award and Regional Engineering Inspiration Award winners “Huntington Robotics” (Team #5016) from Huntington High School; and 2017 Rookie All Star Winners the “Mustangs” (Team #6746) from Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Syosset.


“This was one of the best, and certainly the biggest, SBPLI Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competitions we’ve experienced,” says Debra Winter, Dave Johnson and Thom Rosati, FIRST Robotics Competition Regional Co-Directors for SBPLI. “All participating teams demonstrated tremendous teamwork, gracious professionalism and critical thinking. The fun and excitement of the competition was evident as many students, professional mentors, school groups and community members got caught up in the spirit of the event. Thousands attended the event as participants, volunteers, sponsors and supporters, to experience the beauty of engineering and technology combined with the excitement of a competitive event.”


Now in its 18th season, the SBPLI Long Island Regional features teams of high school-aged students from across Long Island, the New York metropolitan area and even around the world competing in a cooperative tournament-style robotics competition. Guided by their mentors, students rely on their skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to compete for honors and recognition that reward design excellence, competitive play and sportsmanship. This high-energy event further emphasizes the importance of high-impact partnerships between students, universities, businesses and communities.


Described by FIRST as a competition that “invites two adventurers’ clubs, in an era where steam power reigns, to prepare their airships for a long-distance race,” FIRST STEAMWORKS is every part the ode to a time gone by. During the competition, two 3-team alliances take to the playing field to complete a variety of tasks in order to score points and win the round, with the hopes of eventually advancing to eliminations and finals. The finishing move of each round of the competition is for the robots to climb a rope, the completion of which is denoted by a red- or blue-light indicator (pending their alliance color), as they seemingly “take flight” on the field.

SBPLI presented Joani Madarash, a longtime board member and former Executive Director, with the Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award for her continued and steadfast commitment to the organization. SBPLI FIRST Tech Challenge Director and FIRST LEGO League Co-Director, Janet Anderson, former FIRST Robotics Competition Director and also a longtime board member, was presented with SBPLI’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication and service to the organization. Robert Wentzel, Team Mentor, Sachem High School Team #263 “Sachem Aftershock,” received the Regional Woodie Flowers Award.


Winners of the Dean’s List Finalist Award were Melissa Bruce of Longwood High School Team #564 “Longwood Robotics” and Max Goshin of Plainedge Senior High School Team #527 the “Red Dragons.” The Fred Breithut MVP Award was presented to Christie Franz of Walt Whitman High School Team #2161 “The Robocats.” The winner of the Musical Theme Award, presented by School Construction Consultants, was James Paul Nadien of Plainedge Senior High School Team #527 the “Red Dragons,” which earned his team a $1,000 grant. 


The Full List of Winners of the 2017 SBPLI Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition Awards Include:





Imagery Award in honor of
Jack Kamen



Central Islip High School

Rockwell Automation Innovation in Control Award



West Islip Senior High School

Xerox Creativity Award


Mechanical Marauders

Bay Shore Senior High School

Delphi Excellence in Engineering Award



Westhampton Beach Senior High School

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Entrepreneurship Award


Under Control

Novo Hamburgo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

National Instruments’ Rookie Inspiration Award



Rocky Point

General Motors Industrial Design Award



Queens Vocational and Technical High School

Motorola Solutions Foundation Quality Award



Half Hollow Hills High School

Johnson & Johnson Gracious Professionalism



Plainview-Old Bethpage/JFK High School

FCA Foundation
Team Spirit Award



Southold Junior-Senior
High School

Underwriters Laboratories Industrial Safety Award


Huntington Robotics

Huntington High School

Judges’ Award


Oceanside Robotics

Oceanside Senior High School

Highest Rookie Seed


Ward Melville High School

Ward Melville Senior High School

Regional Finalist #1



Kings Park High School

Regional Finalist #2



Half Hollow Hills High School

Regional Finalist #3


Red Dragons

Plainedge Senior High School

Regional Winner #1**



Patchogue-Medford High School

Regional Winner #2**


Under Control

Novo Hamburgo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Regional Winner #3**


Sachem Aftershock

Sachem High School

Rookie All Star Award**



Our Lady of Mercy Academy, Syosset

Regional Engineering Inspiration Award**


Huntington Robotics

Huntington High School




Kings Park High School

Regional Chairman’s Award* **


Regal Eagles

Bethpage Senior High School


*The Chairman’s Award is the most prestigious award of the event and recognizes the team that embodies the goals and purpose of FIRST and best represents a model for other teams to emulate.

** These teams are eligible to participate in the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition Championship that will take place April 26-29 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

***Denotes a rookie team


SBPLI/FIRST Long Island is the title sponsor of the SBPLI Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. Captain of Innovation-level sponsors include Altice Connects, BAE Systems, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Farmingdale State College, FESTO Corporation, Hofstra University, National Grid, Northrop Grumman, PSEG Long Island, Schenck Trebel Corporation, SCOPE Education Services, School Construction Consultants, Stony Brook University and the US Army. Friend of the Future-level sponsors include accessLinx, Inc.; automotiveMastermind; Brookhaven Science Associates, LLC; Robert Catell; IEE – Long Island Section; Ingerman Smith, LLP; iTutor; LG Management, LLC; North Atlantic Industries; SBPLI FIRST® LEGO League and FIRST® LEGO League Jr. Development Councils; Softheon; the Stern Family; and SVAM International, Inc.


SBPLI is currently seeking local businesses for sponsorship opportunities for the 2018 Long Island Regional, which aims to be presented as two events. For more information on SBPLI or the FIRST Robotics Competition, please visit