I received this message the other day. Mario graduated back in 2000 but he’s still thinking about the team.
From: Mario Azar
Date: May 3, 2012 2:37:20 PM EDT
To: Wayne Cokeley
Subject: Congrats to you and the Team.
Hello Wayne and Fellow Roboteers,
Not sure which e-mail address works for you so I am sending this to both addresses hoping that you will get it at least to one of them. First off Congrats to You, NBTHS, and the Robotix Team on winning the World Nationals this year. I have been following the team’s progress through Facebook and Twitter this year and I am just amazed by all the hard work that the team has put in this year. I know I have been out of touch the past couple of years but I guess that’s what happens when you move 3000 miles away, get married and have kids. But even though I have been out of touch I am constantly thinking about FIRST and our Robotix Team. I have not forgotten about them In fact I still talk about our Team and their success to many different people when I meet them. I have tried to bring myself to join other teams out here in California but I just couldn’t do it. I am a Raider Robotix at heart and I always will be. It wouldn’t be the same experience with another team if I wasn’t part of Raider Robotix.
To the Team: My 8 years of being on Raider Robotix since it first started totally changed my life. Some of you will graduate and move on with your life and some of you will probably stick around like I did for an extra 4 years after I graduated in 2000. The 8 years I was on Raider Robotix taught me many life lessons that I still use today. Hard work was one of them. Let me tell you something but this team first formed and started out we were the team that no wanted to be a alliance with. We were known as the team that had to bring a fire extinguisher out with us when we would be up for our round. The teams that were our alliance in the rounds wouldn’t even talk or listen to our drive team. We were that team that no one wanted around but we kept out heads up, worked hard by learning as much as we can and every time we got knocked down we got right back up dusted ourselves off and moved on. Until the year 2000, thats when everything changed for the team. With the direction of Shawn as the drive team coach, and the financial help from BMS Raider Robotix Shined and we shined very bright. We were picked by Buzz that year as their alliance and we took the NJ Regional and I will NEVER forget this but we all met up in Chilies parking lot and we shaved Wayne’s beard off. If he doesn’t make any bets with you today that is the reason why. He learned hard that year cause after we went to Nationals in Florida and won the entire thing, he made the bet at the airport that if we win Nationals that he would shave his head off. We saw that happen live on Good Morning America!!!!! So Wayne learned quickly never to make bets again with the team from that year on. But going back to hard work. That year in 2000 every single one of us worked extremely hard. We didn’t want to be known anymore as the team that fell apart on the field. We wanted to make a huge mark in FIRST and we accomplished it that year. We were no longer the know as the team that caught on first during the rounds. So continue to honor that hard work ethic and it will pay off in the end as it did for your this year. Since 2000 I have watched the team receive a plethora of awards and you all deserve those awards for your dedication, and hard work that you have put into the team. Keep the team’s traditions alive and if you don’t know then educate yourself on them. I am one very proud Alumni of Raider Robotix and I will never forget the time, and experience that I had when I was on the Team. And remember “There is nothing beyond your reach” (Raider Robotix 2000 quote). I live by the quote till this day. Congratulations on your success and I wish you all nothing but the best.
P.S: Hopefully Raider Robotix can come to one of California’s Regional one day. I will be front and center for sure.