Team Spotlight: Kent State

After a long hiatus, we are back to our Team Spotlight series.  We will be covering the Golden Flashes of Kent State, as they prepare for their tournament this weekend at the University of Kentucky.  I had the pleasure of interviewing current captain Cassie Weaver, as she goes into depth about her team and what to expect from them in the coming semester.

Hunter Ford:  So after the first semester your team finished with an 11-5-1 overall record.  How do you feel about where your team is now compared to this point in years past?

Cassie Weaver:  In my past years I believe we didn’t do as well as we have so far this year.  We have a pretty good amount of returning players and an Albert DePerro.  Our freshmen are very excited to learn the game and I can already see future leaders of our club sport.  This year we have gone to a lot of local tournaments so far and have been able to get most of our team to them besides Michigan State.  Past years we would travel all the time, sometimes a couple weekends in a row with 12 people at best.  This year the motivation is high to do well with some of our players possibly not returning for another season.  I’m looking forward to this upcoming semester.

HF:  On that note, do you guys have a projected schedule for the upcoming semester?

CW:  Yeah, so we will be heading to UK on January 28th, OU on February 11th, Newark for the ODC on February 25th, Towson on March 4th, and then finally, Nationals.

HF:  Are there any potential teams that you guys are most excited to play?

CW:  Well my whole team wants a rematch with you guys (VCU).  I wouldn’t mind playing one of the new teams like UNG just to see what they are like and how the league is evolving.  On top of that, any game with UK is beyond exciting and I love it.

HF:  Are there any teams that you guys enjoy playing the most?

CW:  Oh gosh.  I’d probably say Bowling Green because they are a fun team to play and they can surprise you sometimes with how many catches they get in a row.  I would play Bowling Green anytime!

HF:  So you mentioned Albert “Bert” DePerro earlier, who else has been a consistent playmaker for your team?  Are there any others that you believe deserve recognition from your team?

CW:  I would say Logan Baird because most people can’t tell when he’s throwing like a sneak attack, but other than him we have a well rounded team with throwers.  Mitch Aldridge is also a good all-around player being that he can throw, dodge, and dive for catches when needed to.

HF:  What do you think have been the biggest challenges for your team this season?

CW:  Biggest challenge is probably putting our team’s strengths to proper use.  We have so much talent on the team so everyone can’t throw at once.  If we perfect that, we could be unstoppable.

HF:  Just to ask something fun, what’s been your favorite moment while on Kent’s dodgeball team?

CW:  Favorite moment of dodgeball is by far the hardest question I’ve possibly had to answer about dodgeball since there are so many great memories from over the years.  Like my first year playing with the team, my first tournament was Nationals, and during our banquet I was awarded the Trial by Fire.  The Nationals last year was really fun since I knew people from other teams and gained a lot more dodgeball fam.  Playing-wise, the best memory I have on the court is last year when we went to a Michigan tournament.  Our first match was against Grand Valley and we only had 11 or 12 people and we got the first point on them while they had their full squad.  I won’t forget that one.

HF:  Looking ahead, do you have any goals or expectations for your team this semester?

CW:  I expect our team to keep performing like we have been and not be over confident in situations that might turn around in the end.  My goal is for us to make it to the Final Four, this is our year to make something happen.  I know that’s quite a lot to say right now, but we have the talent to make it.  It’s rough being able to see who all will be with us next year and who will not, and we need to make this year our year.

HF:  Last question.  Is there anything we haven’t discussed that you want to say about your team?

CW:  I just want to thank my team for being very open to Matt Rosso and myself being captains and allowing us to lead them so far in the season.  It’s not always easy trying to herd the cattle, but Matt and I have been able to do so with, I believe, a pretty decent record.  I wouldn’t be what I am today without my team and I appreciate all of them for their hard work they have put in thus far.

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