With the rapid expansion of the league in the past few seasons, we have seen more and more talent emerge from all corners of the NCDA. The future of the NCDA is bright, and we’d like to take the time to show off those who represent the brightest stars of the future generation of the NCDA. These rookies have exemplified skills ahead of their years and have been big contributors to each of their programs even in a short amount of time. Here is the NCDA All-Rookie Team:
Rookie of the Year
Payton Schuster (MSU)
Payton Schuster earns 2018 College Dodgeball Rookie of the Year after a stellar first season with Michigan State. Schuster developed into one of MSU’s top offensives pieces in a very short amount of time during his first season with the Spartans. The freshman had a breakout performance at the 2018 Michigan Dodgeball Cup in February, and has not slowed down since. His impressive side-arm lefty throw paired with strong catching skills make him arguably the most talented rookie in the league. His role will increase for MSU next year, as he has taken over captain duties for Michigan State. Look for him to have a big sophomore season!
-Written by Kevin Bailey
Ike Fleckenstein (VCU)
After putting on one of the best freshman performances at Nationals of all-time and earning the nickname “Mr. Reliable” from former MVPs Kevin Bailey and Colin O’Brien, it’s no surprise to see Fleckenstein on this list. However, he has been solid all year for the Rams, and even found a spot onto VCU’s OT 6 squad in his first semester with the team. While he was most notable for his catching ability, Fleckenstein also developed a solid throw early in his career which helped lead VCU’s offense in a pinch. Next year he will serve as an assistant captain for VCU.
– Written by Hunter Ford
Eric Nelson (CMU)
Central Michigan had plenty of star players on their team in 2017-18, but that shouldn’t take away fromt he type of recognition that their rookie Eric Nelson deserves. Nelson was one of the top rookies in the country this year. Nelson is a very talented dodgeballer, with a strong arm that can pick off opponents consistently, and the catching instincts that helped him make clutch plays all year for his team. Nelson’s skills were never more obvious than during their win over GVSU in March when he came back from a last man standing to make several huge catches and throws to bring CMU back to win the point. I expect to see many more sequences like that next year, as Nelson will be one of CMU’s top players in my opinion.
GVSU won their 6th-straight National Title a few weeks ago. Junior Aaron Krafft has his best performance of the year at Nationals, and it was enough to earn him Baller of the Month! I chatted with Aaron about everything from his mindset, to his favorite dodgeball memories, to which Disney movies he thinks are the best. Read our interview below:
Kevin Bailey: First off, congratulations on wining Baller of the Month. How does it feel to cap off the season with a National Title and a well-deserved BOTM distinction?
Aaron Krafft: Thanks, Kevin. Winning the National Title this year was unlike any other year because of what we went through this season to get there. Outside of MDC, we never played to our potential but at Nationals we played better than I thought was possible. As far as BOTM goes, I’m honored to be chosen because I know there are lots of others worthy of the distinction.
The National Collegiate Dodgeball Association continues to expand at a rapid pace. As the number of teams and players in the league increases, so does the competition to make the All-American Team. As we have reached the end of the 14th season of College Dodgeball, it is time to announce the players who have earned a spot on this year’s list. Congrats to all the fantastic players on this list.
The South is a new and rapidly expanding region in the NCDA. Outside of the Kentucky schools, the league has not had much growth in the south until recently. Now, there are active teams in Louisiana, Georgia and Florida! Despite half the southern schools being in their first or second year in the league, there was plenty of talent throughout the region.
Here is your 2018 All-South Team:
MVP: Kyle Dattelbaum (UNG)
Kyle Dattelbaum caps his final season with North Georgia as the Most Valuable Player in the South Region. That is quite the honor, and one Kyle is more than deserving of. First off, Kyle was a heck of a player on the court. He has a fantastic arm, and is very accurate with where he places his throws. On top of that, Kyle has a knack for avoiding team throws and making clutch catches, and can often be found leading a comeback point for his squad. Kyle will leave a great legacy behind as he graduates. He has been a catalyst for the growth of the South Region over the past few years, not just by founding the club at UNG, but also assisting in the recruitment of Central Florida to the NCDA. Kyle’s leadership will be missed next season for UNG. As will his stellar skillset.
P.S. His jersey has been officially retired from use at UNG.
-Written by Kevin Bailey
2. Thomas Clements (UNG)
Thomas Clements had quite the breakout performance at Nationals 2018, proving to the rest of the league that he is a top player in the South Region. Thomas has a very solid arm, and can be counted on to make a big catch, but on thing that sets him apart from other players is his anticipation and instinct. If you ever watch Thomas play dodgeball, he looks like a natural out there, as he moves up and down the court making plays in transition with incredible efficiency. As Kyle Dattelbaum Graduates, Thomas will likely be the new face of the UNG program, and the key to the team’s offensive strategy. I expect big things from the man with the mullet next season.
