I had a chance to sit down with Terence Checkett of Ohio University who was the Rookie of the Month winner for March.
Terence is a Freshman studying Political Science at Ohio University. He made a splash this year on one of the youngest teams in the NCDA and was a standout player who played a key role in the Bobcat’s offense. Going forward, expect Checkett to continue to be household name within the realm of college dodgeball.
Leading into Nationals, we look to spotlight as many teams as we can in hopes of shining a bright light on standouts from participating teams. These glow-ups include up to 2 of each team’s standout rookies as well as a handful of core contributing players that have gotten their respective team to where they are going into the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association’s annual finale. Lastly, we get a glance into each participating team’s mindset and expectations going into Nationals.
The last tournament before Nationals west of Maryland (who are hosting the next day) will be on March 26th in Cincinnati, Ohio. Yes, the University of Cincinnati Bearcats will be playing host to a trio of teams as we get one last look at a handful of teams this weekend prior to everyone meeting in Kalamazoo, Michigan for our league’s first National Championship Tournament in three long years.
The Bearcats will welcome the Pioneers of Wisconsin-Platteville, the Wildcats of Kentucky, and the Bobcats of Ohio to town for the Clifton Heights Classic, a tournament they plan to make annual as a perhaps last stop event before April’s winner-take-all affair. There are a handful of good storylines to pay attention to this weekend for each team, so let’s take a look.
The second annual John Betters’ Bobcat Bonanza showed us where a lot of teams stand at this point in the season. With most teams having played a match throughout the league as of the conclusion of this weekend, I think we are finally starting to get a good picture for how each team compares to one another. While there are still a lot of lingering questions (IE – how does the majority of the East Coast stand up to the rest of the league? What does Michigan State look like? Is Towson still truly a top team in the NCDA? Are Grand Valley and Cincinnati actually that good?), we did get some real answers this weekend. Yes, Grand Valley is still a force to be reckoned with. Yes, Cincinnati is a legitimate title contender despite the loss to the aforementioned Lakers. Yes, the league is in overall good health with impressively large rookie classes for a lot of teams who hadn’t played prior to this weekend such as Ohio and Saginaw Valley.
What hasn’t been answered, however, is what each team thought about their own individual performances on the weekend. The participating Captains and Presidents minced no words when it comes to how they felt about their teams’ performances this past weekend. Here’s what they had to say:
With the return of dodgeball comes the return of what I can only assume will become a time honored tradition for Ohio University, and that is hosting the annual John Betters’ Bobcat Bonanza in the fall semester. Not only will this year’s iteration feature eight talented dodgeball teams, but we will also witness the retirement of the great John Betters’ jersey as well as the ceremonial first throw – a welcomed new addition to the tournament.
Silliness aside, Ohio University will be host to some of the hardest hitting, most impactful matchups the NCDA has to offer since before the pandemic started in March of 2020. The teams in attendance will be Bowling Green State University, the University of Cincinnati, Grand Valley State University, James Madison University, Miami University, hosts Ohio University, [the] Ohio State University, and Saginaw Valley State University.
There are a lot of intriguing storylines to consider and questions that need answers as we head into Saturday’s tournament. To shine some light on some of those, we’ve asked the leaders of each team to provide some insight into who some players to look out for are, what they think about their respective matchups, and what they need to do to have a successful day Saturday. Without further adieu, here is what each team had to say:
A little overdue, but Penn State came out the big winners in one of the two opening tournaments of the Spring 2017 season. To recap, PSU finished 3-0, followed by VCU who went 2-1, Ohio who went 1-2-1, and Akron who finished the weekend 0-3. It was a very competitive tournament, and each game could have gone either way. Below are some of the takeaways from each team’s performances.
New year, new dodgeball. We hit the ground running quick for the Spring semester of the 2016-17 season, as Penn State University hosts their first ever home tournament. A total of four teams will be mixed in the fray including our hosts, Akron University, Ohio University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. This tournament has a similar feel to UNG’s Dahlonega Dodgefall Fest. There is no clear favorite, and most of the teams here are around the same rank and skill level with each other, which could prove to make for an exciting weekend. Let’s take a quick look at what to expect from the attending teams. Continue reading “PSU Tournament Preview”
This Saturday, the University of Pittsburgh Dodgeball Club hosts their first tournament and will become the 40th collegiate dodgeball organization to play in the NCDA. Pitt’s Induction Match is the first match of the day and their opponent is the honorable Akron, who joined as the 35th club who joined November 2014. Rounding out the competitors are Ohio and Kent, which will make for a great set of matches for any new team.
I am looking forward to the Pitt/Ohio match because new team matchups are always a highlight for me. I think this will be much more competitive than the current Gonzalez rating suggests, and I will actively compare this upcoming game to future meetings between the two teams.
I’m also looking at Kent/Akron as a good match. These two teams are basically coming from the same area, traveling a similar distance, and playing on a neutral but unfamiliar court. That sets up a great story in this author’s humble opinion.
The National Collegiate Dodgeball Association’s 2016 Executive of the Year is awarded to Caleb Arnold from Ohio University. The captain for first-year NCDA member team Ohio, Caleb demonstrated excellent leadership, scheduling his team 25 games. This honor is bestowed upon Caleb after the NCDA Executive Board vote (also nominated for this award was Erik Zander, the captain for Wisconsin Platteville).
I was able to ask a few questions of the league’s Executive of the Year, and I learned a lot about Caleb and his team. After reading through Caleb’s responses, I anticipate everyone else will have as much respect as I do for the President, Captain, and Founder of Ohio University Dodgeball:
Kevin Bailey – What were the reasons for you starting up a team at Ohio, and what were the main struggles that you encountered during this process?
A very similar event to the Ohio Dodgeball Cup on the surface, but let’s scratch a bit deeper. There’s plenty of tests on the Gonzalez system here. First, we can take a look at how a #2 team performs against three teams that average a gap of 17 under CMU. Among 963 games there is a strong predictability that these matches won’t be upsets, all of those would fall in the top three largest exchanges.
This weekend Central Michigan University hosted the King of the Mountain dodgeball tournament. At this event we saw schools from Michigan, Ohio, and even Wisconsin in attendance. There were a lot of questions heading into the event, and I came away with quite a bit of insight on the teams that made the trip to Mt. Pleasant for a great tournament. Below I have the scores from the tournament and some of my takeaways from the event as a whole: Continue reading “King of the Mountain Recap”