With the MSU Invite approaching on Sunday, MSU looks to honor the man who founded the event. It is with great honor that MSU Club Dodgeball inducts its newest member into the Hall of Fame.
Ian Childs, #19, From East Lansing, MI
Written by Mike Van Ermen
Ian was arguably one of the most important Spartans to ever come through Michigan State Dodgeball’s program. He was the head captain my freshman year (2010-2011), and I personally considered him my most important mentor in my Dodgeball development. He had a no-nonsense type approach with his team, but always commanded respect from anybody in the room who was listening to him. Ian’s captaincy ended at 2011 Nationals with a heartbreaking loss to GVSU 2-1, but it was clear that the program that he built was one full of players destined for success.
Ian never did anything halfway in regards to running the Dodgeball club. Being president and captain at the same time, Ian spent countless hours between practices making sure the club was running smoothly. The amount of work he put into running the club we all loved was equivalent to taking a 4 credit class, and the results of his efforts were some of the best years in club history.
As a player, Ian’s specialty was his big arm combined with his deadly cross-court shot. Traditionally stationed on the right side of the court, his right handed hook could fool even the most experienced blockers. He always preyed on inexperienced players not savvy enough to keep an eye out for their blocks, so any freshmen that came through MSU’s program learned the importance of this very quickly. While he wasn’t exactly known for his catching prowess, Ian was also a very reliable blocker and could protect several teammates as well as himself at one time.
Unfortunately due to class and work, Ian’s last year at MSU was relatively Dodgeball-free. Despite his commitments to other places, Ian frequently texted me and talked to me about the club to keep tabs on its progress. The rookie class that we brought in during 2013-2014 always heard the older players talk about Ian, but most of them were unlucky in the sense that they never got to share the court with him.
I consider Ian a great personal friend, and someone who was instrumental in my collegiate Dodgeball career. I don’t think I would have had such a positive experience without his contributions, and I’d always be more than willing to be his wingman on the court. His Hall Of Fame induction couldn’t come soon enough.
Q&A Section Mike: What do you feel was your greatest accomplishment in MSU Dodgeball? Ian: I was really proud of creating the MSU Invite. It was a good tournament for our guys to get warmed up for the season and it helped retain or new players because they got excited about finally playing people from other schools.
Mike: What is your favorite memory from your playing days? Ian: Oh I remember all the big plays. One year when we played NW State at Nationals on day two and we just looked awful. I think we were up 1-0 with under a minute to go until halftime and with under 10 seconds on the clock. We had them down to one player and I ran up, screamed for a ball and ripped it and got the 2nd point right before the buzzer. I also remember getting back to back headshots/catches against GVSU one time. Those along with whenever we won big points and the team rushed the court. It was awesome to see everyone so happy.
Mike: What advice would you give to any incoming freshman? Ian: Work hard to be a part of the team. All the individual talent in the world is useless if you’re not a team player. Set goals for your season. Focus on them. Stick with them.