The entire league knows about the DePaul teams that come out of Chicago. However, people need not forget that there is another NCDA team in Chicago. The Moody Bible Institute Archers were founded and played their first NCDA match in the 2010-2011 season. Under the leadership of alumnus Chad Schlundt and Jake Ochoa, the Archers became one of the more competitive teams coming out of the Illinois region on a yearly basis. Last year, Moody was one of the few active NCDA teams to miss Nationals. However, they were allowed to have some of their players comprise the “miscellaneous team” along with other teams that missed. This year captain Jake Ochoa and the Moody Archers have no intentions of missing Nationals, or any other chances to be on the court.
TD: We’re coming up on the team’s fourth year as a member of the NCDA. What is your primary goal coming into the season?
JO: The biggest goal is to make Moody a well known team throughout the league. We’re always kind of known as a sleeper team going into any tournament. This year we want to see and play a lot more teams so that we can really get to know more people throughout the league.
TD: Can you tell me what the team’s schedule looks like for this season? Any plans to host or attend tournaments?
JO: As of right now we have goals as a team to travel both semesters at least once. The second semester being Nationals and if we can get the funds somewhere the first semester. We are looking at hosting an Illinois region tournament in the second semester when our gym space opens up. Other than that we will be hosting and going to DePaul like always, including the CDO and maybe hosting some other matches in the always packed Solheim Center.
TD: Is there any player on your team, new or returning, not named Ryan Pattison that we should be on the lookout for?
JO: Well I’m going to hold back and not brag about myself. In all seriousness though Blake McCormick will be returning this year for a second year as an on-court assistant captain. He has a decent arm and is extremely athletic with great hands, reminds me of a bigger version of Chad Schlundt. There is also Jon Dammeyer who is returning that has a good and vision and is brother of a former All-Star. One last guy to watch out for is Nick Aubrey, who is the brother of former all star Luke Aubrey. Luke had the vision and the hands to have a big impact and I think Nick is growing into that along with a powerful arm.
TD: Any trash talk for your cross town rival DePaul?
JO: After the beating we took last year, I don’t think we have room to talk. However, I think this year’s team is ready to win again in front of all our fans or your empty gym. For real, it is going to be fun. In plus, with Ryan and Luke gone, you’re going to save a few bucks on that headshot bet you give us.
TD: Even though I’m retired, the dinner bet at Nationals still stands. Just going to throw that out there. Speaking of Nationals, we have had a bunch of new teams that have joined and/or played at Nationals within the past two years (Penn State, JMU, Towson, VCU, etc). Is there any new team that you and the Archers would like the opportunity to play against?
JO: There are still a lot of teams Moody has never played. JMU, we actually played this year and had a great time. We lost a overtime game at Nationals two years ago to Miami and a close game at the CDO against WIU so my guys have been wanting to play them, but most of the guys from that team are gone. Out of the new teams, Penn St. is the one my team is looking forward too the most. Living in Illinois you grow up watching Big Ten everything so anytime you play one of those schools in any sport it’s seems like a really big deal.
TD: It seems like every team is lining up to officially welcome Penn State to the NCDA in their first full season. Can you give me a quick prediction of how far you and the Archers will go this season?
JO: We have goals as a team to play more games than we have ever before. In doing so, we should start to play better. I think we will rise back to the top of the Illinois region. A goal of the team is to win a game on Sunday of Nationals, something we have never done. If we play enough I think we can do that.
TD: I think my people at DePaul may have something to say about that Illinois region championship. I do wish your team the best of luck this season and I look forward to seeing you and the team in action very soon.
JO: I’m all about a challenge and look forward to seeing you soon.