2018 All-Michigan Team

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.

-Written by Kevin Bailey

4. Kyle Bruce (SVSU)

Kyle is another all-around talent for SVSU.  The thing that stands out most to me about Kyle’s season is that he was able to really turn it on down the stretch.  Kyle had a very strong finish to the season at Nationals 2018, where he made countless catches and clutch outs for his team.  SVSU has a chance to be an even better team in 2019, and Kyle will be a major factor in that.

-Written by Kevin Bailey

5. Austin Brege (CMU)

Talk about players who turned the corner in the second half of the year.  Austin Brege had as good of a second half as anyone in the country.  I’ll gladly admit that at the midway point in the year, he was not one of the CMU players I mentioned as a top performer, but he proved me and many others wrong with how well he played down the stretch.  Despite CMU’s poor team performance at MDC, Brege turned some heads with his all around play.  At GVSU’s home tournament in March, Brege was a major reason why the Chippewas dominated.  And of course, Nationals.  Brege saved his best tournament for last, as he ended up finishing #3 on the All-Tournament Team.  Overall, this was a huge breakout year for Brege.  A lot will be expected of him next year as he takes over as captain for Central.

-Written by Kevin Bailey

6. Payton Schuster (MSU)

Payton is a rookie who first burst onto the scene at MDC with his rocket arm and intense demeanor. He plays with fire in his heart no matter if his team is winning or losing. As others have stated, his rookie class has laid a solid groundwork for MSU in the next few years, but I believe that Payton’s drive for victory will be the key element in MSU’s recruitment in the future. Coming in at #6 in the best region in college dodgeball is no small feat and the sky is the limit for this kid if he can stay focused on improving his game and controlling his emotions on the court.

-Written by Dylan Fettig

7. Kenny Mize (SVSU)

Kenny Mize is the third SVSU player on this list, and another one of the leaders that helped SVSU reach the Final Four this April.  Kenny is one of the top catchers in Michigan (a region filled with strong catchers).  Kenny is more than just a catcher.  His strategic play and competitive attitude have helped him develop over the last few years from an unknown into a top end player for one of the elite teams in the league.  Kenny will return next season with sights set on getting SVSU a National Title.  If he and his team can continue to improve at a rapid rate, that will be a very real possibility.

-Written by Kevin Bailey

8. Aaron Krafft (GVSU)

If the league recorded statistics I would bet a lot of money that Krafft is a top 3 player in kill to death ratio. He is a great survivor and a very underrated offensive player. Krafft makes his living off of well timed counters. He is so good at them that half the time people don’t even know who got them out because they never saw the ball coming. He is also equally effective without a ball as he can consistently make fantastic catches including his trademark fingertip scoop up when the ball is just inches from the ground. Aaron returns as an assistant captain for GV next year so try to remember who he is or else you will be getting hit when you least expect it.

-Written by Dylan Fettig

9. Grant Webber (CMU)

Grant Webber graduates from CMU this year after a very brief two-year career in the NCDA.  Despite this only being his second season, Grant played like a veteran.  Without question, Grant was CMU’s most consistent player all year long.  A very strategic player, who always puts himself in good position to make a play, Grant racked up plenty of kills this year, while remaining one of the most difficult players to eliminate.  I’ll be frank, it is shocking to see him as low as #9 on this list.  In my opinion, Grant is one of the top 10 players in the country.

-Written by Kevin Bailey

T-10. Ben Tubergen (GVSU)

Ben capped his senior year with his 4th national championship. He is an excellent all around player who can throw and catch with the best. He is at his best when pressuring teams from his back line and attacking in the neutral zone. He was a big reason why Towson couldn’t do anything against GVSU even when they had a massive ball advantage. He got so many people out in the Towson game that at one point I asked him if he was going to let anyone else play, he responded with an enthusiastic “I Just want to win coach!”. Ben has been an integral member of the GVSU team ever since his freshman year and the team will surely miss him next year.

-Written by Dylan Fettig

T-10. Kevin Nguyen (CMU)

Kevin Nguyen is not always one of the first players mentioned when talking about Central Michigan, but make no mistake, he is a serious difference maker.  Kevin was a big reason for CMU’s success this year.  He has a great throw that comes over the top and has plenty of movement.  He also is a more than dependable catcher.  But in my opinion, what makes Kevin special, is his knowledge and strategy on the court.  A seasoned player, Kevin is great at catching opponents when they are in poor positioning, and taking advantage by drilling them with a throw.  From what I have been told, Kevin Nguyen will be back again next year for CMU, and his arm will become and even bigger part of the team’s offense.  I expect him to have another All-Michigan level year in 2018-19.

-Written by Kevin Bailey

T-12. Cody Putnam (SVSU)

Cody Putnam will go down as one of the greats for Saginaw Valley.  Cody is one of the most gifted players in College Dodgeball when it comes to anticipation and instincts.  I have seen very few players throughout the 7 years I have been following this league that can match Cody’s ability to run down an opponent in transition.  To draw a comparison, Steph Curry is a remarkable 3-point shooter, and his skillset forces opponents to adjust their strategy to deal with him.  The same goes for the way Cody plays the game of dodgeball.  On a more personal note, my favorite part of Cody’s game is his unbreakable passion and competitiveness.  As someone who considers myself to have an unhealthy amount of competitiveness, Cody is one of the few people I would put in that same category.  The energy he brought to the SVSU Dodgeball team during his tenure is something that can’t simply be replaced.  Congrats on a stellar career Mr. Putnam.

-Written by Kevin Bailey

T-12. Kameron Caldwell (MSU)

Kameron Caldwell has been known for years as one of the most dangerous catchers in the Michigan Region.  This year, it seemed like he stepped it up a notch.  With so many young players surrounding him, Caldwell took on more of a role offensively, and he showed off his skills as a thrower.  Overall, I would say he had a pretty darn good season, as he and his team improved throughout the year and eventually made a quarterfinals run at Nationals.  One of the most exciting players to watch from the Michigan Region, Caldwell will certainly be missed next season for the Spartans.

-Written by Kevin Bailey

T-12. Noe Galaviz (MSU)

Noe is one of the few people who are just as friendly on the court as they are off the court. He is always smiling, no matter if he is smashing someone’s face or getting blown up himself. Noe finished his career at MSU on a high note as I believe he had his best tournament ever at Nationals 2018. He was making clutch catches and great throws in every game they played. His fast paced gameplay was a big part of MSU’s offense for several years and they now have a tough task ahead of them to figure out how to replace him next year.

-Written by Dylan Fettig

Honorable Mention

  • Nick Watson (CMU)
  • Sam Stockdale (GVSU)
  • Alex Jonauskas (GVSU)
  • Bryce Belen (CMU)

Author: Kevin Bailey

Current NCDA Chief of Content. Former Captain for Grand Valley State University (#4).

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