Warlocks are off to Detroit!

The Warlocks, Team 1507, are planning to attend the Northern Championships of FIRST Robotics Competition. The event is happening in Detroit MI on April 25-28.

The six competition divisions, each the size of a regional event with 68 teams, will be at the Cobo Hall. The winners of these divisions will eventually be narrowed down and a final event will take place Saturday afternoon at Ford Field. Over 400 teams will be participating, as well as FIRST Tech Challenge teams.

The Warlocks will be leaving the school by bus around noon on Wednesday and return Sunday early morning.

We will be competing in the Carson Division. Those who want to watch online can do so at The Blue Alliance Gameday Matches will take place all day Thursday and Friday with Division finals on Saturday morning.

Students were given a packet with details to bring home for parents information.

Al Gritzmacher 04/20/2018

FIRST loses one of its biggest supporters

Mark Leon RIP

Received the sad news today that Mark Leon, “NASA Mark” has passed away.

Many of us who have been in FIRST some time will remember him as a game Emcee at Championships and many Regionals. He hosted both Fingerlakes and Buckeye multiple times as well as IRI and many regional competitions in his home area. He was one of the go-to Emcees that FIRST could always call on to fill in anywhere.

He was known for his many anecdotes from his travels around the world and his acrobatics on the field.

He was accomplished in both Judo and Tae-kwon-do. He volunteered as an self-defense instructor with high school students.

In the 1980s Mark Leon was instrumental in establishing trans-Atlantic communication between American, French and English space agencies. In the 1990s he completed the first audio/video link to Antarctica.

He was Program Manager for the NASA Lunar Micro-Rover Program, a smaller rover similar to the Mars Rover.

In recent years, he was in charge of NASA’s Robotics Alliance Project, which kept him working closely with FIRST. He was a mentor to many robotics teams in many programs over the years.

Mark Leon quotes:

  • It’s all about the math.
  • We must put more into the bowl of life than we take.
  • Life isn’t fair, so don’t let it stop you.
  • Standing in the future allows for clairvoyance.
  • A true friend wants for you not from you.
  • Believing that something is impossible doesn’t make it true.

We will miss hearing his catchphrase “Do the math. Save the World.”

Mark Leon: Helping Kids Build a Better Robot

Mark Leon on Wikipedia

Chief Delphi discussion

Do the math, save the world

2018 Championship Mark Leon Memorial Robot Sticker

Al Gritzmacher 04/10/2018

Warlocks compete at Buckeye – WGRZ tells our story

Warlocks robot Otis places a power cube on the scale at ClevelandThe Warlocks attended the Buckeye Regional in Cleveland OH on March 27-30. While we didn’t bring home the big trophy, we did very well with a 7-5 record in the matches, leaving us ranked 8th among the 55 teams. That was high enough to become an alliance captain, and we chose teams 4020 Cyber Tribe from Kingsport TN, and 3266, Robots-R-Us from Eaton OH. to complete our alliance team for the finals.

But despite a promising alliance, we were met with a stronger team and were eliminated in the quarter-finals. The alliance included old friends team 291, CIA from Erie PA and team 379 the Robo-Cats from Girard OH, both teams that we have partnered with in past years and are strong competitive teams. Their third member was also a familiar upcoming powerhouse, team 6490, Panther Robotics from Geneva NY fresh from the Fingerlakes Regional, as we were.

We were sent off to Cleveland with a feature story from WGRZ TV, Channel 2 in Buffalo who told the team’s story and encouraged their viewers to watch our matches and cheer us on. You can see their report here.

Next stop for the Warlocks will be Detroit for the Championships on April 25-28, 2018.

Al Gritzmacher 04/05/2018

Warlocks bring home the gold at RIT

Warlocks team members holding banner
Team 1507 went all the way to the top and faced the boss at the Fingerlakes Regional at Rochester Institute of Technology this past weekend. (March 16-17, 2018)

We Powered Up our way through the elimination matches coming in ranked at 5th. We won 7 and lost 3 matches, but accumulated enough ranking points to become an alliance captain.

But the number 1 alliance had other plans. Team 340, Greater Rochester Robotics, already an regional winner at the new Central New York Regional in Utica, chose us to work with them on their alliance. You can’t say no to a chance to team up with a GRReat team like that.

They chose team 3550, Robotronix from LaSalle Quebec to round out the alliance.

This was not the first time that 340 and 1507 have paired up. We  won the Buckeye regional together in 2012. We were finalists together as recently as 2017 in Cleveland.

Although we did not win every match, we did nearly always come away with at least one ranking point every match. This placed us near the top of the team rankings consistently.

Robot rising up - Otis


Our robot’s ability to quickly and nimbly handle the cubes as well as our nearly foolproof ability to hang from the scale at the end game, earned us attention from the other teams hoping for a strong alliance partner.

The Warlocks were also honored with the Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox.

As a regional winner, we receive an invitation to the championship competition in Detroit, April 25-28. We are planning to attend that, but first we will be attending our second regional event at the Buckeye Regional in Cleveland OH on March 29-31.

