For the newest addition in our Team Spotlight series we take a look at the Penn State University Dodgeball Club. The team out of University Park, PA has been a member of the NCDA since April 12, 2013. I had the opportunity to talk with Club President, Jeff Schwartz, about his squad and the upcoming semester.
Hunter Ford: So recently, your team had the chance to get an interview with your school’s media team. How did you guys get the opportunity to help get your team some more publicity?
Jeff Schwartz: Well, recently we entered our self made dodgeball highlight video into a sporting film contest, and it won. Our filmographer, Chris, must have saw that and decided he wanted to film us play. He put together a real great short, and it should be on ESPN sometime soon.
HF: What kind of impact do you think these kinds of opportunities have in helping you expand your club?
JS: There’s the local impact where players who aren’t on the team see us as this legitimate sport, they want to join after seeing us on TV, for example. And then you get a larger impact for the entire sport in general where you have highlights of dodgeball featured next to football and basketball highlights. It solidifies everything we’ve been promoting about the sport.
HF: So some people around the league may not know, but unfortunately you guys had some pretty extreme circumstances that prevented you guys from going to your first tournament in the Fall. Because of that have you guys changed your expected tournament schedule for the Spring?
JS: Three of our four cars hit the same roadkill deer. It did a number on all of us emotionally as well. Still, we’re going to host our very first home tournament in January and try to attend every possible event we can. So there really is no slow down.
HF: Other than yourself, who else in your organization do you think has played a big part in helping your team grow and continuously improve?
JS: I’m so happy to say that we have the most lively and helpful officer board. I’d have to name all of them if I have any names. Then there are our new players who bring along the new energy and ideas, and of course our veteran, non board members who are always there to help new and returning players.
HF: Do you guys have any big on-the-court expectations for the rest of the year?
JS: Honestly, I think we have our best team ever. Not going to give anything away, but I think we’re going to rank up quite a bit.
HF: Any final things you want to share about your team that we haven’t talked about?
JS: I’m really just excited to get everyone’s jitters out. We’re all ready to play.
Be sure to check out video referenced in the first question down below!
“Since the production of this video, the NCDA has added a team to bring their count to 29 Members”