Category Archives: Interviews

ProPaintball interview with Greg Pauley

Greg Pauley pro paintball player

Pro player Greg Pauley sits down with ProPaintball and talks about AC402.com, parting ways with pro team Omaha VICIOUS, and building paintball from the ground up.

Special thanks to AC402.com, MikeDeep.com, FeatureThisPB.com, Strive4PB and Understood Paintball for help in putting this interview together.

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Paintball Player of The Week- Mike McCormick

Pro paintball player Mike McCormick from San Diego Dynasty

Pro paintball player Mike McCormick from San Diego Dynasty

I got a few emails from readers that wanted me to interview Mike so I sent him a quick message asking if he would be interested, and was pretty stoked on how quickly he agreed to answer some questions for us here at Propaintball.com

Mike McCormick - Pro Paintball Player of the Week

Mike McCormick - Pro Paintball Player of the Week

Name: Mike McCormick, 20 years young.

Hometown: Born in London, Ontario, Canada. Currently reside in Los Angeles.

Occupation: Ceritfied Pimp and water boy.

Previous Teams: Alter ego, Sinister, San Diego Aftermath, Assault, San Diego Dynasty.

Current Team: San Diego Dynasty.

Sponsors: Empire paintball, Guerrilla Air, Cp, Planet Eclipse, Rps, HHHk Army, And last but not least Oring Monkey.

Position: Mostly upfront, But I like to get different looks around the field.

Favorite Players: Id have to say Alex Goldman (aka Mouse) would be my favorite player. Hes helped me since day 1 at the Aftermath camp and Ive learned alot from him throughout the past few years.

JJ @ ProPb: When you aren’t playing paintball, what are you most likely doing?

Mike: Working as much as I possibly can, Hanging out with my friends and family, And just living life. Making the best of it.

JJ @ ProPB: When did you first start playing paintball?

Mike: The first time I played Paintball was for a friends birthday party in early 2007 I believe. I dont think I shot anyone that whole day and called myself out on a few bounces, But have been hooked ever since. Haha.

JJ @ ProPB: When did you first start playing tournament paintball?

Mike: I want to say my first tournement was a local 3 man at Jungle Island Paintball Park. Had a few friends and some lunch money saved up, So we figured we try it out and see what happened.

JJ @ ProPB: Who do you look up to in the sport?

Mike: All the guys on my team, First and second. Anyone who just loves the sport and loves to play it.

JJ @ ProPB: What does playing paintball mean to you?

Mike: Paintball means everything to me, Let me travel the world, Taste different foods, And meet some of the coolest people Ive ever met. Without it I cant say where id be today.

JJ @ ProPB: What is your most memorable paintball experience?

Mike: Most memorable experience would have to be making team Dynasty and given a shot at the pro ranks.

JJ @ ProPB: I got the opportunity to play alongside Alex Fraige, Oliver Lang and Ryan Greenspan at the NPPL allstar game this year and needless to say I was pretty star struck.. What’s it like playing on a team with such amazing talent and players that you’ve grown up watching and admiring?

Mike: Its an experience and a half. Never thought Id get the chance to step on the field with these guys but Im glad It happened and Im thankful for it all.

JJ @ ProPB: What is Hinman really like?

Mike: Haha, Good one. I mean I’d consider Mike one of my good friends, Hes a great coach, and a good guy. Hes taken me from nothing to something and always had my back,  Has his crazy times like we all do but all in all he puts his pants on the same as I do each morning.

JJ @ ProPB: What are your goals for next season?

Mike: My goals are to contiune to play for team Dynasty in the 2012 season and just play paintball. Do what I love to do. Win.

JJ @ ProPB: Do you have any advice for up and comers looking to play pro?

Mike: Just play paintball, Best advice I can give. Play paintball and work hard at it. You think your working hard already, Work harder. Dont talk about it, Be about it.

JJ @ ProPB: What are you currently listening to on your ipod/computer/car?

Mike: Usually got some Wiz or Wayne playing, But Ill listen to anything really. Shoutout to Justin beiber, Nohomo. Your worldstar Hip Hop freestyle is ill.

JJ @ ProPB: Any shout-out’s you wanna make?

