The Odyssey of Ben Murphy

Story by: Andrew Allen

After four years of playing and being president of the Delta College Dodgeball team, Ben Murphy has left the team to pursue other interests.

What do those interests include? Playing for Saginaw Valley State University’s team.

“I had four great seasons at Delta College,” Murphy said.

“It was just time for me to move on. I graduated from Delta back in April of 2007. I stayed last year because my job required me to take classes there and to play dodgeball.”

While there Murphy saw his team reach three consecutive national final-four appearances and set a single season wins record in the NCDA in the 2008 season with 17 victories.

“We had a special group of players these last three seasons,” he said. “My time there will be something I will never forget.”

As for whether he is going to miss running a team that he founded back in 2004, Murphy isn’t going to deny it.

“There is no question that I’m going to miss being at Delta,” he said. “In fact I already do. But I am already having a lot of fun and learning to play with a bunch of great new teammates.”

There was also something that he wasn’t quite used to when he fist took the court for SVSU.

“I can just go to practice and focus on playing dodgeball and nothing else,” Murphy said. “I don’t have to worry about who isn’t playing well and who isn’t at practice. I can just focus on my own game and helping my teammates out on the court.”

On Sunday, Oct. 26 Murphy saw his first game action with the Cardinals against Michigan State University.

“It was weird being out there in a different uniform,” he said.

“But I was so excited to get my first kills and catches with a new team it was unreal. I just hope I can keep improving my game so I can stay on varsity for the rest of the season.”

Taking over for Murphy at Delta is David Halloran, who will be entering his fifth season with the team. Halloran served his previous four seasons as a captain and vice-president.

“The team is in good hands with Dave,” Murphy said.

“A big reason that Delta was so successful over the years is because of him. He understands the team concept and the hard work it takes to win dodgeball games more than anyone I’ve ever met.”

Halloran is excited as well to take over the club, and hopes to get the team over the hump and into the national championship game.

“Taking over the team has proven to be something more than just stepping into the shoes of the past president,” he said.

“It’s been challenging, yet very rewarding. The team looks great and I’m excited about the young talent that keeps coming through the door. I expect to be a national contender and I can only see third place as the last option.

You might be wondering on if Murphy is going to be rooting for his former team.

“I really think that SVSU is going to be a great team this season,” he said.

“But if Delta happens to win it all I hope they don’t mind me stealing one of their championship t-shirts.”

AJP #02: Part 1

In the first half of this two-part episode, Josh talks about reaction to the website launch, tells schools how to start a team and previews the GVSU-SVSU match.

In the second half of this episode, Josh chats with SVSU captain Bryan Janick about the upcoming season and takes potshots at GVSU with Jason “He Hate Me” Stein.

Play

Teams Battle First Year Woes

Story by: Randall Rearden

Since the inception of the National College Dodgeball Association (NCDA) in 2005, the performance of teams just joining the ranks of the dodgeball wasn’t the best to speak of.  Not that they played terribly, but they were just feeling out the game and playing against more experienced teams.

In fact, since then almost every team competing in its first season has come up at the end of the year winless. I don’t want to sound all gloomy on teams that didn’t fare so well last year and the teams that are about to embark on their inaugural season.  There is a ray of hope for those who are in their second season.

Last year there were three teams who competed for the first time in the NCDA, including Central Michigan, Western Kentucky, and Wisconsin-Platteville.

Kevin Flynn of Central Michigan has high hopes for his team this year.

“I think that we can win a lot of games,” Flynn said.  “I think hopefully we’ll win about 50% of our games.”

Flynn also said that this season would be a learning season again but they are just trying to build their program and have fun doing it.

Western Kentucky also suffered a winless season last year but they have intentions of competing for a few wins this season.

“I think we got enough people coming back to help the new guys out. We are going to get a head start over what we had last year for sure,” Western alternate captain Ryan Graham said. “Last year there were a lot of rules we didn’t know about and also things we weren’t clear on.”

Graham said that last year was a good year in that they gained knowledge of basic game strategy and got some good experience.

Wisconsin-Platteville is aiming higher this season according to Curt Weyenburg, who is acting Vice President for the team.

Like the other teams last year Wisconsin-Platteville struggled through their first season. The different style of play, lack of talent compared to other teams, and the fact that their team was young were determining factors for the sub par season last year.

But just like the other teams coming off their first season, Wisconsin-Platteville is definitely looking forward to the upcoming season.

“We’re planning on doing a lot better this year,” Weyenburg said.

Weyenburg cites future success on more new talent coming out to play for the team.

Unlike these teams, Saginaw Valley is just coming off their second season and performed vastly better than in their first season. I’m sure that’s a sigh of relief to for squads entering their second season.

Going into the season last year, recruiting was taken more seriously than the previous year. Also the fact that Saginaw Valley just had more fan support helped them last season.

From their first season record of 3-6, Saginaw Valley improved to 11-7 with four of those losses coming to Grand Valley State.

“We actually won three games at nationals,” Bryan Janick said.

After their successes last season, Saginaw Valley is hoping to compete for a national championship while actually roughing with some of dodgeball’s professionals in Auburn Hills soon.

So look for the teams that are coming back this year to become forces to be reckoned with this season. You never know, they might even dish out a little pain of their own this year.

