Western Michigan Broncos Pre-Nationals Spotlight

Leading into Nationals, we look to spotlight as many teams as we can in hopes of shining a bright light on standouts from participating teams. These glow-ups include up to 2 of each team’s standout rookies as well as a handful of core contributing players that have gotten their respective team to where they are going into the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association’s annual finale. Lastly, we get a glance into each participating team’s mindset and expectations going into Nationals.

Broncos’ Rookie Spotlight

John Koporowcz
John initially got dragged to practice during the spring semester by a different member and at the time said he was only going to watch. After a little encouragement he jumped in on a point and the rest is history. As a former baseball player, John’s arm was formidable from the onset, and his throw has only improved with time. John was able to join the team in time for MDC, which allowed him to get in-game experience that improved his game significantly. 

Jake Hughes
Jake is easily the most improved player on the WMU squad. He started in the fall and has missed maybe a total of 3 practices the entire year, and it shows. His throwing and catching has improved immensely throughout the season. While his throwing and catching have gotten much better, it is his mindset that stands out the most. Jake is a fearless player that will stare down and look to catch anything that is thrown at him, and more often than not lately, he has succeeded. His mentality is that of a play-maker, and more game experience is only going to make him that much more of a threat.

Nationals will be a big test for a (mostly) young Broncos team.

Key Contributors for the Broncos

Ryan Allor
Ryan is a dual club athlete with dodgeball and club baseball. As a starting pitcher, he has a devastating arm for the club. Although his baseball commitments have caused him to miss the two tournaments we attended this year, he is a consistent figure at practice. He is also one of our strongest voices on the court, always working with new players or setting up plays. Having him for nationals will be very beneficial addition.

Randy Santana-Jimenez
Randy is easily the spirit of WMU Dodgeball. He is relentlessly positive, and brings fun “puppy dog” energy to practice. He couples this with an impressive arm and catching ability. Randy is one of the most senior players on the team, and his court sense and ability to push the pace of the game, and apply pressure even when on the defensive is a skill that will aid WMU in playing their game.

Evin Cooper
Evin is another member that played with WMU before the pandemic. Then, as now, Evin is an incredibly dependable player. He looks for catches at all times, and has made several that resulted in a massive momentum shift for WMU at key moments. Evin also has a throw whose speed is respectable, but what sets it apart is his ability to place it. Evin is a good go to for team throws, or long-range burn balls that have saved WMU from a balls over on many occasions.

Payton Gagliardi
Payton is a player who has shown an impressive amount of improvement since joining the club. From his throws to his catching, Payton has become an asset through and through. Coupled with that, he has a strong strategic sense of the game, and is constantly looking to catch sleeping players with a cross, or surprise counter throw. 

Peter Broe
Last but not least is the club founder and captain. With over 10 years of college dodgeball experience, Peter has been instrumental in teaching the game and building the club. Despite being the oldest player in the league, Peter still boasts strong athleticism, often pushing the pace against much younger opponents. This, coupled with his strong throw and above average catching ability makes him an asset for WMU in transition. His sense of the game, as well as his leadership, will be instrumental to WMU’s success this weekend.

Nationals 2022 will feature a whole lotta Dad.

Mindset for Nationals – Multiple Broncos

Peter: “I am so glad that this team gets to finally attend a nationals. I have watched all of these players grow from the ground up, and they deserve to show out on the national stage. The experience of seeing just HOW large the league is, as well as the opportunity to meet, and make friends with, players from across the country is what makes this sport great, and I’m glad I get to see my kids experience it. I will also thoroughly enjoy watching this team play with a full squad.”

Payton: “It was really tough starting from scratch again, but its been incredibly rewarding to watch the team gel and improve. I can’t wait to show our full strength this weekend.”

Evin: “I’m looking forward to seeing how our new talent is going to take the teamwork and strategic skills we’ve been practicing and transfer them to the competitive setting. We may not be the biggest or most experienced team out there, but we’re definitely going to make a statement.”

Ryan: “The teams for this year’s nationals are good, solid teams that will definitely put pressure on us. However, we have to remember the fundamentals we’ve been working on since the beginning and hopefully score some points on the home court.”

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