-Written by Kevin Bailey
3. Zach Frangi (GSU)
Frangi was Mr. Irrelevant in the Nationals 2017 All-Star Draft, but this year he has been anything but irrelevant for GSU. The current assistant captain of the team played a big role in helping Southern get their first wins in program history this season. With a combination of deceptive athleticism and elusiveness he can get balls for the team when they need it, and has a strong while accurate throw to compliment. He is graduating this year, so GSU will surely miss his on-court leadership, but he has definitely helped light a fire for the future of the program.
College Dodgeball is a brutal sport to play. And yet, the NCDA has plenty of tough, talented female ballers across the country who excel in this difficult form of dodgeball. This year, we saw many female players in leadership roles with their clubs, and many more earning spots on their team’s starting lineup. The women of the NCDA continue to prove they can compete with the best players out there, and it has never been more clear than this season. This year’s All-American list is loaded with talented, smart, and passionate players. Listed below is your 2018 Women’s All-American Team:
The 2017-2018 season was a year for the Midway Conference to build and grow. This year the Midway played the most games they ever had and traveled more than they have ever before. With that, it bred some tough competition between these teams and led to some stand out players. The following list was chosen by their peers and here are the top 18 players of the Midway.
Here is your 2018 All-Midway Team:
MVP: Tim Ebert (UWP)
This individual did it all for Platteville. Tim would catch when a catch was needed and had an arm to go along with it. As a captain, he made his presence know on the court and had a killer ball fake.
-Written by Erik Zander
2. Alec Scott (DePaul)
Captain Fluffy, the bearded wonder. I was always amazed on the amount of hair he could grow on his face, a true talent. This guy was definitely my top player in the Midway Conference. He threw harder than anyone out there and was an effective communicator on the court. I always hated going against his throw. They will be missing him next year on the court.
-Written by Erik Zander
3. Erik Zander (UWP)
Despite battling an injury for part of the season, Erik Zander’s strong play has earned him the #3 spot on this list. Erik has been a great leader for Wisconsin Platteville over the past few seasons. He is a big reason why UWP remains atop the Midway Conference each year. Not only is Erik a dependable player for the Pioneers as both a thrower and catcher, he is also a very important on court presence.
The 2017-18 season was another dominant one for the Michigan Region. All four Michigan schools advanced to the Quarterfinals at Nationals, with three making the Final Four. With so many great teams in the region, it is no surprise the All-Region team was a difficult one to earn a spot on. As you will see below, there is plenty of talent on this list.
Here is your 2018 All-Michigan Team:
MVP: Mike Riley (CMU)
Mike Riley capped off his career at Central Michigan with his best season yet. The veteran captain for CMU led them to a #1 ranking in the fall, and they held that spot for the majority of the season. Riley is a great player, with many strengths. His release is as quick as anyone’s in the game, making his already fast throw that much more dangerous. On top of that, Riley has an incredible knack for making catches. His overall agility makes him very difficult to hit even when he doesn’t have a ball in his hands. Any time Riley was still on the court this year, CMU had a legitimate chance to win the point. All in all, Mike Riley is one of the most well rounded players in the NCDA, and he showed it off all season. His talent and leadership is irreplaceable. After the season he had in 2017-18, Riley is now at the top of my list of CMU players worthy of a spot in the (yet to be created) College Dodgeball Hall of Fame.
-Written by Kevin Bailey
2. Brandon Meisel (GVSU)
Brandon has been an elite player for many moons now but this season he showed that he is also an elite captain. He has a knack for learning from prior losses and putting all of the pieces together to win when it matters the most. Brandon’s energy on the court is what drives GV to success. Every game he plays he gives it his all on the court by running people down like a madman, blowing people up with a ball or by making clutch catches. Even when he gets out he is immediately talking to his team from the sidelines and making sure everyone is staying motivated. Next year he returns for one last year as captain of the Lakers and looks to improve on his already wildly successful career at GV.
-Written by Dylan Fettig
3. Nick Hazergian (SVSU)
Nick has had quite the career at SVSU. He burst onto the scene back in 2015-16 thanks to his powerful throw, but over the last two years he has made an impressive transition into being more than just a power arm. Nick is a great all-around player, with a strong arm and solid catching skills. Beyond his skills, he was also a crucial leader for an SVSU team that made significant improvement over the course of the season. His leadership is a big reason why the Cardinals were able to once again reach the Final Four. His competitive on the court, and character off it will be sorely missed next year by SVSU.
For the seasons in the past, the Michigan Region has stood tall against all others. While that still stands true, one region is quickly gaining on their northern counterparts. The Ohio Region is quickly expanding and boasts the most teams currently active in a state, with 9 member teams. With so many teams, it isn’t a surprise that the state has plenty of top tier talent to offer.
Here is your 2018 All-Ohio Team:
1. Jeff Starr (OSU) MVP
I hope this one doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but Jeff Starr is once again your All-Ohio team Most Valuable Player. Jeff is one of those once in a lifetime talents that comes around once in a generation, his unrivaled skill and experience made him one of the best players that OSU and the league have ever seen. This man can do it all, his catching is only bested by his canon that we call his arm. Jeff has seen the Buckeyes at their best, and their worse in his tenure as their captain these past few seasons. When the chips are down, the one player that I would trust on the court is Jeff Starr. One of the most well known and loved players to ever step foot on an NCDA court. Jeff, here’s to you. I hope the rest of your life is GLORIOUS.
