2023 College Dodgeball All-Rookie Team

National Rookie of the Year: Nick Kemer

The Ohio State University

Simply put, Nick Kemer has that DAWG in him. This kid had zero difficulty assimilating into the sport, and it did not take long for him to garner national attention in the NCDA. Quite frankly, it is scary to think that he is only a freshman that will continue to get better heading into the next few seasons. Nick is not only an excellent player, but he is a great kid too. We loved having him on the team, and he is the definition of a foxhole guy. I remember telling him after an early fall tournament that I had not seen a better rookie than him yet, and that sentiment is still there months later. Teams dream of recruiting a talent this good, and I am glad OSU and the NCDA get to watch him for another 3 years.

Ethan Lehmkuhl, OSU Captain

2) Nick Fedewa

Michigan State University

When you think of a guy that can impact the game in multiple ways, it’s not too often that a rookies name can be thrown out. That is exactly what Nick Fedewa has meant to MSU. Early in the year it was easy to see that Nick was going to contribute, he had a strong arm and lightning speed. However, in a matter of months, he quickly became one of the leagues best catchers. Nick was able to become the perfect addition to MSU’s team, specifically their right side, making Alec Deen and Josh Kramer’s job a lot easier. Nick showed to be a huge impact for the Spartans on the biggest stage. He was able to step up after the Injury to Alec Deen. Nick, along with the Core 4 and fellow rookie Matt Barriball, became the OT6. Nick was able to cap off an amazing rookie season by getting the game winning out in OT to win the national championship! Nick will look to lead the Spartans to another great season next year. Expect him to be on the first team All-American watch.

Josh Kramer, MSU Alum

3) Matt Barriball

Michigan State University

Matt Barriball was voted 3rd on the all rookie team for the 2022/2023 NCDA season. All year he had proven to the league why he deserved that spot and more. Throughout the year, his court awareness and catching ability rapidly developed. Adding to this is an extremely powerful and explosive arm that many teams recognized early as a threat. Matt developed into a top player for the undefeated National Champs the Michigan State Spartans. Making big plays when it mattered, whether it was holding down the left side of the court, or winning points with his arm alone, he is always reliable for his team. And you can always count on him to be smiling and excited to be playing the great sport of dodgeball! He is looking to lead the Spartans to another National Championship next year as the teams new assistant captain. This future All-American has a lot more to show the league what he is capable of. Individually and as a leader Matt is bound for great things ahead!

Jack Girling, MSU Alum

4) Noah Conyers

James Madison University

Noah Conyers is a fierce competitor with an absolute rocket of an arm and an even stronger personality. As a rising sophomore, Noah has only just began his reign of terror on the NCDA and he doesn’t plan on letting up. His role on the JMU squad will be bigger and better than anyone has seen and he is thrilled to get back on the court in the Fall. Others schools take this warning while you still can, Noah Conyers has a taste for winning and won’t be satisfied until JMU is back on top.

Eli Villarreal, JMU Captain

5) Alden Prohaska

The Ohio State University

Alden came into his own this year as a sophomore standout for Ohio State. He is a very unselfish player, and one of the most difficult outs on the team. His presence in the right corner cannot be understated, and it would be remiss of me not to shout out Elly Schipfer for convincing him to join the team. Despite being so talented upon joining the team, Alden was a student of the game this year, and it showed as he was voted Ohio State’s most improved player on the season. Alden will be a key contributor next year for the Buckeyes as they look to build on this past season’s success.

Ethan Lehmkuhl, OSU Captain

6) Will Hyatt

University of Cincinnatti

This season has given us a very strong lineup of rookies, and Will Hyatt is no exception. After being recommended to play in the NCDA by Ohio University captain Terence Checkett, Will joined the UC team and became an OT-6 player almost instantly. He’s already established himself as a top threat in the league. One of the hardest throwers on a stacked UC roster, a solid catcher, a valuable protector for his teammates, and already having a deep understanding of the flow of the game, Will was certainly one of the key factors in giving UC their second Ohio Dodgeball Cup and second final four appearance at Nationals. With him becoming a captain next season and graduating a some key veterans, we look forward to seeing how Will can stand out as a player, as a leader, and what he can offer for the future of this club.

