Stryke Force’s rookie year was in 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 2010, 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 2011, 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 itself. We improved significantly in rankings, jumping to 22nd in the state.
In 2012, the team gained a few more sponsors including the Western Michigan University 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. Some of the regional awards won that year were, the Rockwell Automation Innovation in Control Award, Delphi Engineering Excellence Award, and the 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 2013, 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 renewed focus on spreading the message of FIRST in our community, evident by the establishment of FTC Team 7228, Stryke Force Special Air Service—which in its rookie year advanced to the Iowa Super-Regional.
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 2014, the team founded FTC Team 8553, Screaming Eagles. Students on the FRC team had the opportunity to be mentors to two teams of young aviators, once again leading FTC Team 7228 to the Iowa Super Regional.
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 2015, we started off the season with a stable build space, 29 students, 2 FTC teams (with many inquiries for joining next year), 10 mentors, and 18 sponsors.
We attended the Kentwood regional where we advanced to the quarter finals, winning the Imagery Award in honor of Jack Kamen, Dean Kamen’s father. 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 in honor of Jack Kamen.
For the second time in Stryke Force’s history, we attended the World FRC competition in St. Louis, Missouri, advancing into the quarterfinals with an alliance lead by That One Team (4967), a team quite close to home. This season brought forth a stronger bond than ever within the team. This was the first season the business team applied and prepared for the Chairman’s Award. Although we did not win, the process was very educational and informative.
In 2016, we started the season with 27 students and 13 mentors at our Midlink build space. We attended both the St. Joseph and Kentwood Regionals, winning the St. Joseph competition and placing 5th at Kentwood.
The team advanced to the State Championship and the World Championship, placing 1st and 13th respectively in qualifying, and advancing to the eighth-finals at States and Division quarter-finals at World’s.
The team won awards at every event, including the Quality Award sponsored by Motorola at St. Joseph, the District Engineering Inspiration Award at Kentwood, the Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors, and a second Quality Award sponsored by Motorola at World’s.
2017 was a year of major achievement for the team where we realized the long-time goal of becoming a world champion. The season began with winning both the St. Joseph and Kentwood district competitions. The team was also decorated with the Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by Kleiner, Perkins, Kaufield & Byers at both district competitions.
We continued our journey to the Michigan State Championship ranked 1st in the state and proceeded to win our division and finished as finalists in the competition, earning the Quality award sponsored by Motorola Solutions Foundation.
On the world stage, we won our division with an amazing 14 - 2 allowing us to captain the Daly alliance. We not only won on Daly Field, but went on to win The World Championship on Einstein Field. We also won the prestigious Excellence in Engineering Award sponsored by Delphi on the world stage. This took us to the first ever Festival of Champions, and with an epic comeback victory, we were triumphant in taking 1st place.
The 2017 season was an amazing experience for the team and will be remembered for many years to come.
In 2018, Stryke Force had high aspirations and expectations to meet for the season as it was coming off a world championship win. We started the season strong ending qualifications at our first district event at St. Joe in first place and culminating with a district win after elimination as well as taking home the Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by Kleiner, Perkins, Kaufield & Byers.
Our second district event at East Kentwood followed a similar path as we once again finished first seed, won the event although this time we took home the Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox.
We headed to the Michigan State Championship held at Saginaw State University. Stryke Force once again finished first seed. We battled our way through eliminations on Dow Field finishing in first place and receiving the Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors. We proceeded to Finals and finished as finalist.
Stryke Force advanced to the FIRST Championship held in Detroit. Through smart and diligent play we finished second on Daly Field. When all the dust settled we became an alliance captain once again leading our alliance to win Daly Field. As the winners of all 6 fields battled Stryke Force once again showed their prowess and ended in first place to compete in the finals for the Championship. We went on to win Finals at Ford Field making us back-to-back world champions.
The team finished with a stunning 71-10 record, and once again cemented their position in FIRST. In the 29-year history of FIRST we are one of only 4 teams to be back- to-back world champions, the only back-to-back alliance captain and the youngest team to win back-to-back world championships.