Midway Conference 2019-20 Preview

*All regional rankings based off the content team’s preseason power rankings

2019-20 Projections:

Order of Finish:

  1. Wisconsin Platteville
  2. Nebraska
  3. Ball State
  4. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  5. DePaul

Midway Conference Player of the Year: Joel Luciano (DePaul)

Midway Conference OT 6:

  1. Joel Luciano (DePaul)
  2. Zach Jung (SIUE)
  3. Jared Colden (UWP)
  4. Damon Huntley (BSU)
  5. Austin Kurey (UWP)
  6. Chad Jakel (UWP)

Team Previews:

University of Wisconsin Platteville

2019-20 Projections: National: 14 /// Midway Conference: 1

Location: Platteville, Wisconsin

2018-19 Record: 9-13

2018-19 Finish: #13 in Power Rankings, T-9 at Nationals

UWP Captains Jacob Sebranek and Chad Jakel, shown here in a match against NSU.

Season Preview: With this team, they are planning to travel to several tournaments this year and play higher caliber teams to better prepare for Nationals.  They are led by their captains: Jacob Sebranek, Dan Brogli, Jared Colden, and Chad Jakel, who have improved a lot over the last year. Their talent and presence on the court will make them tough to beat.  UWP will be made up of juniors and sophomores, which is a good sign for this program as the young players have the potential to move them to the next tier.  

Good News: The good news for Platteville is that they have a lot of returners this year and are not in a rebuilding year. They now have experience under their belt which will help them to compete against most teams in the league. With the improved talent this year, they should be able to pull a few up sets and come up with a few signature wins. 

Bad News: The bad news for the Pioneers is that they are still a young team, and it may be hard for them to stay focused and keep disciplined.  They have to be willing to put the work in during practices even if some of them are not so much fun. If they can not do this, then all the work that they did last year will be for nothing and they will end up being a mediocre squad.  

Our Call: UWP should once again be the clear favorite to come out on top in the Midway Conference. They showed at Nationals 2019 they have the skill to compete with top 10 teams, and their success this year will come down to how much experience they are able to get against out-of-region opponents. UWP has a chance to make some noise in 2019-20.


University Nebraska Lincoln

2019-20 Projections: National: 23 /// Midway Conference: 2

Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

2018-19 Record: 2-3

2018-19 Finish: Unranked in Power Rankings, did not attend Nationals

A picture of the 2018-19 UNL Dodgeball Club.

Season Preview: After last year, UNL lost a lot of talent and will be looking to rebuild this year. They are planning to play in a few tournaments this semester, which is what they will need in order to get back into the swing of things. They are led by their president Robert Gabel and All-Midway Conference Team selections Jessica Blum and Jon Huebner.  These individuals will be leading their young, inexperienced team on the court and will help to keep the team moving in the right direction.     

Good News: For UNL, the good news for them is they have a solid board returning. All these individuals have experience playing dodgeball and traveling to tournaments.  Their board should be able to recruit new talent and train them up to compete in the Midway Conference once again and challenge for the top spot. 

Bad News: The bad news for these guys is that there are very few tournaments that are in traveling distance so they are going to have to make the most of their home tournament and the tournament hosted by UWP.

Our Call: UNL is already off to a good start and has solid numbers at practice which will allow them to focus more time on developing skills and less time on recruiting.  They will only be able to make a few tournaments due to travel distance this year and they will not get much of a chance to compete and improve. With that being said, this unit should make the top 20 in the league.  


Ball State University

2019-20 Projections: National: 24 /// Midway Conference: 3

Location: Muncie, Indiana

2018-19 Record: 1-15

2018-19 Finish: Unranked in Power Rankings, T-17 at Nationals

Season Preview: This is still a fairly new program and has come a long way in such a short time. They should look to continue to improve as a unit and be able to compete in matches with most teams.  They have what it takes to finish 2nd in the conference as long as they get tournaments in. BSU should have a fair amount of returners so this should help them pick up more wins this year than they did the year before.  

Good News: The good news for them is that they are led by Damon Huntley is has sharp arm and can be trouble for teams if they don’t respect his skill.  He can throw throw with full power every time and his throw is accurate and unpredictable to follow which makes it such a challenge for teams. With a more experienced team they should be able to get a few more arms to join them making their matches fun to watch.  

Bad News: The bad news for these guys is that a lot of their success will depend on the type of team chemistry they can put on the court. Creating chemistry between your teammates can be a challenge and is something that takes time. Once that is developed and things click the results are outstanding.  It may be hard for this team to get that chemistry right off the bat, which will prevent them from competing, but they will figure it out.   

Our Call: BSU will finish as the number two team in the Midway conference as they have the advantage over other conferences teams being so close to other schools. With being close to so many other teams in the league,they should get a lot of games in and improve immensely and take their game to the next level.  They will have more competitive matches and they will finish in the top 20 teams in the league.  


Image result for siue logo png

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

2019-20 Projections: National: 27 /// Midway Conference: 4

Location: Edwardsville, Illinois

2018-19 Record: 0-2

2018-19 Finish: Unranked in Power Rankings, did not attend Nationals

Season Preview: Last year this team did an excellent job when they went up to the Platteville tournament. They should be able to bring that same success again this year even though they have bodies to replace.  They will be a strong catching team again and have what it takes to push for the second spot in the conference. They are only going to get better with each tournament they attend and be more competitive each time.   

Good News: The good news for SIUE is that they are being led by Zach Jung an individual with an impressive arm and Midway conference team selection last year who is eager to play.  These guys enjoy the game and seem to only get better the more they play so they will make for some challenging games soon.  

Bad News: The bad news for this squad is that they are rebuilding the team too and it may take a bit of convincing to get the new players to travel to tournaments when there are very few close ones. If they don’t travel and don’t play more games they will not make any improvements this year and finish like they did last year.  

Our Call: This year this squad will have to really recruit as they only have 2 returners, but last we heard they are up to 8 players so they almost have a full roster.  If they can get a few more bodies, they will be more active in the league and will compete for the second spot in the Midway Conference. They are going to be a  young team and it will still take some time for them to catch up with the rest of the league. All their games with opponents with similar skill set will be close in score and SIUE should be a top 25 team in the NCDA this year even.  


DePaul

2019-20 Projections: National: 28 /// Midway Conference: 5

Location: Chicago, Illinois

2018-19 Record: 0-5

2018-19 Finish: Unranked in Power Rankings, T-17 at Nationals

Joel Luciano will be a key player for DePaul this season.

Season Preview: For DePaul, this is a huge rebuilding year for them with only four returners to the squad. They are led by Joel Luciano an excellent player and leader on and off the court. They will have to rely on his skill this year to get the numbers back up and compete at tournaments.  It is going to be a big learning curve for this team come tournaments, but should be ready come nationals.    

Good News: The good news for DePaul is that they have good leadership in place and they know what they need to do to recruit new members this year. If they can recruit a good class they will be back to normal in no time and keep the DePaul tradition alive.

Bad News: The bad news for DePaul is that they have to recruit such a big class and that takes time.  To travel to tournaments you need numbers and it will be hard for DePaul to get out to any if they cannot recruit quickly. Tournaments are the big reason why newcomers continue the sport because they find out how much fun it is. 

Our Call: This year is mostly about just getting enough people to field a team and then some.  I do not expect DePaul to get any wins this year. I do think they will get in more games than they did last year and they will be back up and running in no time with their usual antics.  It is going to be fun to watch this team and see how they grow over time.   

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