NCDA Commentators Shadeed Drakeford and Kevin Bailey Preview College Dodgeball’s ‘Opening Weekend’

In preparation for the opening weekend of the 2019-20 College Dodgeball season, NCDA commentators Shadeed Drakeford and Kevin Bailey sat own to chat about what they expect from Michigan State’s Early Access Tournament on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. Below is their discussion previewing this weekend’s event:

Kevin Bailey: First off, for those who don’t know, Shadeed will be in East Lansing this weekend to help run the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association’s stream for the tournament. So Shadeed, thank you for taking the time to help run this weekend’s filming. With that said, how excited are you for opening weekend?

Shadeed Drakeford: I’m very fortunate and blessed for this amazing opportunity to stream on behalf of the NCDA. When I found out about the fall schedule, I circled this tournament on my calendar and purchased my tickets soon afterwards. On a scale of 1-10 on how excited I am, I’m at 100 right now.

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Michigan Region 2019-20 Season Preview

2019-20 Projections:

*All regional rankings based off the content team’s preseason power rankings

Order of Finish:

  1. Grand Valley State
  2. Michigan State
  3. Central Michigan
  4. Saginaw Valley State
  5. Western Michigan

Michigan Region Player of the Year: Ben Smart (GVSU)

Michigan Region OT 6:

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Power Rankings: Preseason 2019-20

The first official tournament of the 2019-20 College Dodgeball season will take place this Sunday at Michigan State University. With the season just days away, it’s time to take a look at the 2019-20 Preseason Power Rankings.

Note: this year the Power Rankings were voted on by the NCDA Content Team. Every member was given the opportunity to submit a ballot. Here are our final results:

1. Grand Valley State

2019 Finish: #2 in Power Rankings, 2nd at Nationals

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After finishing 2018-19 at #2, Grand Valley State jumps back to #1 to start the 2018-19 season. While the Lakers will be losing quite a few top-notch players, they still return a strong cast of contributors who are poised to step up and keep GVSU at or near the top of the collegiate dodgeball standings. Josh Hill will take over as captain this year for the Lakers, after missing most of 2018-19 with a shoulder injury. He will be joined by a few familiar faces in the NCDA, as Ben Smart (2019 1st-Team All American) and Alex Jonauskas (2019 2nd-Team All American) also remain on the roster. Beyond those three, GVSU has plenty of depth. Nolan Stanko has been a starter since his freshman year in 2016-17, and will likely be one of the Lakers’ top arms this year.

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2019-20 Way-Too-Early Power Rankings

With the 2019-20 season still several months away, let’s take an early look at the way-too-early power rankings. This coming season looks to be a special one, with so many teams in the hunt for a national title!

1. Michigan State

2019 Finish: #5 in Power Rankings, T-3 at Nationals

2020 is the Spartans’ year! Youth and inexperience will no longer plague Michigan State in 2020, as they will be not only one of the most talented teams in the country, but one of the most experienced.

Starting at the top, Junior Captain Payton Schuster is poised to have an MVP caliber season in 2020, after finishing as an All-American in 2019 as just a sophomore. Schuster is far from the only weapon on this roster though. Fellow juniors Dennis Sullivan, Max Antilla, and Brent Weakland will all be veteran leaders next year. Each of which can be counted on to hold his own if he is the last man standing. On top of that, MSU had a loaded rookie class in 2018-19, so they will bring back a talented, battle-tested sophomore class that will have a major impact on the team’s success. Jack Hilt and Jacob Georges were two of the top rookies in the country last year, and will only be better in 2019-20. Hunter Broski, Evan Bara, Jake Lico, and Ben Traub all made some plays last year for the Spartans, but each will have breakout seasons during their second year on the roster.

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2018-19 Top Rookie Classes in the NCDA

1. Michigan State

The Spartans brought in a loaded rookie class in 2018-19, with both top-end talent, and depth. The headliners for MSU were Jack Hilt and Jacob Georges. Hilt turned heads in the winter semester, with some clutch performances in big moments (most notably at WAR). Georges had his breakout tournament at Nationals where he was a massive part of the Michigan State offensive attack. Hunter Broski showed a lot of promise in 2018-19, and is poised for a breakout season in 2020. Evan Bara burst onto the scene at MDC as one of the top playmakers on the MSU roster. Jake Lico already is putting together highlight play after highlight play thanks to his great hands and impressive anticipation as a thrower. One last Spartan rookie worth mentioning is Ben Traub, who will become a much more well-known name in 2019-20 as his role continues to increase on this squad. Overall, this rookie class for MSU is exactly what they needed, and will be the foundation for success in East Lansing for years to come.