Mike: First off, Those teachers who told me Id never be anything. Mr. Gonzales, TCHS Holler at ya boy. My parents, Hingeman, My team, Everyone whos supported me through the past few years. Love you all. :) :)

Paintball Player of the Week – Robbie Goldsmith

Robbie Goldsmith from CEP pro paintball team on the break out

Robbie Goldsmith from CEP pro paintball team on the break out

This week’s player of the week is Robbie Goldsmith of Chattanooga CEP. Robbie rose through the ranks, playing both divisional and college paintball before making his debut in 2011 on the professional field. ProPaintball’s JJ Roth recently sat down with Robbie to talk about rising through the ranks, his most memorable paintball experiences, 2012 goals and advice for up and coming player. Check it!


Name: Robbie Goldsmith (24 years old)

Hometown: New Lenox, IL but I reside in Nashville, TN.

Occupation: Co-owner of Minor League Paintball series, but I survive by collecting a salary from Enterprise Holdings.

Previous Teams: Dark Image, 93 Bulls, and University of Tennessee Volunteers

Current Team: Chattanooga CEP

Sponsors: DXS, DYE, Insane Paintball, and Minor League Paintball give Chattanooga CEP amazing support!

Position: Back/Insert #14

Favorite Players On the other side of the field today, I really enjoy playing against and learning from Drew Templeton, Damian Ryan, Zach Wake, Chad Busiere, Dave Bains, Archie, and Mouse…..I feel all those players are bringing the sport to another level.

JJ @ ProPB: When you aren’t playing paintball, what are you most
likely doing?

Robbie @ CEP: I played d3 ACHA hockey at the University of Tennessee during college, so you can usually find me on the ice during the off season, and I really enjoy fishing and relaxing with friends and family at my lake house in Michigan. Besides that, you can usually find me at a local watering hole with the southern girls downtown Nashville….

JJ @ ProPB: When did you first start playing paintball?

Robbie @ CEP: Freshman year of high school some friends asked me to play in the woods, I quickly became addicted. My best friend owned 2 acres of woods so we built a field and played every weekend.

JJ @ ProPB: When did you first start playing tournament paintball?

Robbie @ CEP: 2004 Chicago PSP at badlandz was my first PSP event. Xfactor wrecked us in our first event by 13 points (old xball) or something….crazy that I would meet back up with them 7 years later….

JJ @ ProPB: Who do you look up to in the sport?

Robbie @ CEP: I was a product of Badlandz, and Country Club Indoor paintball, so the guys who taught and beat me up were all the Old Voltage and Farside guys, and Damian Ryan. We were always the punk kids who showed up to try to beat those guys, which never happened. MW
paintball is all about heart, so im glad I was never handed anything in the sport, and these guys beat me into the player I am today…..

JJ @ ProPB: What does playing paintball mean to you?

Robbie @ CEP: It’s what I love to do. I skipped my high school prom 2 years straight to go to Tampa NPPL, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. In college I missed every hockey tournament but the National Championships to travel with CEP. When I moved to TN, all the CEP guys were d5 players who had no idea what they were doing, and now we have went from that point to 8 best friends playing PRO. We are 100% home grown, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Some people think that will be our downfall, but where there is a will there is a way……

JJ @ ProPB: What is your most memorable paintball experience?

Robbie @ CEP: The entire 2008 season is when Cross Eyed Paintball hit the map. We played d2, took second to last at Phoenix, 8th at MAO, then came back in Chicago down 5-0 to beat Raiden 6-5 and win the event, then we went undefeated at NEO taking back to back events, decided to jump to d1 at World Cup, making Sunday and missing top 4 by 8 seconds. That entire season was where Chattanooga CEP finds its roots
and drive.

JJ @ ProPB: What are your goals for next season?

Robbie @ CEP: We FINALLY wont have to be the new kids on the block, so we are prepared to take what we learned in our first year, and come out in 2012 as a threat to the good ole boy Sunday club. We are the first to admit, we have gotten worked this year, but CEP doesn’t quit, we will continue earning peoples respect and work towards our ultimate goal, A PSP PRO championship.

JJ @ ProPB: Do you have any advice for up and comers looking to play pro?

