As time grows closer to the Ohio Dodgeball Cup and Nationals, let’s take a step back and look at all the Ohio schools and their season so far. The following teams in this region are: Ohio Univeristy, University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University, University of Akron, Bowling Green State University, Miami University, Cleveland State Univeristy, and Kent State University. We asked respondents from each school these questions about how they felt their season has gone and general knowledge about their clubs.
1. Who is your OT6 (please include if they are a captain, rookie, etc)?
2. Anything notable go well for you at these tournaments? Anything you need to improve on?
3. Any changes for your team heading into the spring semester?
4. Which tournament are you most excited for this spring?
5. What team would you most like to play?
6. Do you have any rising players on your team you’d like to give a shoutout?
7. How will your team do this spring?
8. Please list 3 players you think should be on AA and womens AA (not including your team).
9. Please list 1 rookie youve been impressed by (not including your team).
10. Please give us your thoughts on 1 team ranked above you and 1 team ranked below you.
Ohio University (11-4)-Terence Checkett
OT6: Terence Checkett, Caleb Arnold (C), Alex Jonauskas (C), Max Stoeckel (C), Garrett Carbullido (C), Daniel Van Fleet.
2. We played a lot of games and a lot of teams. We have had a lot of success in our own region against teams we struggled with last year like OSU and UC. However, when we played new and stronger opponents like MSU and JMU, we stiffled. Overall, a successful first semester.
3. We’re changing things up a bit when it comes to playing the hyper-athletic teams like MSU and JMU and we’re looking forward to it, hopefully getting a key starter back from his semester in Paris.
4. Beast, ODC, and obviously hosting nationals as well.
5. We want MSU again.
6. Rookie Logan Neff has continued to make big strides in practice and matches. Keaton Linebrink, another rookie, has also drastically improved since his first tournament.
7. We truly believe we can hold two trophies by the end of the season, we’ve been working harder than ever and we’re ready to defend our court come April.
8. Jack Girling, Cory Heitman, Evan Eschenburg, Elly Schipfer, and Alexis Schultz.
9. Will Hyatt
10. MSU is a team that was simply better than us the first time we played. We changed somethings to our gameplan and are confident in our ability to hang in there with them and come out with a different result. Bowling Green is a team that has stood out to me, they’ve played several teams ranked above them to extremely close games and have not appeared to miss a beat after losing 2 strong player and court leaders from last year.
University of Cincinnati (9-4)- Coach Wes Peters.
OT6: Cory Heitmann (C), Brett Liming, Brannon McGinn, Matt Rosinski, Will Hyatt (Freshman), Jacob Weber/Ryan Engelman (Situational Decision)
2. Positive record, no bad losses, lot of rookie experience gained, figuring out a team identity and gameplan to improve in the Spring.
3. Lack of energy/execution of fundamentals (hitting targets, taking bad outs, etc.). Lack of team cohesion/chemistry throughout the semester, though we believe we’ve figured things out and are moving forward together.
4. Most excited for JMU BEAST. We want to play a bunch of teams we rarely get a chance to play, and also to see how we stack up against JMU, a top 2 or 3 team in the NCDA right now.
5. JMU. And another shot at Ohio at ODC hopefully.
6. We’re excited about our entire rookie class as we think we’ve managed to recruit 7-8 definite starters for us for next season, but we need to highlight 3 in particular.
Will Hyatt – Monster arm, great athleticism especially for his size, and is extremely coachable. Seriously, you tell him something and he immediately goes and does it/makes the adjustment/etc. It’s uncanny. Spoiler alert if he reads this, but he will be an OT6 player for us in the spring.
Robbie Mitchell – Has made an immediate impact for us as well, most immediately with clutch catching and over the course of the semester has developed into a really capable arm as well. Super athletic, smart player.
Tyler Shaffer – Tall, lanky lefty who loves to let throws rip on the court. He’s made strides with catching and his court awareness that haven’t gone unnoticed but is still unpolished in that regard. Can’t wait to see him put it together this semester and make his presence known to every team we face
8. 3 Mens Players: Jack Girling, Caleb Arnold, Evan Eschenburg
3 Womens Players: Elly Schipfer, Vanessa Hudson, Alexis Schultz
9. Nick Kemer (OSU). Already a top 5 Nick in NCDA history (go ahead, think of 5 better Nick’s). Strong arm, and picked up dodgeball from the jump, as evidenced at the Buckeye Invitational in late September. Super smart, talented player for the Buckeyes. They’ve gotta be pumped to have that guy on their roster.
