February Baller of the Month: Dylan Greer

Colby Briceland: First off, I’d like to congratulate you for being the February Baller of the Month! How does it feel?

Dylan Greer: It’s honestly an unreal feeling. I’m very honored to be recognized for this award and I couldn’t thank you guys enough. It feels good after all the work I have been putting in to my club and the league this year.

CB: You are definitely a deserving recipient of the award, and I’m glad to see you getting this recognition. Speaking of your club, your Ohio State Buckeyes have been riding a wave straight to the top and look like there’s almost nothing that can slow you guys down. What factors can you attribute to your success this season after a few lackluster years?

DG: I appreciate that man. The rebuilding years were tough, but I give all credit of success to my players and how much more effort they’ve been putting in to the club this year. The atmosphere at practice has changed entirely, and the drive that everyone has to win has become apparent more than ever. Also our recruiting class has proven to be one of the best in the league. Adopting old talent like Sam Palumbo, Matt Thomas, and Dan Shackelford, really sets the bar high for where we expect our team to be.

CB: That’s awesome. I’m sure it does help to have some veterans on the court to help the younger guys catch the pace sooner. So that was your team success, but this isn’t a team award. What have you done to make yourself a standout player in a league that is arguably as talented as it’s ever been. What have you done to set yourself apart?

DG: My success means nothing without my team to back me up. Being comfortable on the court, knowing I have my players there to help, allows me to play to my best ability without worrying about being targeted from every angle. Secondly, the best throwers naturally get glorified in the league, for good reason, but being a player who prioritizes strategy and court awareness over raw strength, allows me to outplay opponents who may have just as much talent. Being confident with who I am as a player, and adapting to the other players’ weaknesses, allows me to stand out and come out on top when I need to most.

CB: What have you done personally to work on your skills for the sport of dodgeball?

DG: I got injured. Summer of my Freshman year I tore my labrum and couldn’t throw for a year. This gave me plenty of time to focus on and understand, player’s tendencies so I could outplay them without an arm. Getting my arm back through physical therapy has helped, but that year off of throwing made me realize how important it was to keep focusing on my mental game, and court strategy.

CB: Do you think any of your in game skill and confidence can be attributed to your participation in the USA Premier League, (formerly Elite Dodgeball)?

DG: Yes, a lot of it. Playing in a league where every player has so many years of experience sets the bar high when playing in the NCDA. College is where most players pick up the sport, but the USA premier league is where these players get to show off their skill. My participation allows me to bring back a lot of knowledge I wouldn’t otherwise have if i had stuck strictly with the NCDA.

CB: That’s great. It’s good to know that there are other outlets outside of NCDA where we can sort of hone our craft and gain even more experience. Do you like the direction that the NCDA is headed in? A more informed and promoted league than we’ve ever had?

DG: Of course. The league has grown leaps and bounds from where it was 5 years ago, and it’s great to see it becoming more competitive than it has ever been. I’m excited to see the league continuing to grow, and with the effort the E-board continues to put in, it will get the professional attention it deserves real soon.

CB: What team/s and player/s have you enjoyed playing against the most in your career? Who would you consider to be your league rival?

DG: Naturally I have the most fun playing against some of my close friends, which makes Akron and Miami some of my favorite teams to play against throughout my career. Sharing the court with Adam Pfeifer, Colby Briceland, and Tom Morand during our seasons with elite made the matchup against them an enjoyable one in the NCDA. I think Miami clearly stands out as our main rival in the league. Our dynamic against them has been strange throughout the years; From beating them every matchup several years ago, to getting stomped in more recent years, and now going to overtime against them three matches in a row, makes our matches the most accoladed against any other team.

We’ve got some staff questions now:

Hunter Ford asks: Who is the most underrated hero for [the Buckeyes] this season?

DG: Frank Cerny without a doubt. A veteran member of our team and a captain we will be very sad to lose next year. Frank is a quiet, and humble player, who makes a lot of unnoticed plays on the court. His survival skills and perfectly placed throws makes him one of our most important players, who doesn’t get the recognition he deserves.

Kevin Bailey asks: What are some of the main reasons for OSU’s resurgence this year?

What NCDA rules/policies would you like most to see changed?

Where do you see the sport of dodgeball in the next 10 years?

When do you graduate and what are your post-grad plans?

DG: Touched base on this a little before, but our strong recruiting class and our players commitment this year has set us apart from many teams. In previous years it was tough to get numbers at practice, which made teaching strategies and doing drills difficult, but that has completely changed and it really shows.

Sadly enough many captains don’t know the rules as well as they should, and that lowers the quality of gameplay a lot more than it should. Forcing captains to understand the rules, and making sure they relay them correctly to their team will show the biggest improvement to the league in my opinion.

Obviously anyone who loves the sport as much as I do wishes it had more public attention. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to see the league being televised in the next 10 years. With the skill of players drastically increasing, and broadcasting becoming much more common, I can easily see dodgeball getting real public attention soon.

I graduate in May 2021, after a long 6 years. Don’t have set post-grad plans yet but I’m hoping to work in some position regarding Space Exploration.

Wesley Peters asks: Do you think OSU can sustain the level of skill and success as a club in the foreseeable future?

DG: After we win the Ohio Dodgeball Cup next year I’m confident that I’ll be leaving the club in good hands to continue our success in years to come. Our recruiting class has shown more interest than I could have ever hoped for, and the club will be in good hands with them when our core has graduated away.

Shadeed Drakeford asks: Do you believe OSU is a dark horse?

DG: Do YOU believe that OSU is a dark horse? The NCDA Nationals 2020 hosts know where we belong in the Sunday bracket.

CB: A few more questions:

Chipotle or Qdoba?

Favorite pre and post tournament meals?

Favorite campus dine?

Favorite out of state restaurant?

DG: Qdoba. Free guac, are you kidding?

Pre: Two servings of Maple and Brown sugar oatmeal. Gotta make them in separate bowls though, because two in one bowl would overflow in the microwave and I can’t afford a bigger bowl. Also slap some peanut butter in there. Post: Piada, easy.

The beef tacos from the RPAC are amazing. Other than that though I’d rather leave campus and just get Piada (please sponsor us).

Can’t go wrong with Texas BBQ. Rudy’s “Worst BBQ in Texas” might have the best BBQ in Texas.

CB: If you could recruit any professional athlete to your team who would it be and why?

DG: Aroldis Chapman. Just to see the limit speed of a rubber ball. Or Joe Burrow just because #BengalsAFCNorthChamps2021

CB: Who is your celebrity crush?

DG: Margot Robbie. There’s not even a close second

CB: Respect. Well! This has been a great time and I very much enjoyed picking your brain and learning more about you! Any thoughts to close out the interview?

DG: To NCDA players, please read the rulebook. Everyone else, come to Nationals at OSU on April 18-19th! Thanks a lot for taking the time for this interview and I appreciate you all selecting me as Baller of The Month. It’s a great honor and I couldn’t thank you enough.

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