Thanks / Congrats for 2011 NJ regional

I figured I’d start this thread up :slight_smile:

I want to give a huge, HUGE thank you to everyone I spoke with this weekend. For me, this weekend was incredibly inspirational, and as I came in tired and weak-willed on Thursday, as soon as I spoke to Wayne Penn, whether or not he realized it, it raised my attitude for the rest of the weekend. After the finals, I don’t think you’d find many people being so excited to lose anywhere but in FIRST. What an awe-filled weekend.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who made this event run smoothly!! Week one events are always rough, but the crew on this event made it look like it was week 6. Very few issues with field and communications, pretty darn good on timing (especially for week 1), and wonderful volunteers. You made us all feel welcome and treated us with respect (even if we couldn’t get our robots to the queue in a timely manner :stuck_out_tongue: ). THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

I really want to thank teams 1647 and 102 for being amazing alliance partners for us. You are full of amazing people, and together we did amazing things. To losing by 102 points in the first qualification match to developing a strategy that took us to the finals (before we broke down in various ways in the two finals matches), I don’t regret a darn thing. That was the most fun my students and I have had in an incredibly long time, and I wish you guys the best in your future competitions. THANK YOU!

Congrats to 1676, 2016, and 303 in winning the event! You guys clearly had outstanding machine, drivers, and strategy! Your scores were daunting, and we knew we would have a hard time facing you. As I said to Chuck DiVincenzo of 1647, “We’ve all never been here before, so for us, this is our bonus round. Let’s give it our all”. I knew you guys were going to be in the finals, but I had no idea it’d be against us. You were a force to be reckoned with, and deserve your regional win! Congrats!

Also Congratulations to 2016 again on the Regional Chairman’s Award! You guys are a fantastic team, and with great support of alumni, mentors, and parents, you guys do tremendous things! You deserve this accolade, and I truly wish you the best! See you in DC!

Congratulations to Pete Kieselback for winning Volunteer of the year. I cannot say enough outstanding things about Pete, and I have held him in tremendous regard since I’ve known him. He gives his heart and soul to make sure our events run well, and now is back to mentoring a team! He often sits behind the scene, but is the pillar that this event stands on. He is truly an inspiration.

Congratulations to Peter Randall of team 1218 for winning the Regional Woodie Flowers Finalist Award! While this weekend was the first time I had met Peter, when I revealed the winner of the award to the other WFFAs on the stadium floor, they had all agreed that the recipient was well-deserved, and that it was a “long time coming”.

Lastly, Congratulations to team 1089’s very own LENNY BERNAS for making the Dean’s List!!! Lenny holds the structure and organization of our team together, from developing the business plan, organizing content on our webpage, writing our chairman’s and WFA essays, developing our presentations to the community, developing content for future FLL and FRC teams, and more. Lenny celebrates FIRST in every facet of his life, sharing it with band members, boy scouts, cub scouts, and even businesses and sponsors. He’s a ball of energy, and a “poster boy” for the inspiration that FIRST gives students. He’ll be studying oceanic engineering at FIT next year, and we will miss him very much. Congrats again, Lenny!

Boy, that was fun!

Chris, congratulations on making it into the Finals. It’s been a long time coming. It was awesome to be able to sit with some others from 11 and cheer you, 1647, 2016, and 1676 all on from behind the driver’s stations.

D.C. looks like a tough regional, but I hope you and 2016 do really well.

Best of luck man.

What a fun filled and amazing weekend.

First off, Congrats to the winning alliance of 1676, 2016, and 303. You made for one of the most exciting alliances to watch in recent memory.

Congrats to 1089, 102, and 1647. After your first match in Quarters you could have easily rolled over and admitted defeat. However, the poise and strength that you demonstrated throughout the elimination tournament is the epitome of what makes FIRST great, and it was an honor to call your matches.

Now for the thank you’s (I won’t have room for everyone, so I’ll do my best to keep it short…ish)

Since this was a week 1 regional (and our first bag and tag event) things could have easily run south quickly. However aside from the issues with the towers, and a snafu with the ranking system Friday night, things went off without a hitch.

The refs: This year was exceptionally difficult for you, but you all handled it with grace and humility, you made some tough calls and stood your ground in the face of adversity.

Cueing/field reset/field repair: If there was a problem with the field, we couldn’t tell. That’s how seamlessly you all operated. Teams were where they needed to be and repairs were finished before you knew something was broken.

