With two brand new teams and two teams returning, South Region dodgeball is officially back. While there may be some lack of experience, there should be no shortage of exciting dodgeball coming from this blossoming region. Here is our look at each team coming into the young season.
It might seem odd to have a brand new team ranked first in their respective region, but when you have over 2 decades of dodgeball experience with coaches Wes Peters and Kevin Skiba you begin to see why. The Norse also have some experience to guide them on the court as well, as former OU Bobcat Jacob Fleck leads the charge. Look for this team to develop quickly as they climb the ranks of the NCDA.
North Georgia is the only team on this list that attended the 2023 national tournament. This experience will be valuable for them as they look to build off of that performance and pick up some wins this season. Look for captain Alex Phillips to lead the way for the Nighthawks this weekend and the rest of the season.
Kentucky boasts the most recent experience out of any team in the South Region. However, the Wildcats did struggle with numbers a bit last season. If this team can recruit and maintain enough players, they should be able to make some jumps this year. It may not be widely known, but Kentucky is also the defending Southern Dodgeball Cup champion. Will they hold on to that title in the springtime? People are wondering.
The Georgia Southern Eagles may be better known as Phoenixes this year, as they have risen from the ashes to return as a program. This team has not played an NCDA match since before COVID, so it will be impressive if they are able to put together a formidable squad this early. Their performance at the Dattelbaum Classic this Sunday should be a good indicator of where they stand as a program.
Ole Miss is a brand new team in the NCDA. Their first match will be this Sunday, October 8. With the Rebels being a new team, it is hard to truly analyze their expectations for this season. Look for Pryce Bell to have this team continually growing throughout the season as they look for their first-ever victory.
South Region Superlatives
Program on the Rise – NKU
NKU is our South Region program on the rise. This is in large part due to the large amount of aforementioned dodgeball experience that exists within the program.
Coach of the Year
With there being so few coaches in the region, it was not a hard pick to make as Wes Peters is the early favorite for coach of the year.
Biggest Unknown – Ole Miss
Ole Miss is the only team in the region yet to play an NCDA match. It will be exciting to watch them grow for years to come, but for now, they remain an unknown.
Most Underrated Player – Ben Tindall (UNG)
Ben Tindall will be playing to make a name for himself this season as he looks to join teammates Pedro Rios and Alex Phillips on the All-South Region list by year’s end.
Regional Overtime 6
- Jacob Fleck (UNK)
- Alex Phillips (UNG)
- Will Strong (NKU)
- Pryce Bell (Ole Miss)
- TJ Gilkey (NKU)
- Pedro Rios (UNG)