We are looking forward to competing and excelling at these two upcoming events. The Warlocks have not attended a championship since 2014 when we won at Fingerlakes and also attended Buckeye.

Team photo at Fingerlakes RIT

Al Gritzmacher 03/21/2018

Kickoff This Saturday, January 7th, 2017

The FIRST Robotics Competition begins for the 2017 season this Saturday with Kickoff, the game reveal that sets the stage for the world-wide competition.

The Warlocks will be meeting at the school to view the game reveal video and immediately begin planning the 2017 strategy. The school will be open at 9:00 am. Attendance is mandatory for all student team members, and parents, sponsors, former team members, and the general public are welcome to attend.

When the kickoff video is over, the team will immediately begin studying the rules and developing a game strategy for the season. The team has been preparing by studying the basics of robot construction and recently completed sessions on brainstorming techniques. The hope is to have a strategy and design direction developed after three days. There will also be an optional day on Sunday afternoon at the Lockport YMCA.


Al Gritzmacher 01/04/2017

Al Gritzmacher 01/04/2017

Al Gritzmacher 09/25/2016

Warlocks left not-quite empty-handed at FLR

It was a long day at the Fingerlakes Regional at RIT for the Warlocks. In a semi-final series that the alliance of 1126, 1507 and 3838 put up the high score of the finals round at 196 points, it still wasn’t enough to bring up our average after a disappointing 94 point first match. Our semi-final average of 147.33 only put us in third place, just shy of the final round.

The three match semi-final series sends the alliance with the highest average score on to the final round. Our valiant effort to bring up the scores in the last two matches wasn’t enough to overcome the match where 1126 broke and dropped a potentially winning stack of totes.

We were chosen to the #2 alliance by Rochester’s Sparx, Team 1126 and joined by third team 3838, Roc City Robotics, also from Rochester. It looked like a strong team and we all were very happy. Only bad luck stopped us.

But we didn’t go home empty-handed. The Warlocks, Team 1507, were awarded the Innovation in Control Award, sponsored by Rockwell Automation by the judges. The award recognized our point-scoring autonomous routine that picked up a bin and three yellow totes and took them into the autonomous zone, all in the first 15 seconds without the drivers intervention. The judges were so impressed, that the award was presented in the form of an “interpretive dance” where MC Angry Eric played the robot, knocking over the extra bins. It was a highlight of the awards ceremony.


Al Gritzmacher 03/29/2015

Fingerlakes Regional this weekend

Fingerlakes Regional Field

The field is being set up for the 2015 Fingerlakes Regional at RIT March 26-28 (Photo courtesy FIRST Rochester)

The field is set and teams are loading in for this weekend’s FIRST Robotics Competition at RIT in Rochester. This is the closest competition for Buffalo area teams. The competition features teams in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) which is the highest level of competition offered by FIRST with High School aged students and their 120 lb. robots. Besides seeing which robots designs excel at the game, which is different each year, the students are recognized with awards for many areas, such as engineering, safety, team spirit, and overall team quality including their business plan and community service. They also have an opportunity to meet college recruiters and receive scholarship information. This is the 11th annual Fingerlakes event and 45 teams from Ontario, Maryland, and all parts of New York, will compete for the honors and an opportunity to go to the Championship event in St. Louis in April. The exciting competition is open to the public and free. You can watch the matches and tour the pits and see teams working on keeping their robots running. The event is held at the Gordon Field House on the RIT campus. The event’s web site has full details. It’s worth the drive to see, but if you can’t make it, it is being telecast on the internet. The direct link to the video is http://www.wasapi.com/event.php?id=16 or can be found at the hub for all FRC videos: The Blue Alliance.

Al Gritzmacher 03/25/2015

Warlocks Place 3rd at the Pittsburgh Regional



The Lockport High School robotics team #1507, the Warlocks, placed 3rd overall at the Pittsburgh regional this past weekend. The Warlocks competed against 54 other high school teams from across the region over the course of three days.

During the qualifying rounds, each team played a total of 9 matches, and were paired with random alliance partners and opponents. Team 1507 performed well, achieving a qualification match high score of 155 points. At the conclusion of the qualification matches, the Warlocks earned a qualification average of 61 points and seeded in the 8th position.

During alliance selection, Team 1507 was drafted by the number 3 seed, Team 3015 from Spencerport, NY. Team 3260 was also drafted, in order to form the 3 team alliance that will continue to compete in the elimination rounds.

The Warlocks achieved an average alliance score of 109 points in the quarter finals, which advanced the alliance to the semi finals. After suffering a breakdown in the first semi final match, Team 1507, 3015, and 3260 were still able to earn an average score of 91 points. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to advance to the finals, where 1629, 144, and 337 eventually won the event.

The Warlocks are currently making improvements to their robot for their next competition, which takes at the Rochester Institute of Technology from March 26th through the 28th.

admin 03/08/2015