GVSU Laker Dodgeball’s Mark Trippiedi
A vast majority of the Laker roster in 2012 will be more or less the same as in 2011. GVSU graduated 4 seniors Jimmy Stokes, Caleb James, Jeff Olsen, and Greg Trippiedi from its 2nd place finish at nationals last season. In particular, losing previous captain Jimmy Stokes and Senior Caleb James is going to hurt. It’s hard to replace great players. With that said, GVSU does not enter 2011-12 hurting for throwing arms, athleticism, or roster depth. Pending a strong incoming freshman class, the complete turnover of Grand Valley State University’s Dodgeball Club from it’s first generation (2005-2010) to it’s second generation (2011-) has pretty much already occurred.
In 2011-12 team will be led by Sophomore Mark Trippiedi. Trippiedi will have the luxury and ability to lean heavily on seniors for additional guidance. The group of fourth years is all that remains in terms of starters from the last GVSU National Championship (09-10).
Many would think that Grand Valley will be down a little this year after the graduation of All 3 captains from last season as well as another senior. However the youth in the club from previous years has continued to gain experience as well as improve their skills. So with a talented group of juniors and sophomores, along with the National Championship winning experience of the 4th years. GV Dodgeball will not miss a beat and will expect to appear in the clubs 7th National Championship appearance, and compete for their shot at a 5th National Championship
MSU Dodgeball’s Sam Hiller
Coming off of back to back Final Four appearances, Michigan State has an even higher goal this season- winning a National Championship. The Spartans only lose one player, and are expecting to bring in another great Freshman class like they have the past few seasons. Sophomore Mike Van Ermen says “There is no reason with the talent we have returning that we shouldn’t be able to bring home the trophy.” MSU also brings back all six All-Stars. While former captains Ian Childs and Cameron Massmino will still be playing, a new group of captains will be leading the charge this year for State, Assistant Captains Andy Malnor and Andrew Koczara and Head Captain Sam Hiller.
Along with winning a National Championship this year, MSU has a few other goals. Among them are playing more games than they did last season (when they played 20 matches), winning the Michigan Dodgeball Cup, beating Central Michigan and Grand Valley State, and winning the MSU Invite for the second straight season. Van Ermen wants another shot at GVSU and CMU, saying “Not only are they the best teams in the league, they’re also a lot of fun to play and really respectable guys.” Juniors Alex Acton and Will Hack also want the Spartans to play some out of state schools. “I’ve been wanting to play OSU since I’ve joined but we haven’t had the chance yet. They’re a good team but we can definitely beat them. Overall it would be a good match for both teams” says Acton. Hack says “Everyone wants to play Depaul, they are supposed to be the most fun. I’d also like to play the far-away teams, like K-State and Nebraska.” Hack also thinks that “the NCDA is playing the highest level of dodgeball played” right now, which means that the 2011-2012 season has the potential to be the best yet.