Stryke Force’s rookie season was 2008-2009. The original team name was FLEET. It was a homeschool team with twelve students and no sponsor. Even though it was a learning year, the team’s efforts were recognized with the Rookie All Star Award, the Rookie Inspiration Award, and the Highest Rookie Seed Award.
In 2009-2010 season, Stryker became a team sponsor. As a result, the team’s name was changed to Stryke Force to reflect our sponsor. That year, the team also became a community-wide team and had fifteen students from various schools in Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and surrounding areas. We ranked lower than 65th in the state.
In the 2010-2011 season, the team built a strong core of mentors and had 16 students. It was a significant learning year for the team, gaining a much better understanding of FIRST as well as of the team. We improved significantly in rankings, jumping to 22nd in the state.
In the 2011-2012 season, the team gained a few more sponsors including Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business. Stryke Force had eighteen students from seven different schools. The team worked on Imagery including changing the logo. The team also started emphasizing the business aspect of the team, as well as continuing to build a strong engineering base. Stryke Force won the Niles regional competition as the lead team.
Additional regional awards in 2012 included:
- Rockwell Automation Innovation in Control Award
- Delphi Engineering Excellence Award
- Xerox Creativity Award
Stryke Force also was awarded the Xerox Creativity Award at the state competition. Again, Stryke Force advanced in rankings to 15th in the state.
In the 2012-2013 season, Stryke Force relocated to Midlink Business Park after they generously donated use of one of their warehouse spaces. The team continued to grow as a result of a renewed focus on spreading the message of FIRST in our community. For the first time, Stryke Force advanced to the quarter finals at the Michigan state competition. Additionally, the team was honored with the General Motors Industrial Design Award at the Gull Lake Regional and the Delphi Engineering Excellence Award at the St. Joe Regional. The team was ranked 29th in the state.
In the 2013-2014 season, the team founded FTC Team 7228, Stryke Force Special Air Service. Students on the FRC team had the opportunity to be mentors to the young aviators, and their rookie performance (advancement to the Iowa Super-Regional) was spectacular. Stryke Force gained several new sponsors, and began a partnership with the Honor Flight Program, whose mission is to send veterans on a trip to Washington D.C. free of charge, and receive the hero’s welcome they deserve. During the competition season, Stryke Force achieved one of the highest match scores in Michigan, and received the General Motors Industrial Design Award at the Gull Lake Regional.
In 2014-2015 season, we started off the season with a stable build space, 29 students, 2 FTC teams, 7228 and 8553, 10 mentors, and 18 sponsors. We attended the Kentwood regional where we advanced to the quarter finals, winning the Imagery Award. We attended the St. Joe invitational where we advanced to the semi-finals, winning the Engineering Inspiration Award. At the state competition we received the Imagery Award. For the second time in Stryke Force’s history we attended the World FRC competition in St. Louis, Missouri, advancing onto the quarter-finals with an alliance lead by That ONE Team 4967, a team quite close to home. This season brought forth a stronger bond than ever between the team. This was the first season the business team applied and prepared for the Chairman’s award.