The season kicked off with the Buckeye Opener and this weekend the Central Region is kicking off its season with a double header between the University of Wisconsin Platteville (UWP) and the University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL). The double headers between UWP and UNL have become a tradition over the last several years and always brings about a good battle. Last year, UNL was able to win both games with scores of 7-1 and 4-3. Can you UNL repeat again what they did last season and come out on top in both games? Let’s take a look below on what the captains from both teams think heading into this weekend!
The following are a few questions I asked of the captains going into the double header.
Erik Zander– What do you want to see out of your team this weekend?
Zak Lathrop (UWP)– We would like to see communication, confidence, and discipline amongst the team. Not only follow calls as they are made, but also make our own calls within them. In a perfect world, we would know exactly what each other is going to do and no communication would be needed. But this isn’t a perfect world, we need to all be on the same page at every given moment and the only way to do that is to communicate. When a team throw is called, don’t just hope that it is going to work out. Set it up, talk it out, get the out. Easy as 1, 2, 3.
Caleb Fowler (UNL)– Our expectations for the first event is to get everyone equal playing time and learn how we mesh together. As always, trying to keep the cone and see how the rookies perform. For the season, we want to improve and try to make a final four appearance. We are trying to do 2 events a semester. Hopefully, a home event, UWP, some other large event and nationals.
EZ-What are you expectations for your rookies this weekend?
ZL-As for the rookies, I’d like to see truly what each and every one of them can do. Find out what each one’s strengths are and their weaknesses. Their strengths so we can know what we can count on and weaknesses to know what we can work on. This is definitely the tournament to show off what we all got. No matter if you’re a rookie or a returner.
CF– We have two rookies that we are excited to see in action, Austin Warren, and Collin Clover. Austin has been our most involved rookie, he has dove straight into the game. I expect him to be a utility guy, well rounded, can get it all done. Collin blocks really well and is a great support player. He is able to help our best throwers get clean throws off.
My Thoughts- It will be interesting to see if this year the games follow the same pattern as they have in year’s past. UNL tends to do really well in the first game and put up a lot of points and the Pioneers make adjustments in the second game to make it closer. These double headers are always fun and it is a great way to see new talent joining the league. Both teams will be showing off their rookies and are excited to see what they can do. UNL will have more experience on their side so expect them to brush off the rust quicker and be able to control the pace of both games to secure the wins. The cornhuskers just have to do what they always do best and that is catch, as they are one of the best teams in the league at it. For UWP, they need to trust in their abilities and get their outs in transition and close range if they expect to compete with UNL. If they throw catches like previous years, the games will not be close and UNL will easily get the wins.
Make sure to tune into watch the games live. They will be streamed on the UW-Platteville Dodgeball. Be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel to get the notifications of when they go live!