The last tournament of the first half of the season took place this past weekend in Wisconsin. With that, I thought it’s time to look across the league and review the first semester as well as look forward to the second half of this season by posing some questions for the regions in the NCDA.
So two Sundays ago Michigan State hosted the Spartan Invite. Here’s a quick recap of each of the teams that attended the event. Some might question why this article didn’t come out last week. To that, I say, real life happens and sometimes you don’t get to things when you want to and better late than never. With that being said, I will go through the teams in reverse order of success from the tournament.
I went to my first tournament as an alumnus this past weekend as Grand Valley hosted all four Michigan schools. It was quite an odd feeling watching my old team play without being out there with them, and especially hard when MSU vs CMU went to overtime. But regardless, I enjoyed myself and was able to watch a tournament from a new perspective. Here are four standouts, one from each school, who are some lesser known players on their respective teams.
March Baller of the Month: Kyle Foster (SVSU)
The Baller of the Month for March is Kyle Foster of Saginaw Valley State University. Kyle played outstanding for SVSU as he helped lead his team to two upset wins and nearly the title at the Michigan Dodgeball Cup. Kyle has long been a key player for his team and this honor is well deserved and perhaps a long time coming.
Ask any dodgeball team in Michigan what their #1 goal is for the season and they will say win a national championship. Goal 1B is to win the Michigan Dodgeball Cup. Currently, as far as I know, there are only two trophies in the NCDA, and they correspond with both of the previously mentioned tournaments. The MDC means more to the state of Michigan than any other tournament does to any other team in the league (perhaps biased but I think most would agree to that claim). So for the final MDC preview article I am going to look at what taking home the Michigan Dodgeball Cup would mean to each of the four teams.
Three Michigan schools competed in Mount Pleasant this weekend for a round robin tournament. The 2nd ranked Chippewas played host to the 3rd ranked Spartans and 7th ranked Cardinals. Central Michigan had been riding a 9 game winning streak and looked to continue their run into the spring semester, whereas both MSU and SVSU looked to rebound from disappointing performances in each of their respective last tournaments of the fall semester. Both teams went 0-2 against Michigan schools in their final tournament of 2015.
November Baller of the Month: Zach Bachner (CMU)
First, the content team would like to apologize for the lack of Baller of the Month coverage. We promise to keep a more updated BOTM in the second half of the season.
But as for November’s BOTM, the Co-Captain of Central Michigan, Zach Bachner, has earned the honor. I said in the most recent Average Joe’s podcast that I believe Zach has been the most improved player in the NCDA this season. That is not to say he was not a good player last season. But I do mean to say that Zach has made the jump from good to great. Going from Assistant Captain to Co-Captain, Bachner also bears a much greater leadership role for the 2nd ranked Chippewas. Under his great play and leadership, CMU has won 10 of 11 after dropping their first game of the season. Zach is a major reason why CMU is one of the best teams in the NCDA again this season. I had the opportunity to talk to Zach about himself and his team thus far this season.
Michigan State hosts its annual Spartan Invite this Sunday in East Lansing, MI. Joining the Spartans are in-state rivals GVSU and CMU as well as BGSU, DePaul, and Kent State. Six rounds of games throughout the day will surely consist of some very competitive games of dodgeball. The games in the main gym will be filmed and commentated on by a journalism class at MSU. They hope to turn the film into an ESPN quality production. I know there will be plenty of quality dodgeball for them to record.
Kevin tackled a game by game preview in his article, while Jacob wrote on a team by team basis. So in this preview I’m going to take a closer look at some individual players for each team.
Kent State hosted four teams this past weekend in the Summit Street Slugfest and the tournament name was quite an apt way to describe what transpired on Sunday. Along with in state schools Ohio State and Akron, out of state schools Kentucky and Michigan State also made the trip to Kent, Ohio to take part in the five team tournament. A highly competitive day of dodgeball resulted in four tough games for each team. By the end of the tournament, every team had very little left in the tank. Continue reading “Summit Street Slugfest 2: The Sluggening Recap”
Three of the premiere teams of the NCDA meet in East Lansing on Sunday for the Impact at IM West. The Spartans host the two schools that met in the championship game last season for what should be three very competitive games of dodgeball. All three teams open the season with championship aspirations, and probably expectations, with the tremendous amount of talent on their rosters.
Location: Saginaw, Mich.
NCDA Region: Michigan
2014-15 Record: 7-10
National Tournament Finish: Lost to GVSU in the Final Four
2015-16 Captains: Cody Putnam – C, Joe McCumber – C, Andy Miller – A, David Cook – A
Returning Varsity Players: 12
Players to Watch: Kyle Foster, Joe McCumber, Bernabe Salinas
Overview: Saginaw Valley may have only finished with a 7-10 record last year, but that included a return to the Final Four. Although they came up short against Grand Valley, SVSU proved that they are a force to be reckoned with year in and year out. The Cardinals will no doubt have another championship on their minds this season.
NCDA Region: Michigan
2014-15 Record: 37-1
National Tournament Finish: NCDA Champions
2015-16 Captains: Kevin Bailey-C, Aaron Terenzi-A and Austin Morley-A
Returning Varsity Players: 13-15
Players to Watch: Austin Morley, Kurtis DeYoung, Anthony Incrocci
Overview: The Three-Time Defending Champs are looking for another title for a record-tying fourth straight championship, but without a couple of their better known players. Continue reading “Season Preview: Grand Valley State University”
DISCLAIMER: For the 100th time, if you haven’t already please check the forums and look at the new rules that are being proposed that will be voted on for THIS UPCOMING SEASON! There are some massive changes that could be approved that will drastically change the way our beautiful (yet in big need of improvements!) game will be played!
Without further ado, here’s my painfully early, and blatantly biased top 20 for the NCDA as of this second. Continue reading “Wes Peters’ Way Too Early Top 20”
This past Saturday Central Michigan University hosted perhaps the greatest regular season tournament in the history of the NCDA. It certainly was the best regular season collection of talent that I have been involved in since joining the league. Joining the Chippewas at the CMU Showdown were GVSU, JMU, SVSU, and MSU. The Dukes of James Madison made the trip from Virginia all the way to Mount Pleasant to take on the Michigan Schools that had all just played a month prior in the MDC.
The hosts of Central Michigan put on a dominant performance and left with a perfect 4-0 record. In doing so, they halted Grand Valley’s attempt to break the all-time consecutive win streak that ended at 41 games. The Lakers finished the day 3-1, with the loss to CMU coming as their first of the season. The long trip for JMU resulted in a 2-2 record. MSU improved on their poor performance at the MDC to finish with one win, one loss, and two overtime losses. SVSU was unable to come away with a win on Saturday, finishing 0-4.
The Michigan Dodgeball Cup is the premier annual tournament of the Michigan region. Hosted every February by Michigan State, these matches are often previews of the semi-finals and final matches of Nationals. MSU and SVSU have played great matches at each of the last two Nationals, with each winner going on to lose to GVSU in the championship. This year, the MDC is the most competitive and wide open that it has been in my three years in the league. Even with an undefeated Grand Valley State team, each team has the talent and potential to take home the cup.