With the rapid expansion of the league in the past few seasons, we have seen more and more talent emerge from all corners of the NCDA. The future of the NCDA is bright, and we’d like to take the time to show off those who represent the brightest stars of the future generation of the NCDA. These rookies have exemplified skills ahead of their years and have been big contributors to each of their programs even in a short amount of time. Here is the NCDA All-Rookie Team:
Rookie of the Year
Payton Schuster (MSU)
Payton Schuster earns 2018 College Dodgeball Rookie of the Year after a stellar first season with Michigan State. Schuster developed into one of MSU’s top offensives pieces in a very short amount of time during his first season with the Spartans. The freshman had a breakout performance at the 2018 Michigan Dodgeball Cup in February, and has not slowed down since. His impressive side-arm lefty throw paired with strong catching skills make him arguably the most talented rookie in the league. His role will increase for MSU next year, as he has taken over captain duties for Michigan State. Look for him to have a big sophomore season!
-Written by Kevin Bailey
Ike Fleckenstein (VCU)
After putting on one of the best freshman performances at Nationals of all-time and earning the nickname “Mr. Reliable” from former MVPs Kevin Bailey and Colin O’Brien, it’s no surprise to see Fleckenstein on this list. However, he has been solid all year for the Rams, and even found a spot onto VCU’s OT 6 squad in his first semester with the team. While he was most notable for his catching ability, Fleckenstein also developed a solid throw early in his career which helped lead VCU’s offense in a pinch. Next year he will serve as an assistant captain for VCU.
– Written by Hunter Ford
Eric Nelson (CMU)
Central Michigan had plenty of star players on their team in 2017-18, but that shouldn’t take away fromt he type of recognition that their rookie Eric Nelson deserves. Nelson was one of the top rookies in the country this year. Nelson is a very talented dodgeballer, with a strong arm that can pick off opponents consistently, and the catching instincts that helped him make clutch plays all year for his team. Nelson’s skills were never more obvious than during their win over GVSU in March when he came back from a last man standing to make several huge catches and throws to bring CMU back to win the point. I expect to see many more sequences like that next year, as Nelson will be one of CMU’s top players in my opinion.
2017-18 was another strong season for the ever-improving East Coast Region. With so many solid teams in the east, the competition to make the All-East Coast Team was fierce. The 18 individuals listed below did a fantastic job this season, and are more than deserving of the honor.
Here is your 2018 All-East Coast Team:
MVP: Doug Schilling (JMU)
Although he ran into some injury trouble this season, Schilling is still well-deserving of the top spot on the All-East Coast team. As one of the best all-around players the NCDA has to offer, he was a true difference maker on the court. He’s the only Duke graduating from their Nationals squad, but he’ll leave a big hole on JMU’s roster. -Zane Durbin
2. Kris DeJesus (SU)
It’s unfortunate that DeJesus didn’t make the trip to VCU to play on the NCDA’s biggest stage, because he definitely would’ve turned some heads. With his strong throw and hands, along with great court awareness, he has the potential to get you out in any way possible. Look for DeJesus and the rest of the Stevenson squad to come out and surprise some people next year. -ZD
3. Michael Hinely (Towson)
Hinely is a high-energy player that you could tell absolutely loves to play dodgeball. As a very well-rounded player, there isn’t anything he can’t do on a dodgeball court. Not only does Towson lose a phenomenal player, they also lose a leader who made a huge difference regardless if he was on or off the court. -ZD Continue reading “2018 All-East Coast Team”
Nationals 2018 is right around the corner! As we get prepped for College Dodgeball’s 2017-18 ‘season finale’, let’s take a look at the new Power Rankings for the month of April.
Below is the official Power Rankings list produced by NCDA Executive Board members Jacob Leski (Director of Recruitment and Retention), and Kevin Bailey (Chief of Content). For this Pre-Nationals Power Rankings list, we included Hunter Ford (Director of Nationals) to give his thoughts on the top 20 teams in the country. Please keep in mind: these power rankings have no impact on the actual NCDA Standings. Continue reading “Power Rankings: April 2018”
In the spirit of March Madness, and with Nationals 2018 approaching soon, myself and other members of the content team have decided to put together some of our bold predictions for Nationals 2018. While Nationals has traditionally been dominated by a select few teams, there is a lot of reason to believe this year could be different with one of the largest and most talented fields in league history. I’ve provided each member’s predictions, as well as my personal brief summary of their predictions. Some predictions are bold, some are not, and others are just downright foolish…or so it seems. Let’s have a look.
This year, the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association will be changing the format for the annual All-Star Game. For Nationals 2018, there will be 4 All-Star teams competing in a single-elimination tournament, each game will be a one point sudden-death match.
