UW-Platteville Paintball headed to Nationals

This is an exciting year for UW-Platteville’s Paintball Club. On Apr. 19, the club will head down to Florida to compete in nationals. The team has won the national tournament twice in the past five years, and they hope to keep the momentum going.

“Platteville is one of the teams that go down and regularly does well in nationals, so we want to keep that going,” sophomore civil engineering major Logan Stevens said.

The Paintball Club has been around for a little over 20 years and currently has 20 active members.

Stevens is enjoying his time in the club, especially now as secretary on the club’s executive board.

“This is my second year, first year as secretary,” Stevens said. “We work pretty well together. Before every practice, we brainstorm and try to come up with new things that can help us. We have a lot of fun doing what we’re doing.”

Stevens explained that he joined the executive board so he can be the leader when he’s a senior for those who are just joining the club.

“Last year, it was something that was really great for me, I wanted to return the favor,” Stevens said.

The club has at least three competitions a semester, the fourth one is usually up in the air as sometimes they don’t have enough people, or, for example, this year there was a timing issue.   

“You have to play three tournaments, and then you’re eligible [for nationals]. It’s not really a whole lot of you have to have points,” Stevens said. “It costs a lot of money to go to nationals, so if you’re not doing well, you don’t want to send a-line to nationals. Unless you’re certain you can do well.”

The team this year came in fourth for the first tournament and first in the second and third this semester.

“We’re feeling pretty confident,” Stevens said.

Stevens describes the tournaments being similar to a swimming meet. The team gets points for how well they have done in the competition. The goal is to capture the flag in the center. He describes competitions as very much a team effort.

This year, when it comes to nationals, most players have similar goals.

“We have some new people that are going down with us,” Stevens said. “My main goal is to help the newer people, so that way when the people that are on our a-line, our best line, leave, we have people that can fill in and be just as good if not better.”

Social media coordinator and senior industrial engineering major Paul Leedle echoed Stevens’ statement on the goals for this year at nationals.

“Well, with our strong showing in conference this season, we’d like to compete for the series championship,” Leedle said. “With no graduating seniors, we’d like to build our team this year at the event, and if it does not go as planned, we can return next year with an experienced team.”

The club has multiple sponsorships that help them with funding to be able to attend nationals. Commando Paintball Sports, Edge Paintball & Airsoft and HK Army are just a few of the sponsors. The team, however, is looking at doing more fundraisers in the future to help.   

Although they are very focused on the upcoming competition, the club is aware of the priorities of their teammates and UW-Platteville peers.

“We all like to support each other,” Stevens said. “We do put school ahead of competitions. If someone comes and they have an exam in the morning, we don’t force them to practice. We do ask that most members go to most practices just because it helps us see how the teams is doing. If someone is having problems in classes, you can ask any one of us [older members in the club] because we have been in the classes before and we know how to help. We really try to be there for each other.”