The Valley Vanguard: SVSU Student Newspaper:
Second half looks promising for reigning dodgeball champs
by: Marie Nesbitt
With the start of the new year, the SVSU dodgeball team is looking to continue their habit of winning. Currently, the Cardinals have a 4-3-1 record and are hoping to get their fifth win against Michigan State come January 27.
Max Siler, an accounting junior and the captain of the dodgeball team, is hopeful his team can pull off the win.
”Michigan State has, over the years, been viewed as being just a couple good players short of being a championship-caliber team,” Siler said. “This year they have a lot of returning players and a very impressive group of newcomers that has propelled them into becoming a serious championship contender.”
The Cardinals and the Spartans are not strangers to one another, with Michigan State getting the better of the Cardinals earlier in the season. To Siler, the team he’s leading this time around is much different.
“We have traditionally done well against Michigan State,” said Siler. “This was a game where we were competing without many of our top players, so it is sure to be a different result come January 27th.
“Our biggest concern is keeping our fast pace and forcing them to make quicker decisions, as we sometimes tend to slow down a bit after we build momentum, allowing our opponents to get back in the game.”
Siler hopes to carry the momentum from previous wins earlier in the season, especially their big win against Grand Valley back in November, into their match against State.
“Grand Valley is pretty much viewed as a dodgeball ‘powerhouse,’ so beating them was really a great boost of confidence in the minds of our players,” Siler said.
The Cardinals have had a slow start this season compared to previous starts, but Siler still has faith his team has a chance at a back-to-back National Championships.
“We do have a lot of great, young talent on this team, but it becomes difficult when these new players are forced into a starting role against some good competition,” Siler said. “We did have all of our key players in our matchup against GVSU, and we came out on top for only the second-ever Battle of the Valleys win for our club.
“We know we have championship potential when we have all of our top players on the court at the same time.”
The dodgeball team was formed back in 2006 by Bryan Janick and has been a championship contender ever since. Last season was successful for the Cardinals who brought home the National Championship to continue the growing tradition of winning.
“We have been known to be a constant final-four team every season and it is rare to find SVSU not in the national championship conversation in any season,” Siler said.
The dodgeball team has about 40-50 members, but are always welcoming new players. Contact Siler at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or attend a practice in the Cardinal Gym on Monday or Wednesday at 10 p.m.