NCDA Mid-Season All-Underrated Team

As a member of the NCDA for several years now, I have noticed that in a lot of cases, the league is a bit of a popularity contest.  If your name has not been mentioned in the past, it is pretty hard to get recognition.  It seems like only the same few players from every team ever get acknowledgement for their effort, instead of a more balanced situation where any player that makes an impact is able to get their name recognized.

A lot of interest is given to the top players in the league, and the annual All-NCDA team, but I am here to give some recognition to those players that seem to fly under the radar even though they are great performers.  Listed below is my 15-man All-Underrated Team for the NCDA.


Albert DePerro – Kent

Albert DePerro had a very strong first half to the season.
Albert DePerro had a very strong first half to the season.

To start off, I’ll go with one of the best players overall on this list: Albert DePerro.  The captain for Kent State is a great all-around player, and is someone who deserves a bit more credit for what he has accomplished as a player.  He has been one of Kent’s best players for a few years, and this year especially has caught my attention as a great competitor.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Albert makes a run at 1st-Team All-NCDA (which will now be known as 1st-Team All American) this year since Kent State seems to rely on his skills quite a bit.

Alex Zajac – MSU

When people think of Michigan State, the headline players in the past were Mike Van Ermen and Eric Paul, and this year the headliners are Colin O’Brien and Noe Galaviz.  What many people don’t realize is how deep this squad is, and Alex Zajac had been an important part of their team to say the least.  Zajac is a very accurate thrower and has developed into a very dependable catcher, making him a strong candidate for the All-Underrated Team.

Andrew Miller – SVSU

On of the best players on Saginaw Valley State’s team, Andrew Miller is an easy choice for the All-Underrated Team.  Miller has been a consistent force for SVSU the past few years, but he does not always get the recognition he deserves.  As a captain for GVSU, I can attest that this guy is a great dodgeball player.  He has given our team headaches in the past thanks in large part to his ability to control the pace of the game for SVSU.  Miller is one of two SVSU players to crack this list.

Andy Lieblich – MSU

The other MSU player on the list is Andy Lieblich.  For anyone who was in attendance for the doubleheader between GVSU and MSU earlier this month, it probably comes as no surprise that Andy is on this list.  He is one of the most underrated catchers in the league, and during MSU’s last match against GVSU, he almost single-handedly caught his team to victory.  Another thing about Andy is that he is one of the smartest players on the court.  He will always put himself in the best position possible, which is reason for a lot of the success that he has.  Andy is an obvious choice for the All-Underrated Team.

Austin Morley – GVSU

When people around the league think of GVSU, the headliners are always Captain Kevin Bailey, Assistant Captain Dylan Fettig, and Trevor Nordberg (all three were All-NCDA last year).  Even Assistant Captain Aaron Terenzi was just a few votes away from making All-NCDA in 2014, but there are a few other players on the GVSU roster that don’t get the credit they deserve.  Austin Morley has developed into one of the top performers on GVSU’s team over the past few seasons.  He is a strong catcher, and one of the better transition players in the NCDA.  It is hard to truly standout on a team full of great performers, but Austin has made a huge impact on his team’s success so far this season.

Chris Thomas – TU

Chris Thomas makes my list based largely off what I have been told about him, rather than what I have witnessed in person or through video.  I am told that Thomas is a great leader for Towson, and that his knowledge of the game is a huge asset to their team.  Towson does not have the ability to travel outside of the East Coast for many matches, so it is understanding that people may not know too much about Chris, but he is one of the 15 players that I will choose for my All-Underrated Team.

Connor Ford – JMU

Connor Ford has been an underrated player for JMU for several seasons.
Connor Ford has been an underrated player for JMU for several seasons.

I have mentioned his name in the past as someone who flies under the radar, but Connor Ford is one of the better players on James Madison’s team.  I have played against JMU many times in the past, and it is clear to me that he is one of their more consistent players, and someone who is very difficult to eliminate from the game.  Ford is entering his final semester as a member of the JMU team, and if the Dukes are able to finally take home the national title his performance will be a big reason why.

Drew Greenawalt – UK

I have only seen Greenawalt play once this season, but he is very deserving of recognition on the All-Underrated Team.  Drew has been mentioned in the past as a great catcher for UK and that was very obvious at the tournament held at Central Michigan earlier this year.  He stood out as one of the top players for UK, and if the Wildcats expect to make a run during the second half of the season they will need a big performance from their top catcher: Drew Greenawalt.

