Mid-Season Recap: Ohio Region

Now that the NCDA is officially at the halfway point in the season, we will be doing a deep dive into each region. Here is the scoop from Ohio. Make sure to stay tuned for the rest of the regions’ mid-season recaps as well!

By Ethan Lehmkuhl (OSU) and Rylan Close (Kent)


  1. Cincinnati
  2. Ohio State
  3. Akron
  4. Kent State
  5. Ohio
  6. Miami
  7. Bowling Green State
  8. Cleveland State

Cincinnati heads into the break as the number 1 rated team in Ohio according to the NCDA standings. With a 12-3 record, UC has been right there with the top teams in the country, but they have yet to claim a marquee win this season (their best coming against an incomplete PSU team at Akron’s Pink Out). Expect Ohio State to challenge the Bearcats for the #1 spot as they play more games in the spring semester and look to improve their champ rating.

The middle of the region has been tough to decipher this season, with Akron, Kent, Ohio, and Miami all trading wins with each other. I expect these teams to separate themselves as the season rolls on, and the trophied events this semester should expedite that process. In the words of the Macho Man Randy Savage, “The cream always rises to the top”.

Most Improved Team – Kent State

Kent State ended the fall semester with a record of 9-7, much improved from their record of 6-16 just a year ago. Having been on the brink of dying as a club and at times only having 4 active members, it is safe to say the only way to go for Kent was up. With that being said, they have done a tremendous job of rebuilding and it is in large part thanks to the efforts of coach Rylan Close and player Mitch Porter. Now, Kent is challenging the top teams in the country and owns a massive upset over Ohio University. If they can keep their play a tad more consistent this spring, expect Kent to notch some more upsets.

Below Expectations – Ohio

Coming off an elite 8 finish and entering the season power ranked #7, there were high expectations for the Bobcats coming into this season. Now, one semester in, with a sub .500 record of 4-5, I’m willing to bet that even Ohio would tell you they are not happy with their overall performance at this point in the year. With Ohio planning to attend 5 tournaments this spring there is still plenty of room for growth on this team. I expect they will come out hungry as they look to show the rest of the region that they won’t be written off that easily.

Top 6 Rookies

Here are Rylan Close and Ethan Lehmkuhl’s picks for the top 6 rookies in the Ohio Region. With there being limited exposure so far, this list is not in any order.

Connor Buttari (UC)
Colson Bunch (OSU)
Emmanuel Miller (Ohio)
Connor Engels (UC)
Davis Honrath (Miami)
JJ Oldenburg (Kent)

Top Rivalry – OSU vs UC

Always tense and always tightly contested. These two things are certain when OSU and UC match up. In the last two and half seasons, OSU and UC have been split down the middle, with a head-to-head record of 4-4. The ODC championship game has also been contested by OSU and UC each of the last two seasons. Every matchup is high stakes for these teams, not only because they are often ranked amongst the top of the league, but because they simply don’t like each other. It is safe to say that it doesn’t get more “rivalry” than this.

Ohio Dodgeball Cup Prediction

As it stands, Ohio State is our pick to win the Ohio Dodgeball Cup. With two wins over Cincinnati and zero losses to the Ohio Region, it is hard to not consider OSU the favorite. Nothing is guaranteed though, and things are subject to change between now and the end of February, including UC’s roster. The Bearcats plan on returning 2nd Team All-American Ryan Engelman to their squad after enrolling in graduate school. Teams like Miami, Akron, and Ohio will certainly make any run to a title more difficult as well. The only certain thing about ODC is that it will be an entertaining day of dodgeball.

All Ohio Team

The following list was voted on by each team in the Ohio Region based on play through the fall semester, with each team’s individual list being weighed into this final list.

  1. Matt Rosinski (UC)
  2. Nick Kemer (OSU)
  3. PJ Antalek (Akron)
  4. Will Hyatt (UC)
  5. Terence Checkett (Ohio)
  6. Max Edling (Miami)
  7. Cole Ginocchio (Miami)
  8. Evan Brown (BGSU)
  9. Mike Bilczo (Kent)
  10. Alden Prohaska (OSU)
  11. Jeremy Faircloth (Akron)
  12. Branden Stevens (Kent)

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