Scott Strickland - Palmetto WFA

As a graduated member of ComBBAT 21… I found myself in Houston this week serving as a mentor to team 1902 while my father went with ComBBAT to South Carolina. I came home from a lovely day today with my own team as first seed undefeated at Lone Star Regional… only to find out on the USFirst.org website (due to cell phone issues contacting my father) that ComBBAT was seeded 4th in Palmetto and that Mr. Scott Strickland, the Boeing engineer who has devoted the past 8 years of his life since the team’s forming years before I ever got the opportunity to join the team.

Scott Strickland represents the best in a team leadership position, and he has helped to shape the lives of countless students and peers over his time with ComBBAT. His devotion has helped from everything from coaching students on the field to keeping Boeing funding secured over a nearly decade long period. After serving 4 years as a student on ComBBAT, I can say firsthand that although I find myself half-way across the country at a seperate competition competing with another team that many things (both big and small) that have come from Scott’s teachings have passed their way on to this team.

The Woodie Flowers Award honors a devoted mentor of the FIRST community who helps to benefit the league, and Scott Strickland truly understands this. By understanding that one human can only do so much, he has found incredibly efficient methods of creating a “family” within the team so that the team acts as one big body, not just a bunch of individuals, and this system has had an indescribable influence on people. At the start of the team, two high schools that were some of the biggest rivals in the state of Florida in every sports competition were thrown in the same room with an ultimatum to build a robot. At first, the ‘rivalry’ was at the center, but by the end of the year members had become so close and, even with the knowledge of how strong the rivalry was, would even trade high school shirts and wear the rivals’ shirt to their own school during the day and over the time the community has truly changed. The football teams may still have just as large of a rivalry, but every year more and more people understand that so much can come out of cooperation, and this would not have been possible without Mr. Strickland’s support.

The skills he has passed on to myself and the members of the team as well as inspiring members of the engineering community at the Kennedy Space Center will continue to spread in ways that can’t even be imagined. I know that I can say that as I continue to go through college and eventually into the engineering community, that subconsciously the lessons I have learned from Scott Strickland will reflect in any work that may come. Congratulations Mr. Strickland, and all I have to say is WHO DAT BBAT?!

we missed you at palmetto. i think the best thing was Scott not realizing it was for him…hope to see you soon bro.