10. 1 Team Above: MSU. We’ve already mentioned JMU and Ohio as teams we are excited to play, but MSU is a rematch we want as well. We played them in their first match of the season and played them close, and while they’ve clearly continued to improve, we think we have too and look forward to seeing them again down the road.
1 Team Below: UNL – Not sure how everyone stays sleeping on them. It’s super unfortunate they haven’t been able to play any teams outside of UWP, CSU, CUW, WMU. We’d love the opportunity to face them. Definite sleeper pick to make the final 4 at nationals or better.
The Ohio State University (13-5)- Ryan Ginsberg.
OT6- Ryan Ginsberg (C), Ethan Lehmkuhl (C), Evan Utterback (C), Ben Dardia (C), Nick Kemer (R), Elijah Thomas/Derrek Kemper.
2. Went well: played the most games in the NCDA (15) which led to valueable experience for young players, defeated every team that is ranked outside the top 5, using strategy to obtain ball control, catching in crucial moments. Struggles: losing every match against a team in the top 5, missing throws on open targets leading to missed kills that should be made, starting off games slowly leading to deficits that are tough to come back from.
3. Changes for the spring will include focusing on improving and correcting the mistakes we made in our close losses and using the experience our young players gained to play better as a team overall. We believe this semester there is not a team we can’t beat and we have expectations to win ODC and compete for a title at Nationals.
6. Our rookie class has balled out the whole fall semester. The first rookie is Nick Kemer, to start the year he was going to accompany Ethan Lehmkuhl in the left corner. After an injury to Ryan Ginsberg in the first match of the year caused him to not be able to throw, he was moved to the right corner to lead that side. All he has done there is make the right corner a huge strength for OSU. He is joined in the right corner by Alden Prohaska, another rookie with a strong arm and an ability to catch in the clutch. The two rookies have learned the game together and play with great chemistry. Other rookies in the starting lineup include Jack Robertson and Will Bryan, both with great catching and blocking abilites. Ethan Lehmkuhl and Elijah Thomas are two second year players that are making huge leaps in their game. Ethan now mans the left corner, taking plenty of throws and hitting many opposing players. Elijah can play all over the court and do it all, protect teammates, make reset throws, diving catches, and obtain loose balls in the middle. This team is very young with more than half the roster being in their first or second year, meaning this team will only continue to improve.
7. We will not let anyone raise an ODC trophy on our court.
8. Mens AA: Jack Girling, Evan Eschenburg, Ben Smart – Womens AA: Alexis Schultz, Elly Schipfer, Vanessa Hudson.
9. Will Hyatt from UC is a rookie that has impressed. His strong arm has been an important piece for UC. He has shown the ability to be accurate with his strong throw leading to many kills for the Bearcats.
10. MSU has shown that they are the team to beat even though they have only played 8 matches so far this year. They have handled many of the top teams in the league with ease and should be seen as the favorites to win the national championship. SVSU’s record doesn’t tell the story of how good this team really is, they have been short handed at some tournaments and have also faced a really difficult schedule in the fall semester. With a full roster, expect this team to make some noise and shock some fans.
University of Akron (11-6)- Nicole Cutich.
OT6- Clay Egleston, Matt Young, Jeremy Faircloth with the other three rotating but usually being PJ Antalek, Kyle VonScio, and Ryan Curtis
2. Something that went well for us in the fall was our ability to use the whole team rather than have just a few players to run the show. We also did a good job at not giving up if we ever lost the first point of a game. Something we need to work on is communication because we already work so well as a team and have such great chemisty that once we can all be on the same page with what we’re doing its gonna be hard to stop us.
4. we’re really excited for the War on March 4th, its always fun to host and its super exciting that we have so many teams interested in coming out. We’re also very excited for any womans matches that might happen because the dodgettes just won the woman’s tournament and are eager for more wins.
5. We are hoping for a game against SVSU because we fell short against them at the war last year and were very disappointed so we’re ready to make up for that.
7. This Spring we’re going to continue to surprise everyone and prove that we are absolutely a threat and have some of the best team chemistry in the league.
8. Cory Heitman, Caleb Newell, Ryan Ginsberg, Kathryn Mays, Elly Schipfer, and Sky Thornsberry.
9. Nick Kemer
Bowling Green State University (3-6)-Evan Brown (EB), Joey Irwin (JI)
OT6- Joey Irwin (Captain/Senior), Easton Huffman (President/Senior), Evan Brown (Captain/Sophomore) Evan Manyard (Sophomore), Josh Boyers (Sophomore), Tyler Webb (Junior).
