BOTM: January 2017 – Jeff Schwartz (PSU)
Our very first Baller of the Month award for 2017 will go to Penn State University’s Jeff Schwartz. Jeff has been a major influence for their program for a long time, and helped organize the team’s first ever home tournament on January 14th. He is being recognized for his play on the court, as well as for the contributions he has made to his program.
Hunter Ford: So I’ll hit you with the tough question early, any thoughts about being picked as Baller of the Month?
Jeff Schwartz: Well Obviously I’m always excited for any award me and my team can earn together so I want to thank my team and the league for putting together a great sport and thank the board for considering me.
HF: How do you think your role has changed when you first joined Penn State Dodgeball to where you are now?
JS: I was actually working, and still am working at the Club Sports Department on campus and while I was watching the club play as part of my shift I asked to join. Then, whenever I had my Monday or Thursday Shift, after I made sure all my work responsibilities were taken care of, I practiced with the team. I loved it, became better, went out for President and now I get to call some shots, which is always nice.
HF: During your time in the league has there been any favorite major moment of yours, and are there any teams you love playing against or would like to play against?
JS: We always talk about playing Towson, but for some reason they mysteriously never have an extra spot in their tournaments for us. But we’ve enjoyed playing every team we’ve had the chance to and we’ve probably spent and enjoyed the most time with our buddies at De Paul.
Favorite moment- I forget which team did this to us (Black and yellow?) but they had about 4 players left vs most of our squad. And they made a single file train-tank thing and held out for about 15 minutes. Most annoying/funniest thing to happen.
HF: Going forward, do you have any personal goals for yourself as well as for your team this year?
JS: We’ve started getting more into the physical aspect- warmups, drills for skills, so I can say I’d really love to see each member of the team get closer to their own physical goals and use dodgeball as a medium to do that.
HF: Since you got the opportunity to host your first ever tournament, what were your initial thoughts both before and after the weekend?
JS: I did think- “Why haven’t we done this before?” It was a great time, and not so difficult to set up. I really encourage every team to have their first, if they haven’t already. And of course, I felt relieved when it was over- we had some great competition but it felt good to make that happen and meet so many new people.
HF: Do you have any favorite memory as a player?
JS: My team doesn’t stand by me on this one so much but I was in heaven staying at a hotel adjacent to a white castle during Nationals last year. Good Lord, those mini hamburgers.
HF: Boxers or briefs?
JS: ALWAYS BOXERS
HF: Any advice that you want to give to new and incoming players?
JS: Sure. Buy an $8 arm sleeve for zero elbow pain, put a lot of tape on your fingers, Ibuprofen.
HF: Do you have any closing things you wanted to talk about that we didn’t touch on?
JS: Sure thing. Really looking forward to playing as many teams as possible this year, socializing with them, and improving as a league.
While I do disagree with Jeff in regards to his underwear preference, I can appreciate the type of player and leader he is. He has certainly set up a good team at Penn State, and will leave behind a legacy that can’t be matched by many. Look for Jeff and the Nittany Lions to make some moves in the coming months!
Be sure to let us know who we should consider for future Baller of the Month awards in the comments below!