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2019 College Dodgeball All-American Team

The National Collegiate Dodgeball Association continues to expand at a rapid pace.  As the number of teams and players in the league increases, so does the competition to make the All-American Team.  As we have reached the end of the 15th season of College Dodgeball, it is time to announce the players who have earned a spot on this year’s list.  Congrats to all the fantastic players who made the cut!

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Power Rankings: Postseason 2019

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What a season! After months and months of battling it out on the hardwood, we finally crowned our National Champion this April, at Nationals 2019. Congratulations to Towson University on winning their first College Dodgeball National Championship in school history! While this season may be over, keep an eye out for our way-too-early 2019-20 rankings coming soon…

Below is the official Postseason Power Rankings list produced by NCDA Executive Board members Jacob Leski (Director of Recruitment and Retention) and Kevin Bailey (Chief of Content).  Please keep in mind: these power rankings have no impact on the actual NCDA Standings.

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Nationals 2019 Reaction

I’m going to make this as brief as possible, as we have plenty of articles coming out over the next few weeks that will give our content team more opportunity to dive into the details on everything, but see below for my initial ‘reaction’ to yet another incredible NCDA Nationals.

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Your 2019 NCDA National Champions: Towson University!

Towson University is forever etched in College Dodgeball History.

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Power Rankings: April 2019

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What a fantastic regular season! With Nationals right around the corner, it is time to take a look at where each team stands heading into the season’s final tournament. Grand Valley State University will host Nationals 2019 on April 13-14 in Allendale, Michigan. Keep an eye out this week for more previews of this event!

Below is the official April 2019 Power Rankings list produced by NCDA Executive Board members Jacob Leski (Director of Recruitment and Retention) and Kevin Bailey (Chief of Content).  Please keep in mind: these power rankings have no impact on the actual NCDA Standings.

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Nationals Send-Off Tournament Recap

The following was written by Jeremy Brown:

GVSU Still the Best, Towson Not Far Off

This past Saturday, #2 Towson played host to #1 Grand Valley State and #3 James Madison in what was sure to be an intense final tournament before Nationals. This tournament did not disappoint, with each team providing a clearer image of what to expect at Grand Valley in just a few short weeks. For the purposes of this article, I want to first do a brief breakdown of each game before taking time to look at what this tournament means for Nationals. Let’s get started.

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BOTM: 2019 March

Baller of the Month for March goes to a player more than deserving of the recognition. Miami Captain Tom Morand has been in the running many times for BOTM, and this month we decided to finally give him the honor. Tom has led Miami University through a remarkable resurgence over the past few years, as the RedHawks have climbed up the rankings rapidly, and are now considered a Final Four contender. As an individual, he has made some noise this season, with several fantastic individual performances (including a wild comeback against #2 Towson to push the Tigers to overtime at WAR III). Tom is one of only a few players on the 2019 MVP shortlist this late in the year, and has his team positioned for their best Nationals finish in program history. Kevin Bailey and Hunter Ford took some time to chat with this star player from Miami. Take a look at the interview below:

Kevin Bailey: First off congratulations on winning Baller of the Month. You and your team have made immense improvements over the past few years and now Miami looks like a legitimate Final Four contender. Can you talk a little bit about what went into developing this team into what it is today?

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Power Rankings: March 2019

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What a month! February 2019 was arguably one of the most entertaining months in the history of collegiate dodgeball. From the absolutely chaotic WAR III tournament, to the always telling MDC, to the wild finish at ODC, and everything in between, February was special. With all the crazy games we saw this past month come some shakeups in the monthly power rankings. Below is the official March 2019 Power Rankings list produced by NCDA Executive Board members Jacob Leski (Director of Recruitment and Retention) and Kevin Bailey (Chief of Content).  Please keep in mind: these power rankings have no impact on the actual NCDA Standings.

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Michigan Dodgeball Cup Recap

New year, same result.  The Grand Valley State Lakers were victorious once again at the Michigan Dodgeball Cup on Saturday, making it 5-straight MDC titles for GVSU, and 11 overall.  The tournament also hosted four other Michigan schools: Saginaw Valley State, Michigan State, Central Michigan, and Western Michigan.

See all results from this event here. Continue reading “Michigan Dodgeball Cup Recap”

Michigan Dodgeball Cup Preview

The 2019 Michigan Dodgeball Cup is right around the corner, taking place this Saturday in East Lansing, Michigan on the campus of Michigan State University.  As has been the case for over a decade, the MDC will play host to each school in the state of Michigan for a regular season tournament that will have national title implications.  Below is a preview of this Saturday’s tournament: Continue reading “Michigan Dodgeball Cup Preview”