MACOMB – DePaul Dodgeball joined Western Kentucky and Wisconsin Platteville for a Round Robin hosted by Western Illinois on October 23.
This week was a monster for DePaul. In preparing for our matches we had to weed 17 people of our 40 plus regular ballers. The greater majority of our veterans have been injured in non dodgeball related injuries, while others had work and all the right excuses. Then on the Wednesday before, one of our drivers texted us and said he broke his collarbone. By our Thursday dodgeball night, we had barely enough car space for 14 players, bringing just five people with tournament experience. And I got my neighbor’s bike was stolen on Tuesday.
We received our club shirts just a week before travel, and with no free time I managed to heat-press the traveling shirts so we might look like a team. Kevin Hill managed to get the waivers in, and I managed to take two of my cars to fill the space left by our other driver’s injury.
We ended up leaving only 15 minutes late, a small record for DePaul Dodgeball. But after 60 minutes of driving in the rain, Kevin’s car suffered a blown out tire near Ottawa, IL. He had to wait more than two hours for a new tire to be installed. In the mean time, 8 members of the team continued onto Western. By this time, Western and the rest of the teams had already started playing. We made a small pit stop, and the Chicago Eight decided to keep going as we were more than half-way there.
Arriving an hour or two late, DePaul is forced to play three matches in a row, with only 8 people for the first match. Fortunately, UWP was awesome and really fun to play since they had only brought 11 people. For these 8 person matches, only Kuncklepuck [#54] and myself had any past tournament experience; the rest of our team were By the time I got out of the car after that forever stretch of road that is Route 34, I didn’t care what really happened. I wasn’t going to think about the crap week I just had, I wasn’t going to think about the five hour drive in my really small car, I wasn’t going to worry about the shot clock. I just wanted to run around and be really, really loud. And this is what I did.
By our second half with Western Kentucky, reinforcements show up from Kevin Hill’s car, WKU pulls out the crowns, and we continue to have a really fun game. Trick shots, gladiator dodgeball, and pulling an Iron Curtain keeps everyone happy. Our rookie players really got into our cheers, and it seemed like we had a lot of catches. I believe DePaul definitely had the most fun out of anybody in Macomb.
For the later half of our match with WIU, some of the younger players started getting a little frustrated with how serious WIU was taking the game. I think this might have been part the team being tired from traveling for 5 hours and then playing three straight hours. Another part was the majority of WIU taking dodgeball against DePaul way to serious for the entirety duration of the match. But then again, the majority of DePaul didn’t let it faze them. No matter what they are going to play dodgeball their way, and I’m really proud of the way the team played that whole day.
Since not enough people wanted to stay the night, we decided to hit up Walmart to take advantage of cheaper taxes for the hanging out at home. Then the team had a quick family dinner at Wendy’s before driving home under a full moon. We even managed to stay under budget if you don’t count Kevin’s blown tire.
500 pictures and 500 miles later, DePaul Dodgeball remains undefeated.