2. What went well for us at these tournaments was that we were able to hang and compete with quality teams that people wouldn’t have expected. What we need to improve on is being able to close out more games against quality teams. -EB
At the OU tournament I really had my “coming out” day. I have been playing since my freshman year but always played a controlled role on the team. When you have players like Cole Wilson, Max Vincent, and Gabe Carrington on your team, your main focus is filling any gap they might have to create a cohesive team. Well, this year being a senior and a captain, I had the mentality that I am a leader of the team and I need to step up my game. This tournament I went out there and I caught the most balls in a single tournament that I have ever caught and was finally throwing the ball like I wanted. As a team, we can improve on making smart plays. Sometimes we play hero ball and get out of position and that doesn’t benefit the team in any way. – JI
3. With Joey back and healthy, he will be a great boost to the team. The things that we want to emphasize for next semester are our catching and decision making skills. Those things both are what held us back from winning more games. – EB
4. Easily ODC. I’ve wanted to win ODC since the day I started playing. We’ve performed well and come close but have not gotten there in my career, so I am hoping to go into ODC and win that trophy.- JI
5. There are a few teams that I would love to play. The first two are UC and Akron. Last time that I personally played UC, despite all predictions we took them to OT. We ended up losing in OT but I want another crack at them. I want to face Akron because I feel like they are a great team, but I think that we beat ourselves when we played them. I want to go in and beat this team. The last team I’d love to play again if we go the chance is Penn State. At Nationals last year we beat Penn State in the Round Robin but lost to them in the round of 16. No beef with the team, just want to see what happens. – JI
I would really like to play MSU because I have never gotten to play them and would like the challenge they bring on the court as a top team in the league. – EB
6. Like I said earlier I got hurt so I haven’t been around the team as much as I wanted but there are definitely players who are performing really well. Dalton and AJ are rookies but have done really well at picking up the game and exceeding all expectations. Also, I think it’s almost a no brainer for me to mention Evan Brown. He is a sophomore who recently won baller of the month. Someone from BGSU hasn’t done that in a very long time. He has stepped up and become a vocal leader of this team and to see where he has grown from his freshman season is awesome. I am very proud to see Evan do so well. – JI
A couple players that I would love to give a shoutout are Evan Manyard and Josh Boyers. Evan I feel is one of the more underrated dodgeball players in this league. I feel his ability to make any throw with his deadly accuracy and his ability to make catches at any time always make him a threat on the court. The sky is really the limit with Evan and I can’t wait to see him try and reach his top potential. Josh Boyers is also a guy I feel is underrated for not only our team but also the league. He can make any catch at any time. If someone is single throwing him then I feel bad for them because he is definitely one of the best catchers in the league. That matched with his ability to keep a nice low throw that can snipe some feet make him a very deadly player for years to come.- EB
7. I’ll put it as simply as I can, the rankings… not accurate. We are better than 11. You’ll see. – JI
This team will leave everything on the court and will surprise a lot of people by the way we finish this year. – EB
8. Joe barber, Evan Eichenburg, and Pj Antalek I believe deserve to be all americans. I could go on and on about their skill level. They can all throw the ball at an elite level (some with both arms) and can catch anyone in the league. What really stands out to me from watching them is their ability to lead their teams. For womens All American team I believe that Nicole Cutich, Elly Schipfer, and Annie Larson. They all have an ability to lead their team and make clutch plays throughout points. What truly makes these players special for their team is that they can make a catch at any second, and against anyone. – EB
9. A rookie I have been impressed with and I feel everyone has been impressed with is Nick Kemer. He has a solid throw and has a lot of awareness for a rookie, and will definitely be fun to watch in the NCDA for years to come. – EB
10. One team that I am really impressed with is Platteville. They have grown tremendously since last season and I can’t wait to hopefully have another crack at them. Additionally, Miami seems to have improved a lot from last year, so props to them. – JI
A team that I am always impressed by that is ahead of us would definitely have to be JMU. After getting to watch them play GVSU earlier in the year and the way they played them was very eye opening. They did everything well, whether it was catching or throwing. Their team looked to have great chemistry on the court and I am always very impressed with their playstyle.
A team that might not get as much recognition as they probably should is Miami. I have been very impressed by how much better they have gotten as a team. Considering they lost a big player and captain, Jake and Anna, from last year. I have been impressed by the captains on their team and how much they have been able to improve in all aspects of the game since last year. I feel in the future they could be a fun team to watch. – EB
University of Miami (OH) (6-7)- Elly Schipfer.