Robbie @ CEP: There is a right way and a wrong way to do things in every aspect of life. If you decide to make the right decisions and work hard enough, good things will happen. Paintball is a marathon not a sprint. OH….and NEVER choose paintball over college….lets get real here….theres ways to do both

JJ @ ProPB: What are you currently listening to on your ipod/computer/car?

Robbie @ CEP: I got a wide variety…….new Jay Z/Kanye, Carter 4, Mumford and Sons, Skrillex, Foster the People, Adele is the real deal……and everyone knows Im all about Deanna Carter.

JJ @ ProPB: Any shout-out’s you wanna make?

Robbie @ CEP: All my CEP family, guaranteed I would never be where I am in this sport without the 15 people involved with CEP down in Chattanooga, NCPA all-stars for letting me coach and keeping events fun, and of course all the SMACKBOX haters…..no publicity
is bad publicity…

Paintball Team Spotlight: The Meat Hammers

Meat what? The Meat Hammers you say? And they are making a come back? Whats going on now?

Pro paintball Todd Martinez Dynasty

The internet is full of buzz with the entry of the Meat Hammers in the 2011 NPPL Las Vegas Championships. ProPaintball insiders tipped us off at Cup that a huge come back featuring the “whos-who” of retired paintball players will be making their way onto the field next weekend. We heard that Todd Martinez was involved in spear heading the effort and caught up with him for the official scoop.

Word started going around that there was a possible league merger in the mix and perhaps the last 7 man after NPPL Las Vegas. The idea randomly got tossed around about how much fun it would be to put a throw together team in with a bunch of guys that dont play paintball anymore just to go have a good time in Vegas. Davey Williamson, the new  west coast sales rep for Valken, proposed the idea to the company and they were gracious enough to give their full support to the team.

A few years back when pro players from Dynasty, XSV, and the Ironmen all lived in San Diego, we had a wednesday night softball team called the Meat Hammers. We had to be one of the worst softball teams to ever step on the diamond, but definitely had more fun than anyone could imagine. Every week was a different excitement. It was literally like playing for the bad news bears. So in the spirit of good times and good friends, the Meat Hammers are going to come have some fun and cause some ruckus in Las Vegas. Few of the players have even played paintball in a couple years since retirement and a no practice rule has been instated. We come to have a good time together and bring some excitement to the teams in division one.

Big thanks to Valken for making this all happen for us. Get your official Meat Hammers jerseys at RAZAlife.com, and Meat Hammer HPA tanks by Crossfire.

Our roster is as follows. Batting first…

  1. Brian Cole
  2. Matty Marshall
  3. Opie Loughran
  4. Johnny Perchak
  5. Angel Fragoza
  6. Todd Martinez
  7. Adam Johnson
  8. Alex Savino
Might bring in a center fielder and a clean-up hitter.

What are your thoughts on the Meat Hammers roster? How will the team do in division 1 against the likes of Impact Echo and Dynasty 2?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Ed note: Special thanks to RazaLife for helping put this story together.

Player of the Week- Cam McCarty

I asked readers to email me about who they thought should be featured in this section of propaintball.com and the response has been fantastic. This is the first edition of our reader inspired Player Of The Week. If you know of someone that you think should be featured in this section, please shoot an email to roth357@gmail.com

We’re heading down to Texas this week for our Player Of The Week feature. Based out of Twisted Games, VcK has been steadily moving up the divisional ranks since their inception in 2008. Cam McCarty, founder of VcK takes a minute to give us some insight into his thoughts about playing at the D1 level and what’s currently going on in his organization.

Can McCarty playing with VcKName: Cam McCarty
Hometown: Los Alamitos, California
Occupation: Full-time student
Previous Teams: Stamina (3-man), Organized Chaos, Trouble
Current Team: VcK
Sponsors: Kee Action Sports, Empire Paintball, Twisted Games of Texas,
Proedge paintball
Position: Back/Insert
Favorite Players: Alex Goldman, Steven Pitts, Oliver Lang, and Damian Ryan.

JJ @ ProPB: When you aren’t playing paintball, what are you most likely doing?

