The paintball club team may not be the most well known on campus, but they are scheduled to compete in the 2012 College Paintball National Championships in Lakeland, Fla. on April 13-15.
The team is hungry to spread the word about their sport.
“I know it seems a bit ambitious but I feel that we have the talent and the experience,” said club vice president Sam Agelan. “We know it is going to be a war of attrition and I believe we can battle through it.”
The paintball team is led by club president Sean Carlin and Agelan. Both students are juniors and have been playing paintball for much of their lives.
The duo of paintball competitors hopes to lead the club to new heights. Their most recent feat is the team’s advancement into Class A of the National Collegiate Paintball Association.
In previous seasons, the team has played a level below Class A in Class AA. The major difference between the classes lies in the amount of rest time. In Class AA, there are lengthy breaks in between matches, during a competition, which do not exist at the Class A level.
The division move will force the Owls to play a more competitive and faster paced format at nationals and will open up the team to some of the best competition in the nation.
The team is aware that if they plan to standout at nationals, they have to get to work to make sure they are ready.
“Class A requires us to be in top physical condition,” Carlin said. “On the field, we are working mainly on individual player skills and dynamics through drilling and a lot of video footage to correct our past errors.”
The Owls are putting in just as much work away from the field as they are on the field to make sure they get to nationals and to solidify their on campus presence enough to keep the roster full and the club intact. As a club sport, the team receives partial funding from the University but is still obligated to raise funds to cover much of their costs.
This year provided some interesting obstacles for the club, as it inherited a debt from previous teams, which forced the club to fundraise in order to stay eligible to play in events.
“We’ve done a lot of work,” Carlin said. “We’ve refereed local events and have done some work at local paintball fields to raise funds.”
The team has also employed a number of fundraisers such as T-shirt sales along with hosting a paintball outing at Crusader Paintball Field in Fairless Hills, Pa. on Feb 25.
The club team welcomes new members no matter what their level of experience may be, Agelan said.
“We have people on the team who have only played once or twice,” Agelan said. “I take a lot of time to try and make sure that every player has the fundamentals down so we can compete at the highest level.”
In a nationals field that year after year features more than 100 teams, Agelan said he expects the club will come out with a Top 3 overall finish.
“I can seriously see us finishing Top 3,” Carlin said. “We have a lot of raw, pure talent on this team. We are confident that others teams know that Temple is a team to contend with.”
The Owls will soon receive their opportunity to rest atop the college paintball world, after spending weeks sharpening their skills and raising awareness and funds for their squad.
Raymond Boyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*full disclosure: Sean Carlin is a different student than assistant news editor Sean Carlin.