A way to recognize the shining players of the League!
NCDA Baller of the Month is chosen near the middle of the month, and it is referred to as the BOTM of the same month he or she was chosen. For example, a player is chosen on January 15. That player is BOTM for January, which stays up from about Jan 15 – Feb 14.
After leading Grand Valley State University to yet another Michigan Dodgeball Cup title, along with a strong showing at GVSU’s Blast from the Past tournament, Ben Tubergen earned himself “Baller of the Month”. Ben has emerged this year as one of the most dangerous players in the league with a strong and accurate throw, to go along with good catching skills. He has been a catalyst for GVSU’s offense so far this season, and will be a key to their success in a few weeks when they compete at Nationals 2017 in Lexington, KY.
I had the chance to chat with Ben after he won Baller of the Month. Our conversation touches on a number of topics, from his mindset heading into Nationals, to his dodgeball career outside of the NCDA, to the controversy over what grade he is actually in. I even ask him the ever-important question: “Chipotle or Qdoba?”. Here is my interview with GVSU’s Ben Tubergen. Continue reading “BOTM: March 2017”
For the month of March, there will be a different process in place for determining the Baller of the Month. The National Collegiate Dodgeball Association’s Content team has narrowed the list down to 8 candidates. Those 8 finalists are as follows (in no particular order):
February’s Baller of the Month was all but decided four days into the month when JMU’s BEAST VI tournament concluded. It was clearly time to recognize the efforts of Virginia Commonwealth’s team, more specifically, their captain: Hunter Ford.
I had the chance to have a discussion with Hunter, and it was a very telling one. We chat about a variety of topics, ranging from his role on VCU’s team, to his thoughts on the ranking system, to his talent as a ‘Twitter Jockey’, and much more. Congratulation Hunter on being VCU’s first ever BOTM. Here is my talk with the leader for VCU Dodgeball:
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.
December Baller of the Month- Brian Hymel (DePaul)
It gives me great pleasure to announce Brian Hymel as the December Baller of the Month. He is an excellent player and one that you should never throw at alone, as many other teams who have played against him know. Not only is he a great catcher, but he also has strong arm that you have to watch out for. He is definitely a top 10 player in the league and this semester many teams will see why. Check out the conversation below that I had with Brian. Continue reading “BOTM: 2016 December”
We actually have a special treat for this month’s Baller of the Month, as we are awarding a Co-Baller of the Month award. For the month of November it is Kyle Dattelbaum and Liam Bartlett of the University of North Georgia. Both serve as captains for the team, and have had a significant impact on getting their brand new team up and running for the 2016-17 season. They are being awarded for their start-up accomplishments, along with their performance during the Dahlonega Dodgefall Fest.
The October Baller of the Month has been awarded to Towson’s Michael Hinely. The Junior serves as one of the Captains for the Towson Dodgeball Club, and has played a very big role in the continuous improvement and advancement of their program. As a friend and competitor with Hinely over the course of our careers, I can personally say this was well deserved.
The Baller of the Month for June goes to a recent graduate from Central Michigan University: Jacob Leski. Jake was a top performer on a CMU team that finished as national runner-up for the second straight season.
Jake finished up his career at CMU with a stellar performance at Nationals (the championship game in particular). Without a doubt he leaves behind a legacy as one of the most impactful catchers in the NCDA.
I had the pleasure to interview Jake on a number of topics, including his on-court strategy, favorite dodgeball memories, and his future plans. Take a look at our interview below:
The Baller of the Month for March is Kyle Foster of Saginaw Valley State University. Kyle played outstanding for SVSU as he helped lead his team to two upset wins and nearly the title at the Michigan Dodgeball Cup. Kyle has long been a key player for his team and this honor is well deserved and perhaps a long time coming.
February’s baller of the month goes out to not one, but two players!! This months honor goes to Josh Hicks and Josh Wynn of Western Kentucky University. These two fine athletes earned the honor after leading their squad to a 3-1 record at the UK Invitational. Some may say going 3-1 is no big deal, but this squad was previously 0-4 and defeated in-state rival Kentucky at home. Here is the conversation I had with the two: Continue reading “BOTM: 2016 February”
First, the content team would like to apologize for the lack of Baller of the Month coverage. We promise to keep a more updated BOTM in the second half of the season.
But as for November’s BOTM, the Co-Captain of Central Michigan, Zach Bachner, has earned the honor. I said in the most recent Average Joe’s podcast that I believe Zach has been the most improved player in the NCDA this season. That is not to say he was not a good player last season. But I do mean to say that Zach has made the jump from good to great. Going from Assistant Captain to Co-Captain, Bachner also bears a much greater leadership role for the 2nd ranked Chippewas. Under his great play and leadership, CMU has won 10 of 11 after dropping their first game of the season. Zach is a major reason why CMU is one of the best teams in the NCDA again this season. I had the opportunity to talk to Zach about himself and his team thus far this season.
Yes, September ended many weeks ago, but the content team decided that since we have a baller of the month, it is only right that the many rookies in our league get acknowledgement for their immediate contribution to their respectful teams this season. Our first rookie of the month comes from a team that seems to lose lots of talent year after year, but never struggles to be a title contender. Saginaw Valley State University has a knack for recruiting great players and inserting them immediately into their line-up and that is exactly what they have done with Kyle Bruce. Since Kyle is a rookie and has only played a handful of games, he has yet to have a picture taken of him playing dodgeball, so if you want to know what he looks like then you will have to meet him at a tournament or simply look him up on Facebook. Continue reading “ROTM: 2015 September”
This month’s BOTM goes to Wisconsin Platteville’s star player: Matt Bautch. As an individual, Matt had a spectacular first month to the season, leading his team to victory over DePaul in the Pioneer Classic, and then performing very well in the Grand Valley Gauntlet a week later.
Matt has proved to be one of the top arms in the league, but his improved catching is what has transformed him into a likely All-American choice. Playing for am inexperienced team this year, Matt has had to carry much of the load for UWP, and he did just that in games against SVSU and GVSU, where he proved to be the most valuable player on the court.
Here is my conversation with UWP’s star player. He explains his teams efforts to compete against a variety of teams this year, their successful trip to Nationals in 2015, and a ver bold prediction on how far he believes Platteville will make it at Nationals 2016. Continue reading “BOTM: 2015 September”