Top Dog winners

Sep 21, 2009

The 10th annual Kettering Kickoff FIRST Robotics contest was won by Team Rush, Truck Town Thunder and the Xtreme Eagles to become the "Top Dog" alliance at Kettering University!

Detroit area teams win the 10th annual Kettering Kickoff

A three-team alliance of Detroit area teams won the 10th annual Kettering Kickoff FIRST Robotics competition Sept. 19 at Kettering University in Flint.  Winning “Top Dog” honors were Team 27, Team Rush from Clarkston; Team 68, Truck Town Thunder from Ortonville; and Team 326, Xtreme Eagles from Romulus.  The three teams shared the first-place alliance award and won the popular high school robotics contest that is affiliated with FIRST - For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

Taking “Big Dog” second-place honors was an alliance of Lightning Robotics (Team 862) of Canton, joined by the new team from Pontiac, Wings of Fire (Team 51) and the Martians (Team 494) of Goodrich.

"This was a very special Kettering Kickoff for us," said Founder Bob Nichols.  "It's been 10 years of FIRST fun here at Kettering.  We've been very proud to host the state's brightest math and science students at our event during this first decade.  Now it's on to our second decade of showing students the fun and challenge that engineering and the sciences can provide for them."

In all, 42 teams competed, including 40 of Michigan's best high school robotics teams.  One team each came from Ohio and Canada, too, Nichols said. 

Other prizes went to:

Top Score: Metal and Soul of Capac; Wings of Fire ofPontiac; and Killer Bees of Auburn Hills
Robot Design Excellence: TruckTown Thunder of Ortonville
Number One Seed: Xxtreme Eagles of Romulus
Spirit of FIRST: Lightning Robotics of Canton
Safety Award: Enginerds of Grand Blanc
Long Shot: Sinclair Sprockets of Whitby, Ontario

FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, is a national effort to inspire youth to explore career possibilities in engineering, science and technology.  FIRST robotics pits teams in a head-to-head competition between large radio-controlled robots built by teams of high school students and sponsoring engineers and teachers.  Michigan is tops among the “big states” for team participation in FIRST.  Almost one-third of Michigan high schools now have a FIRST robotics team as a varsity sport.  

Each year, the Kettering Kickoff helps high school teams "kick off" the start of their competition season by using the game, rules and robots of the previous year’s national competition. “The Kettering Kickoff was founded in 2000,” Nichols explained, “to give participants who are new to the sport an opportunity to build camaraderie with their new teammates and to work on developing their skills in a competitive environment.” 

The 10th annual Kettering Kickoff was hosted by Team 70, Kettering/Goodrich More Martians; Team 314, Carman-Ainsworth Megatron Oracles; Team 322, Flint Schools F.I.R.E. Team; Team 397, Southwestern Academy Delphi Knight Riders; Team 494, Goodrich Martians; Team 1243 Swartz Creek Dragons; Team 1322, The G.R.A.Y.T. Leviathons; Team 1506, Kettering University Metal Muscle; Team 2337 Grand Blanc Enginerds; and Kettering University.

For more on the Kettering Kickoff, visit:

Written byPatricia Mroczek