Buckeye Showcase Preview

Sunday marks the first big tournament of the college dodgeball season! The 3rd Annual Buckeye Showcase will feature five Ohio schools itching to be recognized as the state’s top ranked team. Although we are less than a month into the season, we are anticipating close matches and new rivalries; the Ohio teams continue to narrate the college dodgeball scene. 

So who do we need to look out for? Whose match predictions will prove true? Which rookies should we keep an eye on as the season progresses? And how will these teams perform against their current standings?

Team Preview

The Ohio State University

National Rank: 6
National “Power” Rank: 8
Regional Rank: 3

Standout Rookies: 
Nick Kemer, #17
Alden Prohaska, #25
Jamil Wright, #1
Will Bryan, #45
Jack Robertson, #21

Ethan Lehmkuhl’s Match Predictions:
OSU def CSU (6-0)
OSU def OU (4-2)
OSU def Akron (4-1)

OSU has 12+ returners, along with 3+ All-Rookie candidates. They have experience combined with talent, strategy, and new blood that will win them these matches.

OSU’s endurance will be tested playing three games against quality opponents.

“We felt extremely disrespected by the Content Team ranking 4 teams above us who we were undefeated against last year. We also felt disrespected only having 1 member on the Ohio Region Preview’s OT-6 (OU with 3 after posting a 9-8 record). The NCDA wants to create a narrative that these bottom-tier teams are on the come-up, and we’re here to show that’s simply not the case. We want all the smoke.”
Ethan Lehmkuhl

Ohio University

National Rank: 7
National “Power” Rank: 4
Regional Rank: 2

Standout Rookies:
Asher Hamilton
Carson Gebeau
Keaton Linebrink
Logan Neff

Alex Jonauskas’ Match Predictions:
OU def Akron (5-0)
OU def OSU (4-1)
OU def UC (4-2)

Talent-wise, OU has everything they need to perform at the highest level in the league. They have some big arms, they have some great catchers, and they have players that can do both.

OU is still young and has moments where they don’t play as a team, but with every tournament, we have fewer and fewer.

“Alex and I are too old to be doing this and not be going for the Natty. Bobcats are hungry. They will feast.”
– Caleb Arnold

University of Cincinnati

National Rank: 4
National “Power” Rank: 3
Regional Rank: 1

Standout Rookies:
Will Hyatt
Robbie Mitchell
Tyler Shaffer
Logan Holland
Gavin Moseley

Kevin Skiba’s Match Predictions:
UC def OU (4-1)
UC def Akron (5-1)
UC def CSU (4-0)

UC has 10+ returners. Veteran leadership provides them with talent and depth, and they have support from the 4+ All-Rookie candidates.

UC still struggles with discipline and on court communication, though it is a focal point for the club to improve on.

“We know we’re one of the best teams in the league, and we’re going to prove it this weekend. Our rookies are hungry to make a statement and show they’re just as talented as anyone else in the league. Expect us to come out swinging early this season – starting by mowing down our opponents on Sunday.”
– Kevin Skiba

University of Akron

National Rank: 11
National “Power” Rank: 12
Regional Rank: 5

Standout Rookies:
Carter Crawford
Kyle VonScio
Logan Campola

Arik Kavanagh’s Match Predictions:
Akron def UC (3-2)
Akron def OU (3-2 OT)
Akron def OSU (3-2)
CSU def Akron B (3-0)

Akron has 10+ returning starts and loads of veteran experience. They have promising rookie talent and “nothing to lose.”

Akron still struggles to put pieces together and effectively communicate on the court.

“Results speak for themselves. Akron knows that in the past we have struggled to put the pieces together. We have throwers, catchers, and dodgeball IQ – we just have to put it all on the court at the same time. Akron is eager to see what happens this weekend and we believe we could surprise the league this year.”
– Arik Kavanagh

Cleveland State University

National Rank: 17
National “Power” Rank: 14
Regional Rank: 6

Standout Rookies:
Nathan Noble, #19
Kyle Yates, #90
Katie McFarland, #33
Alex Costello
Mekhi Williams

Leo Rockamore’s Match Predictions:
CSU def OSU (2-1)
CSU def Akron B (3-0)
UC def CSU (3-2)

CSU shows promising sophomore talent, and their rookies have lots of depth.

CSU is still a young team and lacks experience.

“This year, CSU is taking their rightful place in the upper echelon of the NCDA. We are young and hungry – a team to watch closely this upcoming season.”
– Coach Leo Rockamore

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