Cam @ VcK: When i’m not playing paintball i’m usually busy with school, hanging out with friends, working out, and of course; call of duty. I also try to play basketball as much as I can. So yes, Alfred De Los Santos, let’s throw down on the courts!

JJ @ ProPB: When did you first start playing paintball?

Cam @ VcK: I first started playing paintball back in 2000 when I was 9 years old. I went out to a local field with some family friends, and was scared out of my mind. I hid all day long, and ended up getting shot one time in the leg. I didn’t play again for the rest of the day, but was hooked and have played almost every weekend since then!

JJ @ ProPB: When did you first start playing tournament paintball?

Cam @ VcK: I first started playing tournament paintball when I was 10 years old in the rookie division in my area’s local league with some older friends of mine. We made it past the prelim’s, but were knocked out shortly after. From there, I became part of my first real team Stamina. We won the youth league series in 2003-2004 I believe, and won multiple local tournaments. I played my first PSP event in the young-guns division in 2006, and have played in many NPPL events throughout 2006-2008. Since late 2008, I have only been playing in the PSP with VcK.

JJ @ ProPB: Who do you look up to in the sport?

Cam @ VcK: I look up to a lot of the current pro guys and veterans that are out there impacting the sport, such as Oliver Lang, Matty Marshall, Mike Hinman, Steve Rabackoff, etc.. Without these guys our sport wouldn’t be close to what it is today.

JJ @ ProPB: What does playing paintball mean to you?

Cam @ VcK: Paintball always has been a major part of my life. It means the world to me; I have been blessed to become life-long friends with players from all over the world, seen a lot of great places I would have probably never seen, and enjoyed the experience that paintball has given me for the past 11 years. No matter what is going on in your personal life, on those weekends playing paintball with your friends, nothing else matters. Truly can’t say enough about it…

JJ @ ProPB: What is your most memorable paintball experience?

Cam @ VcK: My most memorable paintball experience would be taking 3rd place in Division 2 at Phoenix in 2010. This was our team’s first event in Division 2, and we were down to 7 guys that event after losing a significant player due to injuries the first day of the event. Everybody was forced to step-up, and we played really well. We didn’t get first, but we were still happy with our top 3 finish.

JJ @ ProPB: What are your goals for next season?

Cam @ VcK: My goals for next season is to continue being a part of VcK, and really working hard this off-season to get our name on the board. It has been a rocky past couple of events, but our goals are set high for the 2012 season.

VCK Paintball Team Powered by Empire Paintball

JJ @ ProPB: Do you have any advice for up and comers looking to play national level paintball?

Cam @ VcK: Go out there and give it your all, and be the best that you possibly can. Play against players that have more experience;don’t be afraid to ask questions or get tips from them. Furthermore, have fun playing with/against your friends. That’s why we all started to play in the first place!

JJ @ ProPB: What are you currently listening to on your ipod/computer/car?

Cam @ VcK: Right now I am currently listening to some Kaskade, Skrillex, Drake,
and Kanye West/Jay-Z (watch the throne)!

JJ @ ProPB: Any shout-out’s you wanna make?

Cam @ VcK: I have a ton of shout-out’s, so I apologize if I miss anybody! First off, my friends and family that have supported me throughout the years; you guys are the best and I couldn’t have done it without y’all. I’d also like to give a shout-out to Kim McDonald at Twisted Games for putting up with all of us on VcK for the past years, giving us a field to call home. Max Porcher for helping me start VcK back in 2008, and really turn the team into something serious. Also, John and Matt Jackson- you guys are like brothers I never had, and I never would have become the player I am today without the both of ya’ll there to lead the way.Along with the rest of my brothers/best friends on VcK, and anybody who has been part of the VcK organization. Last but not least, all of the team’s fans and friends, you guys are the best and I appreciate the team support as we continue to grow! Big thanks to propaintball.com, you guys are doing an awesome job with the sport, keep it up!

The 411 on upTon 187 Paintball Team

Division 1 paintball team upTon 187 smashed their way through the 2011 paintball season. As the team progressed throughout the 2011 season, rumors began surfacing that the team would be making a move to the pro division in 2012 if the opportunity presented itself. After their convincing win at World Cup, I got the chance to get the lowdown on Upton 187 Crew from team owner, Dave Painter.

