This seems to be a great season for Ohio dodgeballers, Ohio University is playing the best they have ever played, Kent State and Bowling Green State are reclaiming their former glory, and The University of Akron has become a force on the court and can hang with most teams. Ohio dodgeball is becoming so competitive that it’s hard to predict the ODC this season. Now, I apologize in advance to OSU and Baldwin Wallace because I don’t know how your teams have been this season, because I have not played you, and this article is about my observations from playing these teams, as well as each Ohio Captains’ opinions about their respective team.
Ohio State: They stand at the #8 during the winter break, according to the Gonzales system. This is impressive because of the strength of the top tier teams this season. I haven’t had the pleasure of playing them this semester, so I cannot give my first hand testimony about them right now, but here is what captain Jeff Star had to say:
Jeff Star: Weakness: we are rebuilding after losing like 10 seniors. Strength: losing a couple of our players has allowed others to step up in ways I don’t think other teams will expect from playing them in previous years. Our biggest goal this year was to fill the gap from losing so many seniors. This year was the best we’ve had since I was a freshman so I think we’re doing pretty well there
Kent State: This season has been the best for the Golden Flashes since I joined the League two years ago. Ranked #9 during the winter break, their upperclassmen are being great leaders and playmakers, and the return of Albert DePerro and Ryan Hinman have contributed greatly to their success, while players like Cassie Weaver and Matt Rosso call the shots. Their success comes from how deep their talent is from their upperclassmen like Mitch Aldridge to younger players like Tyler Paalman. They are the strongest they have been in a while and I won’t rule out the possibility of a great run at Nationals for Kent.
Cassie Weaver: I would say Kent State’s strengths would have to be the arm power we have. We have so many arms like Albert Deperro, Logan Baird, Evan Less and Mitch Aldridge. We are one of the top throwing teams. As for weaknesses, I’d have to say what I said in an earlier article, we need to execute all those throwing arms that in a way we get points. If all the throwers all throw at once, we lose ball control and we have to become a catching team. Our goal for this year is to become more one with the game. That means, we execute drills we practice and when it comes to game time, we do it to our best ability. If we do that, we could make it possibly to the final four. My team just needs to keep putting in the same effort they are giving in practice, and we can start being on game winning streaks.
Bowling Green State: They are as strong now as I’ve ever seen them. Great leadership from the likes or Marco Ritz, Tyrell Johnson, Tyler Broyles and Treanna Bidlak have really led this team to where they are now. These guys have some good throwers, but they are definitely a catching team, and it is fun to watch when they get on a catching streak.
Treanna Bidlack: I think that one of our biggest strengths is catching. We have put a lot of effort into teaching our members to not be afraid to catch and knowing when you should and shouldn’t try to catch. Our biggest weakness would probably be getting into those crazy situations on the court and not sticking to the game plan. This is mainly for he younger members that aren’t as accustomed to other teams baiting them into those situations. A few of our goals are to win ODC and to get a few wins at Nationals this year and make it past the first round. To accomplish this we have started to really work on not letting ourselves get baited into those crazy situations where we lose focus. We have been focusing on learning other teams weakness’s and how to draw them out. I think we really have a chance to make some noise this semester if we can stay focused on the overall goals we have set fourth.
University of Akron: The issues we have are that we can barely keep a full roster and that there is too much difference between our core players and our secondary players. We are a very strong team and we can compete with any team, but we don’t finish our matches well.
Adam Pfiefer: For our team, aspirations for this season is get our new people to become better players in the future. Our goals are to win the ODC and get some quality wins. We also need to play a full game. We play very well against everyone but we can’t put together 50 minutes of straight play. Our strength is our core players but we hope to get our new people to that level.
Baldwin Wallace: I’m really disappointed about not playing them this semester. They were always my favorite team to play because of how evenly matched we were and how we were all familiar with each other. Hopefully this semester proves greater for them.
Connor Rigsby: Weakness is number of people we have on the team. Our numbers are down this year. Strength is the group of people I do have on the team right now are all hard working and dedicated on getting better. My goals for this team is just to grow and become a long term team that has a chance at upsetting some teams at Nationals within a couple years. This team is young and we saw big things out of them last year with it being our first year in the league and I’m exited to see Baldwin Wallace keep growing. We are working hard to recruit at the moment and are looking to compete in our first tournament of the year here soon.
Ohio University: What can I say about the Bobcats that hasn’t already been said. They’ve gotten their first wins this season and have really became a force to be reckoned with. Their captain Caleb Arnold should be proud of the work he’s done.
Miami (Ohio): Miami is a very athletic team with much potential, but their young age and inexperience get the best of them. I’d be looking for great things from them in the coming seasons.
Kyle Shaw: So I think that our teams greatest strength is also our greatest weakness – age. Being a new club, the vast majority of our players are underclassman. This has been a big learning year for most of our team, but it also bodes really well for our future going forward. Our goal for this season is to get our first win, and we are hoping to do that through increased strategy and organization on the court, as well as trying to seek out some other newer teams to play.
Be looking for great things coming from the Ohio teams, they have the power to upset even the greatest of Michigan schools and anyone who they come in contact with. O-H!