Two years ago, the paintball club was merely a dream of Mike Abramowitz, an enthusiast of the sport. That dream came to fruition last year.
Now Abramowitz and the paintball club are headed to Dallas this weekend to compete
against more than 70 of the country’s best teams at the National Collegiate Paintball
“We decided to start this team from scratch,” said Abramowitz, the club’s president.
“We went everywhere we could to try and advertise. Recruiting people was extremely
hard because it takes a certain type of person to do what we do. In the end, we found a group of five kids that we could depend on to form a college paintball team.”
After months of pleading his case in front of Temple Student Government to receive
funding for the organization, he was awarded the support of allocation grants. This money is used for entry fees to tournaments, uniforms, practice sessions and equipment.
Last season was one of trial and error, with the club maneuvering with a makeshift schedule and five students who were determined to leave a mark in the paintball world.
Practice was intense, with countless hours dedicated to late night trips to local fields. The team ventures across the state lines to three sites in New Jersey for its practices.
This season, the team’s commitment has paid off, as it earned decisive victories over Army and cross-town rival Drexel. The Owls participated in the Northeast Intercollegiate Conference Frost Bowl as well as the UMass Open, earning fifth place in both. The most memorable moment of the 19season, according to Abramowitz, came when the team hosted the first annual Temple University Open at Cobra Command Paintball Park in Hatfield, Pa. The Owls came in second place, securing their highest finish in any tournament to date.
The Owls are currently ranked 15th in the nation among Class AA schools, according
to the National College Paintball Association.
The format of play consists of two five-man teams going head-to-head on a field that’s roughly the size of two football fields. To secure a victory, a team must either eliminate all of the opposition, or have the most standing after a five-minute session.
The team is anchored by Abramowitz, junior Matt Eyer, and freshmen Matt Jacob, Chris Bauer, Brian Sander and Jason Gabouri. Youth is the Owls’ biggest weapon, as it will help the team continue to grow and prosper in upcoming years.
“I think the future is pretty promising,” said Jacob, the club’s vice president. “At this rate we have nowhere to go but up. In our region, a lot of teams have been around for a long time so they’re on their way out and we’re a freshman team and we’re on our way up.”
The next step for this band of gunslingers
is to build upon its already solid foundation.
Ultimately the team would like to reach Class A status, in which everything from team size to funding is magnified.
Abramowitz encourages support of the paintball team and believes that the game isn’t simply about shooting opposing players with paint.
“You learn a lot more from paintball besides how to go out and hit somebody with a paintball,” Abramowitz said. “You learn a lot about teamwork. You need to know what people are thinking and you also learn how to communicate well.”
Anthony Stipa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.