The NCDA season is nearing its halfway point, and as always, there are new players making an impact throughout the league. To highlight these “rookies of impact”, here is a list of some of the top newcomers in college dodgeball so far this season.
School: James Madison
Nickname: Pizza Doug
Hometown: Douglassville, PA
Brief write-up by JMU Captain Ben Sizemore
Doug Schilling joined the Dukes’ Dodgeball team in the fall of 2014, his first semester at JMU. Although young, Schilling has broken through the Dukes’ seemingly endless depths to become a top 20 starter. Schilling’s strength lies in his athleticism, expressed in his ability to make clutch catches and his strong arm; this southpaw brings a unique throw which only adds to JMU’s feared arm strength.
Schilling has shown budding signs of leadership on the court, making him a promising player for the future of JMU Dodgeball. The Dukes affectionately refer to Schilling as Pizza Doug, a title earned when Schilling ordered several pizzas to the team’s first social event. When asked for a quote, Schilling stated “I love dodgeball almost as much as I love pizza.”
While Schilling is a standout among the new members of JMU’s roster, several other new members have shown promise and been featured on the Dukes’ Top 20, including Conner Forster, Kyle McGill, Jake McMonagle, and Zach Deutel.
Name: Kurtis DeYoung
School: Grand Valley State
Hometown: Allendale, MI
Brief write-up by GVSU Captain Kevin Bailey:
Kurtis DeYoung joined the GVSU Dodgeball Club as a freshman this fall, and has already made himself known throughout the league. Kurtis broke into the starting lineup very early in the season, which is never an easy task for freshmen at Grand Valley.
Kurtis has performed well for the Lakers so far this season, most notably in the MSU Invite. During the second half of their game against MSU, Kurtis’s dominant performance helped GVSU halt the Spartans’ comeback effort, thanks in large part to him surviving the entire last point despite MSU dropping GVSU down to as few as two players for most of the point.
Kurtis’s strengths include a very strong, durable arm, accuracy, and most recently his ability to catch consistently. Kurtis is certainly an impact player for GVSU, thanks to his strong all-around skill-set.
While Kurtis has already made an impact, several other GVSU freshmen have seen varsity experience this year including Ben Tubergen, Ben Lafeldt, Troy Potgeter, McCoy Wondergem, and Jacob VerPloeg.
Name: Nicholas Cerdeira
Nickname: Neymar Jr.
Hometown: Rockville, MD
Brief write-up by TU President Sean Smith:
Nick has been a key pick-up for our club this year. He is a solid all-around player with his main strengths being his arm and his great attitude about the game. Nick will be the first to tell you there’s plenty he can work on, but he comes to practice ready to bring everything he’s got, and never ignores any advice given to him by more experienced members of our team.
To me though, the most important quality Neymar has shown is his interest and willingness to get involved with the overall functions of the club. He doesn’t come just to play; he wants to be actively involved in our inner workings.
“Quote: There is no pressure when you are trying to make a dream come true,” – The real Neymar
Name: Bryce Belen
School: Central Michigan
Hometown: Corunna, MI
Brief write-up by CMU President Jacob Leski:
Bryce is a blocking machine. Anytime he has a ball he is shadowing his teammates protecting them from crosses and any balls that come their way. He is one of the hardest workers at practice and never stops trying to improve as a player. He also has a great personality that makes him well liked among his teammates. Bryce made the point winning catch against Grand Valley at the BGSU Invite to put us up 1-0 on GVSU.
Although Bryce joined a team full of returners who are close friends and know each other well, he has fit in well and played his role on the team as a new player and will continue to be a force on this team for many seasons to come. We do not have a photo of Bryce playing dodgeball unfortunately (But possibly after this weekend).
Quote from Bryce, “I am glad to be a part of a team again and to compete against other schools.”