East Coast Update – Thoughts from an Old Man

by Chris Hess: JMU ’14, former Captain, President, and Founder of JMU Dodgeball

All you Midwesterners out there with your constant scheduling of games and consistent analysis of your teams, but I wanted to shed some light on what’s going on over here on the East Coast.

As some of you older folks may know, I went to James Madison in Virginia, but I grew up just outside Baltimore close to Towson University. As a lad in high school, I never applied to Towson or Maryland because I wanted to get out-of-state to meet new folks. So I took my talents to (South Beach) Harrisonburg, Virginia where I guess we say the rest is history.

Anyways… Baltimore, and more specifically Towson University, was the site of Beltway Bash 2.0 where the usual suspects were in attendance for another NCDA mash-up to see if anything really has changed in the East Coast. And as a stone’s throw from my house, why not spend my Saturday afternoon watching men grab some balls?  Continue reading

BOTM: October

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October’s Baller of the Month goes out to Western Kentucky’s Captain Nick Johnson. Nick just recently led his team to a victory over the University of Kentucky for the 1st time in over 4 seasons. Nick is also the director of this year’s national tournament in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which we talk about in detail. Tune into my interview with him and his thoughts on this season so far.

Jacob Leski: Nick, congratulations on being selected as Baller of the Month, how does it feel to finally beat Kentucky for the first time in over 4 years?
Nick Johnson: It feels amazing, this win means so much to the team and myself. With a young team we were really needing a win and no one better to get that from than Kentucky. Kentucky is a good solid team, and they have had our number and no matter what we did we could not beat them til now. Losing the first point and being able to pull together to get the win was just an indescribable feeling. Outside of Nationals, during the regular season we have only beaten teams that we were supposed to beat, but we finally beat a team that many thought we couldn’t and before this match we had only scored one point. So we were able to get a good win and score some points and as a captain I could not have been more proud of my team.

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MSU Invite Preview

The annual MSU Invite will take place this Sunday, Nov. 2nd at IM Sports West on Michigan State University’s campus.  There will be a bit of a different flavor at this year’s event with two uncommon attendees making an appearance.  Central Michigan and Grand Valley State will join host school Michigan State to give the MSU Invite three Michigan teams in attendance along with Western Kentucky, and DePaul.

An event known to have majority non-Michigan teams in attendance, the MSU Invite will give three Michigan teams the chance to compete thanks to MSU captain Colin O’Brien’s belief that several Michigan Teams participating in this event will only help the competition level.  Here is my preview of what is turning into a very intriguing tournament.

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BGSU Invite Recap

This past weekend Bowling Green State University hosted their annual fall tournament: The BGSU Invite.  The results from this tournament are as follows: GVSU: 3-0, CMU: 3-1, OSU: 1-2, Kent: 1-2, BGSU: 0-3.  Looking past the records for each team, it was an impressive showing for most teams in attendance, especially the three Ohio squads.  Here is my recap on the tournament (listing teams in order of how I would rank them after this weekend):

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Beltway Bash 2.0 Post Tournament

Towson, MD. – Burdick Hall in the Beltway Bash

JMU: 2-0

UMD: 1-1

TU- 0-2 Continue reading

GVSU Invite #2 Recap

Grand Valley State University’s dodgeball team hosted the second of their two fall tournaments this past weekend, and it turned out to be a very interesting day of dodgeball.  In attendance were four Michigan teams: Grand Valley State, Michigan State, Central Michigan, and Davenport (Kent State was scheduled to attend but was unable to make the trip, therefor they forfeited each game they were scheduled to play).

This event did not particularly go as most would have expected.  The records for each team at this tournament are as follows (remember each team earned a win by forfeit against Kent): GVSU: 4-0, CMU: 3-1, MSU: 1-3, DU: 1-1, Kent, 0-4 [F].  Here is my recap of each game played at this tournament which unquestionably proved that the NCDA (especially the Michigan region) is WIDE OPEN this season! Continue reading

GVSU vs. CMU: an “Instant Classic”

Grand Valley hosted their second tournament of the year this past weekend.  Arguably the most surprising result from this event was the game between GVSU and in-state opponent Central Michigan.  The final score was GVSU-2 CMU-1 in Overtime!

No, you don’t need to refresh this webpage, or restart your computer or anything like that, because you read the score correctly: GVSU vs. CMU went to overtime.  This game was certainly an “instant classic”, and in my opinion is the game people will look back on as the restoration of Central Michigan Dodgeball as one of the elite college dodgeball teams nationally.  Here is a recap of what is to this point in the year, one of the best games of the NCDA’s 2014-15 season: Continue reading

BOTM: September

10625062_10204927741612259_6010294757759637175_nThis Month’s Baller of the Month goes to Michigan State Captain Colin O’Brien.  Colin has led his team to a 6-3 start to the season with solid performances both at the CMU Invite and GVSU Invite.
At CMU on Sept. 20th, O’Brien rallied his team back as the last player standing in a game vs. Central.  He was able to make a few clutch catches at the end of that point to help tie the game 1-1 when it looked like it would go 2-0 in favor of the Chippewas.
At the GVSU Invite MSU ended up losing two games, but both of them were close matches against elite teams.  The Spartans relied heavily on Colin’s accurate throw as they competed very well that weekend.
Overall, O’Brien had a fairly productive first month of the season.  He has emerged as one of the most dangerous catchers in the league, and has taken on a leadership role for MSU while continuing to improve as an individual.
I was able to talk with Colin on his early season success, and hear what he had to say about himself, his teammates, and his predictions for this NCDA season.
Kevin Bailey - First off, congratulations on being selected as Baller of the Month. It’s still very early in the season, but MSU looks to be a national title contender this year. What have you done in your first year as captain that has helped improve the overall performance for your team?

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