James Madison Dukes Pre-Nationals Spotlight

Leading into Nationals, we look to spotlight as many teams as we can in hopes of shining a bright light on standouts from participating teams. These glow-ups include up to 2 of each team’s standout rookies as well as a handful of core contributing players that have gotten their respective team to where they are going into the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association’s annual finale. Lastly, we get a glance into each participating team’s mindset and expectations going into Nationals.

Dukes’ Rookie Spotlight

Evan Bender (bottom left), Eli Villarreal (top middle)

Evan Bender
Bender might not stand out on the floor because he is one of the smallest guys on the team. With that being said, he is extremely shifty, hard to get out, and moves quick. His catching ability has improved a great amount since fall semester and could be scary to throw at now.

Eli Villarreal
Eli has picked up the concept of dodgeball very well. On top of being an all around athlete, Eli has added even more heat to JMU’s throwing abilities. Don’t be surprised if he turns out to be a key player during JMU’s nationals run.

Key Contributors for the Dukes

Evan Eschenberg, #10
Esch is a very well known name around the league at this point in his lengthy career. Most people already know his abilities but that doesn’t mean they should go unmentioned. If JMU wants to make a deep run at nationals, they will be relying on esch to continue to perform as one of the best ballers in the NCDA. His arm is almost unmatched with how hard he throws and how he can force  the ball to go wherever he pleases. He has been in the NCDA for a long time without a championship, and you better believe he is hungrier then ever this year.

Nick Spear, #99
Nick spear has been a catching machine for jmu since he joined the club his freshman year. His throwing ability has only gotten stronger and adds another asset to the arms of jmu. With Spear getting elected as next years president, he has taken a much more serious role in the club and knows what needs to be done. His goal is to start out as the number 1 team in the country, and he won’t let anything get in his way of that.

Patrick Kaczmarek, #8
I can’t talk about great catchers without putting Patrick in the conversation. He may be our most overlooked and slept on player on the team. While Patrick doesn’t throw much, you better believe he’s there when we need a reset or waste ball. He’s also someone that dares you to throw at him, as he knows it’s probably going to be a catch.

Michael Cone, #34 and Ben Hoare, #69
These two players are basically the same person. They are both crazy good athletes that throw harder than most of the league. They both know the game of dodgeball very well and are great leaders. With both of them being seniors, they are looking to go out on top. While these guys may get heated with one another at practice, they play as one on the court and are almost unstoppable.

Drew Funk, #33
Mediocre president.

Mindset for Nationals – Evan Eschenberg

“Our mindset for nationals this year is championship or bust. Everyone says they don’t know what to expect from us, but we know that we have the most talented team top to bottom and we’re ready to prove it to the rest of the league.”

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