JJ @ ProPb: What is your current roster?

  1. Nick Leival – Captain
  2. Eddie Painter
  3. Shaun Janson
  4. Robert Traylor
  5. Mike Carlin
  6. Brian Fineberg
  7. Dan Zaleski
  8. Greg Lizotte
  9. Brian Jenkel
  10. Doug Greim

Pit Coach – Noel Tran
Pit Crew – Mike Gudejko, Jon Lizotte, Rob Darcy and Curt Janson
Snakeside coaches: Rob Lizotte, Stefini Lizotte and myself, Dave Painter

JJ @ ProPb: Who are your current sponsors?

  • Planet Eclipse: Soft goods (Jersey, Pants, Gloves, pads), Markers (Custom EGOs and GEOs), Gear Bags
  • Empire Paintball: Masks, Packs and Loaders
  • Pure Energy: Tanks
  • RPS: Ultra Evil Paint
  • Fox 4 Paintball: Home Field

JJ @ ProPb: Could you give us a brief History of the team?

Dave @ upTon 187: The team, in concept, started with the NPPL Miami event as the Kamo Killaz.  This was a team that had started out as a 3-man team the year before and quickly grew to a 5-man team and then a 7-man team playing in the NEPLs.  The team was made up of all very young players – I think the average age of the team was in the low teens.  Along the way we changed the name to 187 Crew and we played several seasons in the NPPL.  For the 2008 season we merged with another local team and put together a winning formula.  We took the NPPL D2 series crown in 2008.  In that same year several of our players started playing x-ball in the AXBL with Plattsburgh Negligence.  By the end of the 2008 season we had purchased the franchise from its original owner and changed the name to upTon 187 cRew for the 2009 season.  We took 1st in our division that year and had the league’s best record heading into the championships.  We lost in the finals to a very strong Philly All American team.  The plan was to continue with the AXBL in 2010, but when the league folded we quickly switched over to the PSP.  Unfortunately that meant we had already missed the first event of the year.  We finished the 2010 PSP season in D2 winning all three of the final events.  Unfortunately the missed first event left us a few points short of the overall series crown.  We bumped up to D1 for the 2011 season and the rest is history.

JJ @ ProPb: Summarize Upton’s 2011 season for us.

Dave @ upTon 187: Being from the Northeast (Upton, MA) our season usually starts much later than most.  However, this season we had a single focus of earning a PRO slot and practice started in January.  We would use snow blowers to clear the field off and practice both Saturday and Sunday most every weekend until the Galveston event. For many weekends that meant clearing off more than a foot of snow as the Northeast was hit hard this past winter with many snow storms.

Galveston was our first D1 event ever and our first match was against the New Jersey Jesters, a staple of the division.  They beat us up pretty bad and I guess you could say that was our welcoming to D1. We recovered from that loss and managed to earn our way to the finals against TKO.  Unfortunately I think our limited experience was a key factor in that finals match and TKO pretty much walked all over us.  Damien Ryan was a key difference in that match and really knows what to do and when.

In Chicago we managed to cruise through the prelims undefeated after having a tough first match against Topgun.  With an undefeated record in the prelims we earned a bye into the top 4 on Sunday.  When it came time to play on Sunday we simply didn’t adjust our game plans as fast as the other teams and lost both matches on Sunday to finish in 4th place.  In terms of our playing, this was the worst day of paintball for us all year.

New Jersey was one of those events that worked out great for the budget – close to home, which means no rental cars, no airline flights.  We were able to save a little money on the event, so we spent a little more on practice – traveling down to Topgun Paintball and practicing against Topgun and Assault a few weeks before the event.  This event was where everything started clicking for us.  We managed to go undefeated in prelims with a very close battle with Assault thrown in the middle and went into playoffs determined not to make the same mistakes we did in Chicago.  While we knew the other teams would  try to slow it down a bit we managed to come up with the game winning strategy and pulled off our first 1st place finish in Division 1.