Ian Ryan – CMU

Ian Ryan has made a big impact for CMU so far this year.
Ian Ryan has made a big impact for CMU so far this year.

Central Michigan is a team with a few players that constantly get recognition throughout the NCDA.  One of the players on this team that is not often mentioned is Ian.  He is one the top throwers for this year’s CMU squad, and is a dependable catcher (just like everyone else on CMU’s roster).  While he may not be in a leadership role for their club like Wes Peters, Brett Hadwin and Jacob Leski, he still deserves some credit for how he performs.

Jacob Triplett – BGSU

Jacob Triplett has been one of the best players for BGSU for several years now.  It is understandable that he is not often mentioned among the best players in the league due to his team’s below average status, but Jacob is a great player nonetheless.  Jacob combines good catching skills with a hard throw and good instincts, making him a good addition to BGSU’s team.  If Bowling Green has any chance of making some noise at Nationals 2015, they will need to rely on the skills of one of their star players: Jacob Triplett.

Jalen Gardner – GVSU

I may be a bit biased since I play alongside Jalen, but he is more than deserving of this recognition.  Jalen is only in his second season on the team, but he has quickly ascended to becoming one of the top players on the Lakers’ team.  Jalen is a good transition player with an above-average throw.  What truly makes Jalen standout is his catching ability.  I am very confident that by the end of this season, the rest of the NCDA will realize that Jalen is one of the most gifted catchers in the NCDA.

Jeff Starr – OSU

Jeff Starr has been a strong leader for Ohio State this season.
Jeff Starr has been a strong leader for Ohio State this season.

There are a number of players on Ohio State’s team that are deserving of this, but I decided my pick from OSU for the All-Underrated Team would be Jeff Starr.  Jeff is one of the leaders for OSU, and is one of the better throwers in the league.  He has excelled both in the NCDA and in Elite Dodgeball.  I have had the pleasure of competing against Jeff many times in the past, and I can say first hand that he is a much better player than what he has been given credit for.  Ohio State seems to be turning the corner as a team, and will be looking to make some serious noise at Nationals thanks in large part to one of their top players: Jeff Starr.

Josh Wynn – WKU

Josh Wynn might be a player that many of you have never heard of, but let me be clear: he is a great dodgeball player.  In the MSU Invite earlier this season, Josh stood out as one of the best players on Western Kentucky’s team.  He made catch after catch for WKU, and helped swing a few points in their favor.  I think that come Nationals, many people will realize that Josh Wynn is a top tier catcher in the NCDA.

Kyle Foster – SVSU

I already mentioned one SVSU player that doesn’t get enough recognition, but here is one more.  Kyle Foster has been a consistent performer for Saginaw Valley for several years, and has made a huge impact for their team.  Foster is a strong catcher, and has an above average throw.  One thing that sets him apart is his ability to play very aggressive in transition, and his quick release.  SVSU heads into the second half of the season without much hype surrounding their team, but if their star players including Foster are able to perform to their potential, I expect a strong second half to the season for the Cardinals.

Michael Heller – CMU

The final spot on my All-Underrated Team goes to another player from Central Michigan.  Michael Heller has been a dependable player for CMU all season, and is deserving of a bit more recognition than what he has received.  Earlier this season in a close match against Kent State, Heller was able to step up big for his team, making a number of catches and some throwing outs during one particular point, which helped swing the momentum in CMU’s favor.  Heller has the ability to make very good throws and is another dangerous catcher for CMU, which is the reason he earned a spot on this list.


*Obviously this is just my opinion of the All-Underrated Team.  If you think I missed anyone, please feel free to comment your own opinion.

Author: Kevin Bailey

Current NCDA Chief of Content. Former Captain for Grand Valley State University (#4).

2 thoughts on “NCDA Mid-Season All-Underrated Team”

  1. Another name that is well deserving of this list is Rohan Mittel from university of maryland. Rohan has a top 5 arm in this league. I said it, top 5 Rohan has a sidearm throw, that I’ve seen several times throw out about an entire team. The team feeds him when they have ball control, and will consistently put 2 blockers on him to protect there best thrower. An above 70 mph throw, you have almost no time to see coming. He is a strong reason maryland is as dangerous as they are.

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