Happy New Year college dodgeballers! It’s that time of year when the NCDA season really starts to ramp up. We are only about 4 months away from Nationals 2019, and teams are preparing for the always crucial second half of the regular season.
As we break in the new year, and get set for another winter of dodgeball, it seems like a great time to take a look at what some teams should have as their ‘New Year’s Resolutions’.
Grand Valley State
Plain and simple, GVSU just needs to keep doing what they’re doing. 10 Nationals Titles overall, and 6 in a row. There seems to be something in the water up there. In all seriousness, GVSU has a history of being more prepared than their opponents in the second half of the season. If the Lakers can keep grinding in practice, they have a very good shot to make it a 7-Peat come April.
Resolution: Win ODC
The top two teams in Ohio have a pretty simple goal for the New Year. Win the Ohio Dodgeball Cup. Miami and Kent both have the talent to earn the bragging rights as the best team in Ohio, but only one of them will get to accomplish that feat. 2019 ODC is shaping up to be very intriguing.
Resolution: Finish a season strong for once
Towson has so much momentum right now as a program. A 16-1 record at the halfway point in the season is fantastic, but what really matters is how they finish. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they have a history of falling apart late in the year (specifically at Nationals). Towson’s New Year’s Resolution is quite simple: don’t end the season in heartbreak. Make it to the Final Four, and see what happens from there. Reach your potential at the end of the season, something Towson teams of the past have been unable to do.
Resolution: Get a ‘signature win’
Akron has been a member of the NCDA long enough where youth and inexperience are no longer an excuse. This program has been on the steady climb over the past few seasons and I am proud of them for that, but while they can boast steady progress, they have no big-time wins to show for it. The Akron program would benefit so much from a major win over a top 10 team. Ohio Dodgeball Cup and Nationals would be the most opportune times to make that happen.
Resolution: Reclaim the East Coast crown
JMU has long been considered the top dog in the East. But the recent development of Towson has been a thorn in the side for the Dukes. In fact, as of now, Towson is the best team in the East according to the Gonzalez Rankings and Power Rankings. James Madison needs to get back to their usual business of stomping every East Coast opponent the come across. Maybe in the process they make it to their first ever National Title Game..?
Resolution: Win a game at MDC
This doesn’t happen very often folks. In fact, MSU currently holds a 9-27 all-time record at the Michigan Dodgeball Cup. They haven’t won a game at MDC since February 2014 when CMU had 10 players and Siena Heights was in attendance. Safe to say it has been quite the cold streak for the Spartans, but maybe their young squad can turn the page on over a decade of underwhelming performances and grab a few wins this year.
Resolution: Wear matching uniforms for once
Seriously. I know they aren’t the only team that is guilty of this, but for a team that has made four straight National Title Games to never get it together and have matching uniforms… not a huge fan of that trend. PSA to anyone reading: make sure everyone on the varsity roster is wearing the team uniform, even if they have to borrow it from someone who isn’t playing.
Saginaw Valley State
Resolution: Show up to MDC (and other big tourneys)
This is partially a shot at SVSU for skipping the Michigan Dodgeball Cup in 2018, but part just constructive advice for a team with a lot of potential. SVSU has the pieces to compete for a Final Four in 2019, but if they choose to not attend the premier tournaments this winter, they will likely once again fall short of their potential (like in 2018 when they lost to both Kent and VCU at Nationals). From what I’ve been told, SVSU has plans to play in quite a lot of events this semester, so look out for the Cardinals to make some serious noise.
Resolution: Play anyone outside of their region
UNG has stomped their South Region foes so far this season, but have had no opportunity against anyone else. It would be great if we saw them make a trip north in early-2019 (or better yet, some out-of-region teams travel to them).
Resolution: Travel out of the East
Same deal as UNG. These teams need to travel outside of their region because A) it will help their team develop skill and strategy, and B) it will help the Content Team get a better gauge of how good they are in comparison with other schools in the league.
Bowling Green State
Resolution: Beat a top 10 team
BGSU, much like Akron, is a solid team that is not at the level of the top tier schools right now. It seems as if they will be a solid squad but not good enough to make it to the Quarterfinals at Nationals. One way they can change the narrative surrounding their team would be to earn a signature win over a top 10 team. The Ohio Dodgeball Cup would be perfect timing to pull off such a stunt.