GVSU Repeats as NCDA Champions

by Kelvin Koster

The Lakers made it two in a row at this year’s NCDA Postseason Tournament in Columbus, defeating the Buckeyes of The Ohio State University 9-1 in the championship game. The win marks the second straight year GVSU has come back to Allendale proudly equipped with the NCDA championship trophy.

The win in the finals capped off another perfect season for the Lakers, giving them their 14th win against no losses for the year, and extending their winning streak to 25 matches.

Among other accomplishments for Grand Valley this season were first place finishes at the inaugural Kentucky Classic, held in Lexington last November, and at the now well-established Michigan Dodgeball Cup, held in East Lansing this February.

With the #1 ranking intact and a large target affixed to their backs, the Lakers now focus on the upcoming season. GVSU Captain Kelvin Koster is excited for what promises to be the most competitive year yet for the NCDA.

“I was very impressed with the strides some teams made last year. SVSU and BGSU are emerging as contenders for those top spots. As for Delta, those guys have scary arms and work together better than anyone. OSU is always a top team. If we’re going to win this thing again, we’re going to have to work harder than ever this year.”

GVSU is looking forward to another year full of NCDA action, but especially to the 2009 postseason tournament, which will be held on Grand Valley’s campus in Allendale, Michigan next April. GVSU junior Jimmy Stokes anticipates a historic weekend.

“It will be great to have our fans there with us, and I think other teams who haven’t experienced a game here yet will enjoy playing in front a crowd as large and excited as the one we expect to draw.”

With most of GVSU varsity squad returning this season, the team hopes and expects to find themselves in the championship game of next year’s tournament.

Scheduled Events 2008

As of 2007-10-07

2008-01-28

Michigan State @ Delta College (Saginaw, MI)
Kent State, Kentucky, Marshall @ Ohio State : Buckeye Invitational (Columbus, OH)

2008-02-18

Delta College, Grand Valley State, Oakland @ Michigan State : Michigan Dodgeball Cup (East Lansing, MI)

2008-04-13

End-of-year tournament @ Ohio State (Columbus, OH)

TBD Events

Bowling Green State v Michigan State
Grand Valley State v Delta College
Oakland v Michigan State
Michigan State v. University Center-Dublin (exhibition)
Multi-team tournament @ Grand Valley State

School year begins, updated rule packet posted

Dodgeball season is upon us! Best of luck to all teams in their first full year for what is sure to be an enjoyable experience. The NCDA also requests that you send photos of games and practices along with any game scores to the League email.

Also, the new rule packet is (mostly) completed, undergoing mostly cosmetic revision.  The only fundamental change is the new 15-second/10-second shot clock.

NCDA Hotspots

The NCDA is especially interested in establishing teams at the following schools:

University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign
Indiana University
University of Louisville
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Northwestern University
University of Notre Dame
Purdue University-West Lafayette
Virginia Tech
University of Wisconsin-Madison

If you are a student at one of the schools listed above and are interested in participating in college dodgeball, please view the video below and contact NCDA rep Aleks Bomis.

NCDA seeks teams to add for next year

Looking for a new game to play next year?  Interested in athletics but don’t necessarily want to go all out with the training, drills or practicing?  Just want to be able to hit someone in the face and get away with it?  You might want to consider creating a dodgeball team at your school. With a network of teams throughout the midwest the NCDA hopes to get more schools involved with dodgeball with each passing year.  Grade schools may be banning it, but college is a whole ‘nother story.  Join hundreds of other students in participating in a great extracurricular activity that everyone can enjoy.

Okay, enough with the sales pitch.  Just check out the highlight video [Ed: missing].  If you think you’d like doing something like this at your school, click on the link to the left for contact information and more about how you can create the newest student organization at your school.

-Aleks Bomis

GVSU Champions at Nationals 2007

When the dust settled in East Lansing on Sunday only one team was left standing.  Ohio State’s 3-year dominance in college dodgeball has officially ended and the iconic scarlet and grey has been replaced with a single color Michigan teams have seen all too much of:

Black.

With an army of supporters and a 9-0 record the GVSU lakers clearly came into their final matchup with the OSU Buckeyes (7-2) on a mission.  A 3-1 decision and one silver trophy later, it’s safe to them to unfurl the “MISSION: ACCOMPLISHED” banners back in Allendale.  Next year’s tournament will be held in Columbus, Ohio.

2006-2007 results:

Bowling Green State University: 0-4
Delta College: 9-4
DePaul University: 0-4
Grand Valley State University: 10-0
Kent State University: 2-2
Kentucky, University of: 2-3
Marshall University: 0-4
Michigan State University: 8-5
Oakland University: 2-8
Ohio State University: 7-2
Saginaw Valley State University: 3-6

Delta College prepared for first ever home game; GVSU announces tournament

In what will arguably be one of the biggest weekends of this season, Ohio State, Kentucky, Marshall and Kent State will compete in Columbus, Ohio in a four-team tournament.

Meanwhile, Delta College, based near Saginaw, MI, will hold its first home game this Sunday against the Michigan State Spartans.  The event will be broadcast locally.  The Pioneers will be fighting to avoid a first round matchup with Grand Valley State University in next month’s Michigan Dodgeball Cup.

Finally, the Grand Valley State Lakers have announced the hosting of a multi-team tournament.  Date is TBD, most likely in the month of March.

– Aleks Bomis