After having practiced most every Saturday and Sunday leading up to World Cup the time finally came where we had a chance to prove that we belong in D1 and could possibly earn our PRO spot for 2012.  Again we managed to go undefeated in the prelims and earn that critical bye onto Sunday.  With the top 4 finish already guaranteed we knew we had locked up the D1 Series Title.  We headed out to Old Town and ended up partying with several players from Topgun (who also had earned the bye into Sunday).  It’s nice to get along with other teams outside of the netting and Togun has a great group of guys playing for them.  Our first match on Sunday was against VcK.  We’ve been friendly with their supports on the sidelines all year but never played against them.  They have a pretty young group of guys but they pack a punch.  Having watched several of their prelim games and the playoff game against Mayhem on Saturday you could tell they came with a renewed sense of vigor and were looking to make their own mark on the division.  It was a very close battle and the points went back and forth.  We were fortunate enough to come out on top and move onto the finals against a very strong looking Topgun team.  The final match was really no different than any other match we’ve had with Topgun this year – all very tough battles, all very close matches.  This match was back and forth and if not for the fact that the clock ran out about 1 second too soon for Topgun it would have gone into overtime.

To say this was a perfect season for us might be an overstatement, but we finished the year 15-1 in the prelims with the only loss coming at the first event in the first match.  Our playoff record, while not as great, is very strong at 5-3 with 2 of the 3 loses coming in Chicago by just 1 point each.

We’re looking forward to bumping up to the PRO division for 2012 and testing ourselves against even stronger competition.  We know the road will be tough and we look forward to the challenge.

JJ @ ProPb: Who really stood out this year as the catalyst for your team’s tenacity?

Dave @ upTon 187: This is one of those questions that is hard for us to answer.  Do we have great players?  Yes, we have several natural leaders both on and off the field.  But I feel the strength of upTon 187 cRew is the fact that we play as a team.  No individual comes before the team and we could truly pick 5 names out of a hat and I would feel comfortable putting them on the field for a playoff point.  If I had to pick out one player that really stood out – it would be Dan Zaleski.  He really stepped up his game this year and became a dominating force in the snake for us.  After tearing his MCL in mid September he managed to not only continue practicing with the team but also continue being a force in the snake.  You might not have noticed it this past weekend, but he was hurting pretty bad and kept on playing.  That shows you the heart and dedication which is common in all our players.

JJ @ ProPb: What is the team’s plan for 2012?

Dave @ upTon 187: We’re assuming that the promise of a PRO slot for 2012 still stands merger or no merger.  We’re all very excited about the opportunity to step up to the next level of play and the challenges it will bring.

JJ @ ProPb: How dependant is your plans on the rumored merger?

Dave @ upTon 187: Truth is paintball is paintball.  While we much prefer the race-to format if the leagues decide to play some other format we’ll adjust our game.  We were the D2 7-man series champions a few years back, so I’m sure we can make the adjustments necessary to be competitive.  I guess the only way the merger could affect us would be if somehow we were not offered a PRO slot.

JJ @ ProPb: What are your thoughts on a unified league?

Dave @ upTon 187: I think a standard format is best for paintball.  However, having the two leagues available to the players has pushed both of them to improve their offering to attracted teams.  I can fully understand the sponsor’s desires to unify the leagues too.  There is a large sum of money spent on supporting these events and with multiple national leagues to support the costs continue to grow.  In this economy that is a challenge for most any company.  I would like to see a single league with 5 or 6 events.  Maybe structure the league so that for the divisional teams the series championship is comprised of the top 4 or 5 scores (dropping their lowest score) which would allow teams to skip an event during the season to save on money.

JJ @ ProPb: As one of the ONLY homegrown teams, do you see that as being part of your recipe for success? Will you continue that tradition moving forward?

Dave @ upTon 187: Being homegrown has been a founding principal of ours and we will continue to work toward that as best as possible.  It has allowed us to practice most every Saturday and Sunday without putting any great burden on the players as far as travel goes.  We haven’t had much time to think about next season yet, but we know it would benefit us to bring in a player or two with PRO experience.  We have a few that live nearby and we have a few that are originally from the area that we might look to bring into the mix.

JJ @ ProPb: Any shout out’s you would like to make?