How will the four teams be determined? That is another big change for 2018. This year, we will have four player-captains to draft the All-Star Teams. These four captains will be selected in a unique way.
After a series of matchups and polls on Twitter, JMU’s Evan Eschenburg was the people’s choice, coming out on top over seven other talented and well-qualified dodgeballers. Throughout his career, Eschenburg has embodied what it means to be a true JMU dodgeballer, which lead to him being one of the captains for this season. Without a doubt, he has made a bigger name for himself this season and could even be placed in the league MVP discussion. I had a chance to talk to him to congratulate him and pick his thoughts on dodgeball, JMU, and Fortnite.
There are a lot of big names that have come out of the East Coast over the years, but today we’re giving you a preview of those who are on their way. Each of these young players have shown the talent and drive to eventually become leaders of their team, and prominent dodgeballers in the NCDA for years to come. Let’s take a look at some of these prospects.
The University of North Georgia hosted Georgia Southern University and the University of Central Florida this past weekend at the UNG Gold Rush. For UNG, it was a chance to flex their muscles and prove once again they are the top contenders in the South. GSU looked to add to their win total for the year, and prove they could compete with their in-state competition. As for UCF, this was a great opportunity for them to get their feet wet, as it was their first match in program history. Overall, it was a fun and simple event which gave us some insight on the younger programs in the country.
The BEAST has always been an exciting tournament which brings out top level competition and memorable moments for many teams. While this year’s tournament didn’t have the upsets and big surprises last year’s had, it certainly had some spectacular plays and thrilling finishes.
Ultimately, the biggest takeaway is that we are starting to get a clearer picture about where each team on the East Coast stands relative to each other. It was also a good opportunity to see four potential MVP candidates in action and get a better idea of how the MVP race will play out, along with looking at some other potential All-American players.
District 5 has partnered with the NCDA to help sponsor Nationals 2018 in Richmond, VA. The local restaurant has been a popular spot in the Richmond area for years and will be an excellent place for teams to gather Friday and Saturday night. They will also be sponsoring a court and be the official sponsors for the annual Fastest Arm Competition. All current and former NCDA members will be welcome to attend anytime throughout the weekend. You can find their website here to learn more details about their restaurant.
Akron hosted the second installment of The War on the 10th and 11th, and the name could not have been more appropriate. The tournament featured 8 of the top 14 schools, a brand new team in West Virginia, and some hungry teams looking to climb the ranks in Miami and Akron. There were a total of 21 matches played and 10(!) of them were technical upsets. On top of that, coming into the weekend there was almost a perfect flip in teams ranked 3-7. We have described “tiers” in the past to describe the placement of teams, and the 3-7 ranked teams have established a tier that is nearly impossible to make heads or tails of at this point in the season. Let’s take a look at the specifics of what went down in the state of Ohio.
Baller of the Month – November 2017 Kristofer DeJesus
Kris DeJesus is November’s BOTM, and I’ve gotta say, this was very well deserved. Everyone loves a good underdog story, and for many years that has been the Stevenson Mustang’s reputation. However, with all the blood, sweat, and (maybe?) tears that Kris has put into this program, we are seeing the fruits of that labor. He has lead this team to their first wins in program history, and has also demonstrated that his talent level is above and beyond the average NCDA baller.
The kid can do it all. Catch, throw, block, you name it. More or less, the dodgeball version of Boobie Miles. Kris has a big presence on the court as both a player and leader for this team, that much has been easy to see this year. I had a chance to chat with Kris to talk about his success and congratulate him on being our November BOTM.
We have reached a point in the season where we have started to get an idea of where teams stand and what they’re potentially capable of. Sean Smith, former Towson University dodgeballer, and I have teamed up to give our takes and grades from what we’ve seen so far out of the East Coast. For some teams, they will love their grades. For some teams, they will hate them. But at the end of the day, these are just some not-so-scientifically assigned grade based on early observations this season. For the overachiever students out there it may be hard to accept the grade you get, but fear not, there will be more chances to bump your grade up later this season.
The 2017-2018 NCDA season is in full force midway through the first semester. With well over 50 matches played so far during the year, this has arguably been the most exciting (certainly most active) season the NCDA has seen to date. With that in mind, it should be no surprise to see even more activity taking place this weekend at Bowling Green State University (otherwise known as BSGU) (no, unfortunately that isn’t a typo). The following six varsity teams will be in attendance: BGSU, OU, OSU, CSU, Towson, and UK. Although primarily an Ohio tournament, the introduction of a couple competitive out of state opponents gives this tournament a bit of flare. In the paragraphs to come, I will give a brief summary of each team, their upcoming opponents, a few interview questions, and end it with my own personal predictions of how things will shake out.