GVSU Alum Han Chitti reflects on his time playing with GVSU. -ZM
I’d like to show appreciation to 2 of my Captains during my time at GV Dodgeball. I have a lot of respect for them and learned a lot about Dodgeball.
It was a big transition period for Grand Valley Dodgeball in the 2010-2011 season. They had won 4 Championship Titles and won 4 Michigan Dodgeball Cups in the span of 5 years. A lot of their Heavy Hitters and Top Catchers graduated and became Legends. 2nd Year Captain Jimmy Stokes and Assistant Captain Greg Trippiedi had a lot to live up to while taking on a young core of players with no experience in NCDA play. We still had some good Veterans on the team; Stempky (also Assistant Captain), Zinn, Reed, Stahura, Savalle, Stevenson, Talsma, Merril, Abrahamson, Hunt, Dan, Lamar, Olsen, Lenny, Skully, Kenny, Fettig.
They started the season 0-2 (a lost to the Chippewas) and things were looking grim. The experts were asking, “Is Grand Valley dominance over? I beg to differ. Luckily, Jimmy and Greg had an open mind and listened to new ideas and implemented some during practice. It was a good environment instilled with a good culture. After the Holidays and the New Year, Grand Valley Dominated at Michigan State’s IM Sports Arena and won it’s 5th Michigan Dodgeball Cup (MDC) in 5 years. The Juggernauts named “Central Michigan” tore up opponents that year in limited play (5-6 games).
CMU the team to beat if GV wanted a 5th peat. Riding on a good streak going into Nationals, GV would face CMU once again in the Finals, but again, came up short. They truly had a Chip on their shoulder. Central Michigan was the hump GV couldn’t get over. It was their year and they deserved it.
The Alumni set up the current student athletes for success. I still believe Grand Valley has the best program in the Nation because of it. Jimmy now currently works as an Engineer at Takata Corporation on the East side of Michigan. He still plays in Dodgeball Tournaments (so watch out). Greg is probably coaching football somewhere (and writing about sports) while praying that RGIII recovers fast from injury. Hats off to old men!
– Han Chitti, GV Dodgeball Alumni, #54 from 2010-2012