Dave @ upTon 187: This could end up being a long list.  There are all the guys at KEE Action Sports, Mike, Kevin, Paul, JK, Mark, JR, Jason and Johnny.  These guys stepped in and helped us out as a team back in 2003 and it’s been a successful relationship every since.  Then you have all the guys at Planet with a special thanks to Marc and Jacko for all the support they’ve shown us over the past several years and Gerry and Winter for all the tech support they’ve provided to us at events.  And I can’t forget Fox 4 Paintball, Curt Janson and Paul Cosman for all the support they’ve shown the team over the years.  Without them we’d have no team.  Rob Darcy, Gary Smith, Mike Gudejko and the entire Lizotte family for all the support they’ve shown us at Fox 4 and at national events.  And then there are all the teams that come to the field every weekend to practice against us – Section 8, Shipyard Ale, NEAA, Gunfighters, Brawlers, Reapers and the list  just keeps going.  And I’d personally like to thank my wife, Alice, for all the support she’s shown me over this crazy journey we’ve been on.

JJ @ ProPb: Any closing thoughts/opinions you would like to share

Dave @ upTon 187: If you can’t have fun at what you’re doing it’s not worth doing.  I’ve enjoyed this season of paintball and managed to make a few new friends along the way.  I’m always exciting to go to national events and see all the folks I’ve ran into over the years.  Let’s hope we can keep doing this for many years to come.

Player Of The Week- Alfred De Los Santos

Pro Paintball Player Alfred De Los Santos

Alfred playing with Mutiny. Photo Credit: Chrono300.com

Every Tuesday on Propaintball.com I will be doing our “Player Of The Week” feature. I will do my best to have a wide variety of players featured in this section, from the most well known pro players to some “up and coming” guys from your local fields. If there’s someone out there that you think I should talk to, or if you have any specific questions you would like to see answered, feel free to email me at roth357 [at] gmail.com anytime. So without further delay, here is our Pro Paintball Player Of The Week!

Pro Paintball Player Alfred De Los SantosName: Alfred De Los Santos

Hometown: Lindenhurst, NY

Occupation: Full time College student

Previous Teams: Voices of Violence (3-man), NY Sun Devils, LIFT, Indianapolis Mutiny

Current Team: St. Louis Avalanche (NPPL), New England Hurricanes (PSP), Moncton Strict Union (CXBL)

Sponsors: Dye Paintball, Vanguard, OXCC, UNDERSTOOD, Paintball Arena, NXE

Position: Front Dorito/Snake

Favorite Players: Hmm I’d have to say Alex Goldman, Federov, Jrab and Jason Edwards

JJ @ ProPB: When you aren’t playing paintball, what are you most likely doing?

Alfred: When I’m not out grinding every weekend I’m usually at home spending time with my family, in the Gym, or out with my friends. I’m a full-time student and work a part-time job so I really don’t get much free time for myself so when I do I try to take advantage of it lol. I also love playing sports Football, Baseball, and Basketball are my favorties. If anybody ever wants to throw down on the courts let me know! I’m always up
for a challenge.

JJ @ ProPB: When did you first start playing paintball?

Alfred: I first started playing paintball in 2005, I had just moved into the neighborhood and made friends pretty quick. Later in the year my buddy invited me to his birthday party over at a place called X-factor literally around the block from my house. It was basically all us little kids vs. his older brother and his friends and needless to say we got our asses kicked!! Regardless of the fact I had the time of my life and was instantly hooked. Back then cases of paint were 100 bucks so I played every 6 months or so.. If I couldn’t afford to go to X-factor we’d buy some paint at Wal-mart and played in a sump by my house.

JJ @ ProPB: When did you first start playing tournament paintball?

Alfred: I first started playing tournament paintball in August 2006 I had made friends with some kids at this field called High Velocity on Long Island. We all clicked pretty well and they had asked me to play a local 3-man young guns with there team called Voices of Violence. We went out and took 4th and I had actually played pretty well for my first tournament. My first National event was World cup 2007 at Disney with LIFT in Division 3 X-ball.

JJ @ ProPB: Who do you look up to in the sport?

Alfred: Honestly, I can’t really single out anyone but I look up to guys like Rich Telford, Thomas Taylor, and all the Pro’s who love the game and really work hard to promote and better the sport for the rest of us kids. There hard work is the reason why we are where we are and do what we do. Salute you guys!! Much respect.