OT6- We’ll know if we get there!
2. It felt really good to get some wins this semester, and we feel like we shown improvement with every game. There’s been numerous games when we’ve only lost by 1, and when playing Akron at JBBB the score was 2-2 at one point. So the growth is there, and we believe more wins are gonna come. As a team, we just need to continue working on being cohesive and staying aggressive the entire game.
3. We don’t have big changes planned, just going to keep improving.
4. We’re pumped for ODC, we didn’t go last year due to low numbers, so we’re ready to see how we perform. WAR will be really cool too, because so many teams have talked about going. It’ll be a good chance to play some new teams before nationals.
5. We’re wanting to play OSU this semester. The last time we played each other was ODC in 2020, so it’ll be fun to have that match up.
6. Many of our players continue improving. Jason Zepahua (3), Max Edling (8) Jay Patel (18), John Rick (11), and captains Connor Smith (13), and Katie Mei (2).
7. Have you ever seen the movie “Moneyball”?
8. Reni Kaiser (BGSU), Sky Thornsberry (CSU), Vanessa Hudson (Kent), Ryan Engelmann (UC), Colby Chohrach (UNL), Barry Butler III (MSU).
9. Dalton Curren from BGSU.
10. We hope to get to play BG again this semester, it was a close matchup at the Redhawk Classic. For such a young team, the players each seem to have their respective roles, so they do well together. CSU is about to become an entirely new team, with Kathryn coming back to play. Combined with their current players, like Sky who is a catching machine, they’re going to get some wins.
Cleveland State University (5-14)- Leon Rockamore.
OT6-Sky Thornsberry (Captain), William McCartney (Captain), Antonie Lamar, Nathan Nobel (rookie), Alex Costello (rookie), Sam Durno (rookie)
2. Everything has been going well for tournaments. We need to improve on communication and that’s something captains are still learning to do. Callouts will also be huge.
3. We’re changing our game strategy – we need to decide if we are a catching team, transition team, or aggressive team. Once we figure out what is suited for us we will definitely start beasting and show our best in every match.
5. Excited to play MSU again. That was exciting and a huge learning experience for us. Once we start making our changes, I feel like we can make it a closer game.
6. Alexander Costello (Rookie)
Sam Durno (Rookie)
Nathan Nobel (Rookie)
Zee Sweeney (Rookie)
7. I feel like our team is going to be great in the spring. We have a lot of players with a lot of potential. We are only accepting wins, no losses.
8. Caleb Newell (UWP)
PJ Antalek (Akron)
Matt Young (Akron)
Vanessa Hudson (Kent)
Nicole Cutich (Akron)
Reni Kaiser (BGSU).
9. Connor Knott (CUW).
10. We are impressed with Miami. They are an entirely different team than what we faced the first time. They are improving a lot and it’s great to see that.We are impressed with Kent – they are a great catching team. The first time we played against Kent, they did not have a lot of players, but seeing them grow now is amazing. Kent has a lot of potential.
Kent State University (2-10)- Vanessa Hudson.
OT6- Vanessa Hudson (Captain), Nathan Keller (Captain), Spencer Murphy (Veteran Player), Andrew Radigan (Rookie), Joshua Ondash (Rookie), Jacob Florentine (Rookie).
2. For a team as young as we are, I was just glad that we were able to go out and compete. We showed some promise with our ability to work as a team and I just hope we can continue that moving forward.
3. There are some major changes with our team going into this spring semester. We have lost 6 players off our roster and we hope that we will be able to bounce back with some new recruits before the season is over.
4. I am most excited for Nationals because Kent hasn’t been to a Nationals since 2019. I can’t wait to experience it for the first time as well as my teammates.
5. I really want to play CSU again seeing as we lost to them the first time we played them this year. I believe we have the talent to beat them and I hope we get another opportunity to play them.
6. I would like to shout out our Rookie Andrew Radigan. He has continued to get better with each tournament we go to and I hope he keeps it up!
7. Every point will be played as hard as we can play it!
8. Sky Thornsberry, CSU, Reni Kasier BGSU, Nicole Cutich, Akron, PJ Antalek, Akron, Matt Young Akron, Caleb Newell, UWP.
9. Alex Costello from CSU.
10. WMU who is ranked above us is a great team all around. They don’t get the recognition and respect they deserve. They are legit and have earned their spot in this league. CUW who is ranked below us is also a team that impressed us when we played them. As they develop their game, they will be one to watch.