– Kevin Skiba, UC Alum

7) Mason Smith

Grand Valley State University

Slotting into the 7th spot on the 2023 All-Rookie team is GVSU Freshman Mason Smith. Smith stood out right from the first practice for the Lakers. His willingness to ask questions and learn from the veteran leadership propelled his early growth. Under the tutelage of Ben Smart, Smith quickly developed and improved his transition play, which made him a pivotal piece on GV’s left side in the 2022-2023 season. His calm and cool demeanor on the court made him the perfect fit to work alongside Smart and Matt Budai. In his rookie campaign, Smith showcased a high dodgeball IQ making intelligent plays continually for the Lakers. In multiple tournaments throughout the year, Smith got timely kills, protected teammates, and played effective GV dodgeball. His dedication to the game and ability on the court was prevalent inside the GV locker room as he was voted the captain for the 2023-24 season. With his current skill set and leadership abilities Smith projects to be the next great Laker and continue the winning tradition in Allendale, MI. Continue to look for big things out of Mason Smith as his college career progresses.

– Owen Israels, GVSU Alum

8) Connor Knott

Concordia University Wisconsin

Connor Knott is the founder of the new, as of fall 2022, Concordia University of Wisconsin team. As someone who had no experience going into the season, Knott was the bright spot of the CUW roster, leading them to their first program win at the 2023 Nationals. Knott has an above average arm not just for someone of his experience level but in general. It will be phenomenal to see his growth over his second season and will have CUW become a sneaky top 15 candidate.

– Matt Barnett, WMU Captain

9) Logan Neff

Ohio University

While he may be better known for his lighthearted demeanor and literally jaw-dropping commentary skills; Ohio University freshman, Logan Neff, is beyond deserving of his spot on the All-Rookie team. Neff picked up a good feel for the sport quicker than most, combine that with his ultra athleticism and impressive natural arm talent and the sky is the limit for this talented Bobcat. Neff quickly became a key contributor for Ohio, with his breakout match coming at the Kentucky Invitational when he recorded 19 kills and 2 catches against Saginaw. He would also see his number called for an overtime against OSU later in the year. Logan loves the sport and the people around it and has made an effort to reach out to other players around the league for advice, especially fellow southpaws. Neff will look to take another step forward in his game next season as the Bobcats attempt to compete for a title. And for what it’s worth, my money is on Neff in an association-wide 40 yard dash.

– Terence Checkett, OU Captain

10) Nick Foss

James Madison University

Nick Foss is quite possibly the most underrated player in the league and is one of JMU’s most valuable returning starters next year. His catching ability is second to none and after not being able to compete with JMU in the national tournament, he is hungry to come back and show the league that he is one of the best catchers to have ever stepped on the court. If anyone in the league wants a quick ticket to the sideline, throw a ball Foss’ way and you’ll get there.

Eli Villarreal, JMU Captain

11) Robbie Mitchell

University of Cincinnati

Robbie Mitchell is the second UC player on our All-Rookie list, and for good reason. From his first appearance at practice, he was shown the ropes of the fundamentals of the game very quickly. Robbie is someone you do not want to underestimate and decidedly so. The man just does not care who he’s up against as he can simply snipe transition players with his quick counter throw or he can just catch you with or without a ball in his hand. Robbie has proven himself as a valuable asset of this UC roster in the middle of the court and isn’t afraid to challenge anyone who comes his way. Look forward to some more clutch plays coming from Robbie in his sophomore year next season.

– Kevin Skiba, UC Captain

12) Zach VanFleet

Michigan State University

Zach the man VanFleet. This guy is definitely deserving to be on the Rookie All-American Team. Starting off Zach wasn’t too sure what to do on the court, but like a sponge, he soaked up all of the advice and coaching given to him and began to flourish after gaining valuable experience at JBBBIII in Athens. The experience he gained there led to more confidence in practice and in other games where he got to show case his quick throws and explosive run-downs. He even challenged himself by working on his catching at practices, leading him to be electric at nationals and establishing himself as a crucial part of the team for years to come. His presence on the court will cause a great impact not just for MSU, but also against other teams showing that he is a force to be reckon with. MSU is in great hands knowing that they have Zach VanFleet on their side.

– DQ McClean, MSU Alum

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