FIM Week 2 Event Preview - St. Joseph

There are 4 Michigan districts this week and I’ll take a look at each event, as well as ranking each event. This is Rank 2 for 2023 Week 2, St. Joseph.

St. Joseph District

Last Year Winners (2767-4003-3452)

Favorite: I decided to bring back the Challenger tier for St. Joseph this week, last used at Milford. This isn’t because there is a large group of top tier teams that were hard to break up, but rather there is one team that is so far above all others that it deserved to be on their own tier. The other two teams that would normally be in the Favorite category, have been relegated to Challenger. As at least one of them will have the challenge of beating the team at the top of St. Joseph, 2767-Stryke Force. What can I say about Stryke Force that doesn’t prove they belong this high. Is it the simple fact that they won the St. Joseph District last year? They were the captain of a 1 Seed, Division winning, alliance at MSC? The fact that they have made it to Fimstein three years straight? Or the World Championships in 2017 and 2018? Before this season, Stryke Force would have been my number 1 team in a Michigan season pre-ranking and putting them any lower than favorite would be insane.

Challenger: Now to the Challengers, as Stryke Force can’t win alone and they will also need a strong opponent to play in the Finals. Let’s start with my number 2 at St. Joseph, 5712-Hemlock’s Gray Matter. 5712 is new to St. Joseph, as they have changed their first event for the past few seasons; from Milford to Kettering 2 in other years. But besides an ever-changing early event with varying levels of success, they have always been one of the top tier teams at Midland, including a win their last season as the number 1 team. Hemlock’s Gray Matter would be my guess as a Stryke Force partner, but never underestimate the power of the home team, as we now look at 3620-Average Joes. Average Joes has been a very good team from the jump, but seem to end up more often as Finalists rather than event winners. Even here at home, you would have to go back to 2017 and 2016, most recently, to find wins at St. Joseph, and both times were alongside 2767. But in more recent history they haven’t been able to partner up and have lost to them or the field, every season since. We will have to see if they can match up in 2023 and win like the old days, or will they get left out and try to win another way, ushering in a new age for St. Joseph.

Contenders: Similar to the Contenders at Wayne State, we have a group of teams very similar in performance last season that should hope to medal at St. Joseph and take advantage of the new playoff model. Those teams are 5152-Alotobots, 2959-Robotarians and 5462-2PawRobotics. All were teams that competed at Worlds, but all failed to make the playoffs in their divisions. They haven’t had much success at the world level, but were very competitive at the Michigan level in 2022, all of them finishing in the top 10 of at least two districts, and all making the playoffs at MSC. I could easily see any one of these three, if not all of them, breaking through and partnering up with teams higher up the ladder, to compete with the best; making St. Joseph one to watch for week 2.

Dark Horses:
74-Team CHAOS
3604-Goon Squad

Playoff Teams to Make a Jump:
9208-Eddies Circuit-14 at FIN District, 8 Seed Captain, 5th, Week 1
5623-Robotic Rams

1 Seed 2767-3620 v 2 Seed 5712-5152

Next up is Rank 1, Kettering 2.
Coming Soon.

Week 2
3) Wayne State
4) Lansing


I agree for the most part, but I think you are massively underrating 5675, they should at least be Contenders after their 2022 season. For one, they did end up winning an event as the first pick of #1 (Gull Lake). They did have an underwhelming ranking after quals for their two districts, but they had a very competitive bot and they ended up finishing 5th on the APTIV division. They did finish 35th in terms of points in the state so they did qualify for worlds but I am pretty sure they declined due to logistics (worlds being like 4 days after states across the country would’ve been a difficult turnaround)

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Yeah, I thought about placing them in Dark Horse, and while writing the next preview I am running into the problem of teams qualifying but not going to world’s to help rank teams, but definitely wouldn’t be surprised if they were on a top 4 Seed. So I figured I put them alongside a team with experience, 9208, as I wanted to limit dark horse tier to only 2 teams. Every year is different, so we will have to see how they do.


I saw that Super84 mentioned our worlds situation, so this message below was superfluous! Thanks for ranking us as ready to make the jump! We hope we are ready!

So you all tonight - Yay more snow!

FYI, 5675 did qualify for worlds, but declined due to the schedule crunch.

Thank you for your support! :+1:


Boy howdy, what a miss! We all appear to have slept on 6002 ZooBotics.

And they are off to the races! Quals this morning should be really fun to watch.


Yeah, playoff team to make a jump… It’s definitely a jump.


Yeah absolutely. They’ve been a decent team over the last few seasons and they’ve been due to have a breakout season. Happy for them!

Match 11 at MISJO will be epic, as designed.


What a great ro8nd of elims. Cant wait to get back in the saddle for Lakeview 2. Killed me missing this one


Just wanted to say thank you again for the kind words and support that the Twisted Teams have given the WiredCats over the years. St. Joe was a blast! Looking forward to trying to live up to expectations in week 4. :grinning:
@JessMenace Also really enjoy reading these previews. These are well done and while not always accurate, they are very inciteful! Thanks!

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I’m trying man. This aint easy. :face_exhaling:

Sorry. Did not mean to make that sound harsh. Most of your playoff predictions are actually quite good. There’s no way that I would even attempt to make predictions like you do. There are just so many teams that can do great on any given day. And we all know that shtuff happens to even the best teams. That’s what makes this so much fun!

No, all good. Definitely joking, I was really close on Lansing but haven’t hit a perfect guess yet, hope to at least have one before MSC. I do it for fun anyways.

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What a great venue and event! The volunteers and the field staff were fantastic. Truly love how large the overall space for the pits are, never felt crowded. Matches ran a little slow the first morning, but by the end of the day they were back on schedule. Video drops to each pit is awesome :+1:. Will definitely look at attending this event in the future.


I want to second this. This may have been the smoothest event I’ve ever attended. The venue was great, (does anyone have a picture of those giant arena size screens?) and the volunteers were seasoned and super nice!


Thanks, on behalf of the whole crew that runs this event! They are highly engaged and have exceptional leaders. Many of them are 3620 alumni, parents of 3620 students or alumni, and current or former 3620 mentors.

Those screens are not a permanent feature of the basketball gym at St. Joseph High School. They are put up every year for the FiM St. Joseph District FRC event by TPC Technologies, whose principal is also the principal electrical mentor for 3620. He can be found field side at the event, where he has been overseeing AV operations for the past ten seasons. This year’s screens were an upgrade compared to prior years – an LED array rather than a projection system.


Additional volunteers from 2767 and 5675 were also spotted during the weekend. Many others I’m sure.

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Anything on week 3?

Working on my shortlists at lunch, the process I go through before writing. But plan on releasing 2 or 3 previews today.