It is January and alumni appreciation month for the NCDA. So I thought it fitting to highlight some of the former players of the Platteville Dodgeball players that helped to make what the club is today. These individuals were broken up by category comprised of different skills we utilize in the sport of Dodgeball.
With the help of Scott Skelly and Matt Bautch, I was able to come up with the following top players for each skill. Thanks to these two for helping do the writes ups for these alumni.
Matt Bautch– This guy had a cannon, and his arm could really pack the heat. What made his throw such a challenge was that he could throw from any direction, so it was hard to eye it up to catch. Anybody that ever played against him knew to always watch for his throw because if you didn’t you would be sorry.
Alex Higbee– He had had arm that always was terrible to go against. It was tough to catch and smarted when it did. When he was team throwing with someone else there was nothing you could do, but hope he missed. His throws would always leave a mark for the next morning.
Johnny Canalle– This individual was a solid player all-round and very aggressive player which made his throw tough.
Erich Stubbe– He was also individual that was a solid well- rounded player that had an aggressive style of play. This style of play correlated to making his throw a challenge to compete with.
Dan Scherer– This man had a cannon of an arm and it was terrifying to go against. He seemed like the type of guy who couldn’t hurt a fly, but you could not let that fool you. His throw was fast, packed the heat, and helpful in preparing the club for tournaments and Nationals.
Joe Stoffel– His catching ability was always outstanding to me. If he could get his hands on the ball the chances were that he would catch it. He could catch from short distances with ease and teams tried to avoid throwing at him because they knew he could catch.
David Johnson (Vacuum)– While he was not able to travel to any tournaments, his knack to get low and catch almost anything made him a target to avoid. He rarely threw so you had to attack him which made throwing at him so dangerous.
Jacob Riehl– This guy could catch. It sucked having to throw at him because he could catch it high or low. If it was in his grasp he could catch it. He was one of those guys that you had to either catch his throw or surprise throw at him because if he saw it coming it was going to go right into his bread basket and you would be sitting in jail.
Jeremy Oney– When he first started out his skill was blocking, but in his lastfew years he became very valuable at catching. In key games, when things were close and we needed a big catch, he was right there. If he went for a ball, he rarely dropped it.
Zac Jensema- has always been a sniper, he was a strong thrower whether it be pinch or not. You had to be careful as if you were not paying attention a ball was coming right for your face as his accuracy was one of the best on the team. If Zac wasn’t at the line, he was planning his next kill so you had to watch out.
Nick Harding- had been a top competitor for Platteville ever since he started playing dodgeball. He had a strong arm and during his career he was always on the front line testing the strong players. Nick’s arm continued to become stronger and with that he started to play the deep range game, throwing from close to the back line and continuing to surprise anyone that wasn’t paying attention.
Matt Stadtmueller– He had a patient and powerful cross court throw that could be deadly. It was a strong throw that was accurate and could pack a punch. When he came to play at our alumni game last year, he impressed me with his throw. It could move, and he loved to cross throw, I just wonder how fast it moved back when he was playing for the team because I would not want to be in front of it.
Sam Vandervort– Sam is one of the best dodgers that I have ever seen for Platteville. I got a chance to see him play at practices and it was always a challenge to get him out. You could throw high or low on him, and it always seemed that he would dodge it. When he came to practice he would wear black and we called him the black ninja because of his quick reflexes.
Josh Canner– Here was another individual from conducting my research that I found out was another top dodger for Platteville dodgeball. He was agile and able to dodge with ease, which is good if you’re looking to keep a team from scoring a point.
Alycia Riehl– I was a freshman when she was president and she did an excellent job of running the club. She was always on top of things and made sure everything that needed to be submitted was done as quickly as possible so that the team could focus on dodgeball. She was easy to talk to, approach, and made you feel a part of the team.
Alex Swedowski– Swedo was an excellent leader on the Platteville team and well respected throughout the league. I remember at his last Nationals, when we arrived at the hotels all the other teams were out, everyone wanted to give him a hug. It took us about 15 minutes to get our rooms, just tells you about the type of person he is. All our teammates respected him. He truly lead by example on the court, showing how the game should be played. He was a competitor, but he knew to just have fun and play the game honestly. I mean in one All Star Game, he wore pink fuzzy handcuffs with another player.
Scott Skelly– Scott, as he puts it, was not very good at dodgeball, but had great skills as a paper pusher. He made sure all the paperwork got in to start the club and continued to find others that could keep the club going into where it is at today. He has been very helpful with answering all my questions and providing me with information from the starting days. Glad he started the club!
Drew Van Asten– As Vice President, he did an excellent job of coordinating fundraisers and helping the Captains with explaining and teaching the game to the new guys. He always played with intensity no matter the situation. He knew when it was time to take things seriously and when to have fun, leading by example for the younger players.
Ian Lehrer– He was one of the founding members of the club and kept things running, but he was just as terrible at dodgeball as Scott Skelly. So his contribution was not skills on the court (Sorry Ian) but needed leadership for a young club.
Brandon Chappell– One of the friendliest dodgeball players Platteville has had. No matter who he was playing against, he wasn’t scared of them and would have a blast even if he got out. He was a big team player and would always try to get guys to go up and work with one another, as going up by yourself is a tough task. To get in the zone for Nationals he would love to wrestle his teammates and play yogio.
Brian Hargrove (Brog)– Has always been a guy to get the team hyped up whether it be in a game or even in practice. In practice you couldn’t help but go for him; he would call you out to throw at him and if you missed you would definitely go back for another shot. Brog brought a ton of intensity to the team and wasn’t afraid to call out any of the top guys on the team to make himself and others better. When he got on a role with catching he would take off his shirt and swing it around to get everyone pumped up.
Jesse Bouffiou– Started late in his college career playing dodgeball, but we sure do wish we had him from the beginning because he had a very strong arm that would definitely leave a mark. Jesse was the guy that everyone wanted to go for as he was a huge threat, but he also would try and get in your head which could cause you to make mistakes. He always made everyone laugh on and off the court, especially with his signature slogan after he got you out.
Tyler Doro- He was a very well round player too. He was fun to watch on the court. When things got serious and he was one of the few players left on the court, he would take off his bandana and throw it to the ground. That is how we knew it was showtime for him, and he was ready to bring it to you.
All these individuals had a part of shaping the club into what Wisconsin Platteville Dodgeball is today. All had their skills that made them excellent players. Do you know any of these players? Tell us about them and what you remember of them. Are there any players you feel could be added to the list?