Monroe teams shine in VEX Robotics World Championships

The crowd cheers as Team 4478E becomes Technology Division Champions.

DALLAS, Texas — Masuk High and Jockey Hollow Middle schools’ Robotics program made its presence known during the VEX Robotics World Championships at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center last week.

Coach William McDonough said one of Masuk’s teams was the first in Connecticut’s history to make it to the finals, reaching the semifinals of the competition — and the first to win a division in the VEX World Championships.

In fact, it was the Monroe robotics program’s best showing as four-out-of-five high school teams qualified for a divisional playoff. It was the first time more than one Masuk team competed in the elimination rounds.

“Our students have been amazing,” McDonough said. “There have been many challenges over our week in Dallas, and they always rose to meet them, showing outstanding character throughout. We always strive for our team members to grow and learn daily. We over-achieved all week.”

Among the highlights:

  • Team 4478E became World Championship Semi-Finalists, one of the last four alliances competing in the world.
  • 4478E became Technology Division Champions, upsetting the number 1 alliance (which only had 9 losses in the entire season) in the finals
  • The middle school team was only the second in the program’s history to qualify for the elimination rounds and play in two matches.
  • Five Masuk teams qualified for the VEX World Championships, the most it ever had in the program’s history.

The final team rankings were:

  •  4478D 10-0, one of 5 undefeated teams out of the 820 teams competing, ranked 2nd in their division
  • 4478E 9-1, ranked 3rd in their division, captained the 3rd alliance 
  • 4478F 7-3, ranked 28th and were part of the 9th seed alliance 
  • 4478T 1-9, ranked 77th
  • 4478W 5-5, ranked 25th and part of the 13th seed alliance

In an email to school administrators and parents, McDonough wrote, “I just wanted to send out a thank you to you for your support of our program. We truly appreciate it and could not have accomplished what we did this year without your support.”


  1. No doubt in my mind, the real hero here is Bill McDonough! His dedication to this program is absolutely astounding! A teacher, mentor, parent, adviser, life coach, caring for each and every student and adult involved in his program! I also can’t help thinking of all of the dedicated assistants, Dakota McDonough, Rich Infante, Sean Deely (all former students and now engineers) and the many parents who helped make this trip successful (Jennifer Rentz, Amy Merriman, Geoff Giordano, Ninel Cusa).

    Bill’s impact on student’s lives even after they leave Masuk High School. One graduate of his program, Nolan Downey, participated at the VEX University level competition and made it to the quarter finals. His team was made out of students from various universities around the country which the program helped make connections with. The students were able to do this now on their own and showed that they can stand up to many well established university teams. Bill prepared them for that for sure and he continued to assist Nolan by letting him borrow materials and provide feedback and guidance as well and welcomed his involvement back with the program.

    Masuk Robotics provides an outlet to many students to continue their STEM passion outside of the regular school day. Besides that it teaches them dedication, perseverance, how to deal with failure, and how to celebrate accomplishments. It allows them to unleash their creativity to explore carriers and options they could not think of. Masuk Robotics creates future engineers and makes a real impact on many students and families.

    The program is an asset for the school system and town and definitely puts us on the World’s map! Congratulations Bill McDonough and Masuk High School!

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