2. Tyler Paalman (Kent)
Tyler Paalman is one of the most dangerous players that I have ever seen, and he’s just getting started. This guy really does have all that it takes to be the best. He is the only player in the league that I won’t solo throw, and/or try to catch. His catching and throwing abilities are second to non that I have ever seen. He is truly one of the best players that I have ever had the honor of playing against. Tyler has a few years left ahead of him and I am excited to see how his career unfolds as he helps to lead Kent State to the next level. In his short time in the league and at Kent, Tyler has had a great impact in both regards. I truly believe that he will go down as one of the best to play the game. It is a shame that more don’t know who he is, because he is my frontrunner for Ohio MVP and one of my favorites for league MVP come next season.
3. Adam Hynes (OU)
Coming in at #3 is Adam Hynes who is named All-Ohio a second straight year (#5 last year). Representing the Ohio Bobcats, who enjoyed their most successful season in program history, Adam put together his best season out of his six-year career as well. It’s hard to find players who can gun it at over 70 miles per hour. It’s hard to find players who have a deep appreciation for strategy and the small details on the court. It’s extremely hard to find players who fit both bills, but Adam is just that. Adam is more than just a strong thrower, he has a deep understanding of the game and features respectable hands on top of that. Too many times hard throwers in the league rely on nothing but their arm and fail to grow to their full potential, Adam has showed us in his past two years at OU that there are exceptions to the rule. Being the final year of his career, Adam can walk away from the league knowing that he gave everything he had as player, teammate, and friend to all those he touched. He’ll be missed at OU, but big things are to come for that squad. Farewell to one of the long-time greats of the region.
2017-18 was another strong season for the ever-improving East Coast Region. With so many solid teams in the east, the competition to make the All-East Coast Team was fierce. The 18 individuals listed below did a fantastic job this season, and are more than deserving of the honor.
Here is your 2018 All-East Coast Team:
MVP: Doug Schilling (JMU)
Although he ran into some injury trouble this season, Schilling is still well-deserving of the top spot on the All-East Coast team. As one of the best all-around players the NCDA has to offer, he was a true difference maker on the court. He’s the only Duke graduating from their Nationals squad, but he’ll leave a big hole on JMU’s roster. -Zane Durbin
2. Kris DeJesus (SU)
It’s unfortunate that DeJesus didn’t make the trip to VCU to play on the NCDA’s biggest stage, because he definitely would’ve turned some heads. With his strong throw and hands, along with great court awareness, he has the potential to get you out in any way possible. Look for DeJesus and the rest of the Stevenson squad to come out and surprise some people next year. -ZD
3. Michael Hinely (Towson)
Hinely is a high-energy player that you could tell absolutely loves to play dodgeball. As a very well-rounded player, there isn’t anything he can’t do on a dodgeball court. Not only does Towson lose a phenomenal player, they also lose a leader who made a huge difference regardless if he was on or off the court. -ZD Continue reading “2018 All-East Coast Team”
Another year of College Dodgeball has come and gone. Nationals 2018 held at Virginia Commonwealth was a huge success, and with it came plenty of upsets. For that reason, the power rankings saw plenty of changes since last month as you will see.
Below is the official 2018 Postseason Power Rankings list produced by NCDA Executive Board members Jacob Leski (Director of Recruitment and Retention), and Kevin Bailey (Chief of Content). For this Post-Nationals Power Rankings list, we included Hunter Ford (Director of Nationals) , along with Content Writer Colby Briceland. Please keep in mind: these power rankings have no impact on the actual NCDA Standings. And for those curious, yes the “way-too-early” 2018-19 rankings are coming soon… Continue reading “Power Rankings: Postseason 2018”
It’s been several days since teams returned home from NCDA Nationals 2018. The season’s final tournament did not disappoint this year, with a record number of teams in attendance and plenty of unforgettable games. The Content Team has plenty in store for you over the next few weeks, but to start, here are my initial thoughts from this past weekend’s tournament: Continue reading “Nationals 2018 Reaction”
Grand Valley State University won their 10th NCDA National Title over the weekend. It was also their 6th-straight. Incredible accomplishments, to say the least.
The unbelievable dominance of collegiate dodgeball by one school got us thinking: what if GVSU didn’t exist? What if Grand Valley wasn’t around to scoop up nearly every National Title the league has handed out? Who would be the National Champions then? Which NCDA schools would be the most decorated?
Below is my list of National Champions if Grand Valley was simply not around to win them:
RICHMOND – Siegel Center,E.J. Wade Arena, at Nationals 2018: GVSU def CMU 6-1 in the 2018 Championship match.
Grand Valley State University Club Dodgeball is the National Champion for the 2018 college dodgeball season. At the conclusion of the 59 match event, the Director of Nationals, Hunter Ford [VCU, #4-C], along with the rest of the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association Executive Board, presented the Championship trophy to Brandon Meisel, GV Captain on Sunday afternoon. Continue reading “2018 National Champions – GVSU”