Scoring: Sarah…what can I say that hasn’t been said? Without you, there wouldn’t be a FIRST regional.

FTA’s: Pete, Ryan, Connor, you three are professionals to the core. When a problem came up there was a blur of denim as you three raced to fix it, I feel privileged to have worked with you three.

Chiniqua: My partner in crime, it’s hard to believe that we’ve been working together for 7 years now, but every event has the energy and enthusiasm as our first. Thank you for keeping things light and fun!

The teams: You are the definition of GP, you fought your hearts out on the field, and bonded like a family off the field. Even during dead times you were dancing and cheering and making the event the party I knew it could be. I couldn’t be prouder of you all, keep up the good work!

And finally, a special thank you to Paul Kloberg. You’ve done so much for me over the years, and nominating me for the award I received on Saturday is too much to express right now. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything that you have done.

I think I’ve went on long enough, I have no voice, my feet hurt, and I’m sleep deprived…but that’s how you know it was a good weekend. See you all in coming weeks and next year!

We would like to congratulate the winning alliance on a well played tournament and making it a lot of fun. Monkey Wrenches have an amazing mini machine and we learned a lot from them this tournament. And where is Pi-oneers going to put all those banners! While we didn’t win this time out, our guys had a great run and it toughened us up for VCU next month.

A special shout out to my buddies Chris and Paul. It was great seeing both your teams do so well. Chris’s team eliminated us! (lets not make a habit of that but I guess it was our turn :wink: )

PK - it was great to see you enjoying robotics like we all used to. Fun on the field is what this is all about.

As I mentioned in passing, I felt like I was at some kind of college graduation seeing so many of our friend teams playing in the top positions. We feel great for all of you.

WC :cool:

I wish everyone in FIRST could have seen you at the Mentor’s parade. You were positively gushing with excitement. Understandably so!

It is fun, eh?

And luck. Lots and lots of luck. But thanks!

For starters, “What Chris Said” covers a lot of it.
I do have to admit that we thought we’d fallen out of the frying pan and into the fire when 25 was eliminated but we saw we’d be facing 1089 & crew. My heart sank to the floor when you stopped moving, jumped back up again when you regained control, and then really sank when you stopped again and stayed that way.:mad:

My own team made me proud. The machine isn’t perfect, but the design is way more adequate than I thought. Awesome drivers, coaching, strategy and the arm of Steven Fastow made for a winning combination.

2016 and 303 were awesome partners. We all complemented each other, the strategies were executed perfectly and worked as designed. Literally Awesome.

To all the dozens of friends, it was great seeing you and catching up. That’s my favorite part of the weekend.

1860, you guys are great. Most people don’t realize that most of your students are economically disadvantaged, and for them to see how science, technology, engineering and math can make a far better life for them is really doing the best kind of work there is. Brazil may not be as wealthy as some other countries, but with FRC teams like 1860 and the generous support of companies like Johnson & Johnson, your future is bright indeed. Keep up the great work, and as always, let us know how we can help you.

Onward to Virginia!


Thanks for the congrats. Team 1676 is definitely one of those teams who grew up under your wing. It’s been a whirlwind of good fortune and good results in our last 4 tournaments - ever since 25 chose us to be part of the #1 alliance at NJ in 2010. Thanks for that kick into adulthood.

On to Virginia and Saint Louis!

A few thoughts from the lucky perspectives I have…

From the FSM side of things - The regional completely rocked! The NJ FIRST Planning Committee is full of exceptional professionals who all want nothing but the best for the students who attend the event and it completely shows through the flawless execution of the regional. We’re lucky to have the support we have from our volunteers, all the best we could ask for!

From the team coach perspective - This was the first time we brought FRC2729 (3rd year) to the regional and our students loved it! They loved the camaraderie, networking, and gracious professionalism demonstrated by teams in attendance. With the team being one that is relatively young, they learned a lot from all of the veteran teams that will really allow them to improve moving forward.

Also, a special thanks to teams 1218 and 192 for being such awesome alliance partners. Sorry things didn’t work out past semifinals, we were certainly a tough force to be reckoned with.

Good luck to everyone in the next few weeks of competition!

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again:

If [we] have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Google tells me that Isaac Newton wrote this in the year 1676. I don’t think that could have been more convenient as a way to describe us.