JJ @ ProPB: What does playing paintball mean to you?

Alfred: I love playing paintball. It’s introduced me to so many amazing people and has brought me to so many places that I don’t think I would have ever visited otherwise. It has helped shape the person I am today and I’m forever grateful because without it
I don’t know what position I’d be in.

JJ @ ProPB: What is your most memorable paintball experience?

Alfred: I’d have to say my most memorable expierence would have to be when LIFT took 2nd place at that Chicago event at the Badlandz! At the time people really doubted if we belonged in Division 1 and we came into that tournament and beat everyone’s asses! Everything just clicked and we truely showed people what we were capable of, Although we came up short that event I don’t think I’ll ever forget how much fun I had with all my friends.

JJ @ ProPB: What are your goals for next season?

Alfred: I’m not 100% sure what exactly next year holds for me or paintball. But I aim to continue to compete at the Pro level and be the best player I can be and establish myself as a threat on the field. I’d also like to win a Pro event.

Alfred Pro Paintball

Alfred playing with the Hurricanes. Photo Credit: JRG Photo

JJ @ ProPB: Do you have any advice for up and comers looking to play pro?

Alfred: Don’t give up on your Dreams!! If you work hard enough you CAN achieve anything you set out to do. Forget the cameras and all of that stuff and just work on your game, play the best people you can and always work to be better. Never be satisfied with your game and always seek to make improvements.

JJ @ ProPB: What are you currently listening to on your ipod/computer/car?

Alfred: Right now I’m bumping the new J.Cole album “Coleworld” definitely reccomend that if you haven’t heard it. And of course Watch the Throne by Jay-Z and kanye that album goes way to hard!!

JJ @ ProPB: Any shout-out’s you wanna make?

Alfred: First and foremost my family and friends! You guys have always been there for me love you all, John Christ from LIFT and anyone that has ever played for the LIFT organization along with the guys from Understood. Tommy O and Aaron Tholey for believing and giving me the oppurtunity to compete at the Pro level, anyone who has EVER supported or helped me out in my career you all know who you are, and finally all the guys at Propaintball.com!! You guys are the bomb and are really doing great things for the sport keep grinding!! Much Love.

Paintball team of the Week: Impact Echo

Paintball Team Impact Echo

Impact on the breakout - Photo Credit: ???

 

This week’s ProPaintball Team of the Week is Impact Echo. Impact Echo has been a part of the Edmonton Impact paintball program for several years now, starting in division 3 and rising through the NPPL ranks. Impact Echo recently won in NPPL DC, taking first place in Division 1. I caught up with Jonny Danger from Impact Echo today to ask him a few questions about their recent trip to Pev’s for the NPPL DC event. I’ve had the pleasure of playing alongside these guys since I started playing tournament paintball in 2008, and it’s been awesome to see them come up through the ranks. From winning the NPPL D3 series title in 2009, the D2 title in 2010 and well on their way to a possible D1 series title in 2011, Impact Echo is a prime example of how a good bunch of guys becomes a great team.

Paintball team Impact Echo

Impact Echo wins NPPL DC

JJ @ ProPB: How did you guys to in DC?

Jonny @ Impact Echo: After some hard fought battles, we broke our curse of thirds and finally picked up the first place prize!

JJ @ ProPB: How does it feel?

Jonny @ Impact Echo: Words can’t explain how it feels to finally win an event this season, after coming off some strong practices with local teams, it’s nice to have achieved the goal we set out to accomplish.

JJ @ ProPB: What was the mindset of the team going into the DC event?

Jonny @ Impact Echo: We picked up a new player to round out our roster and we felt that now we were solid in all aspects of our team. We knew all we had to do was play the way we practice and no one could stop us.

JJ @ ProPB: What was working well for you guys down there?

Jonny @ Impact Echo: We found that even if we were down bodies you could live for a long time even if they were all across the center line. So it just became who could play the calm, patient game, and as Bart Yachimec has taught us over the years, we did just that.

JJ @ ProPB: What wasn’t working as well as you wanted?

Jonny @ Impact Echo: We didn’t really have too many issues, the layout was perfect for an all attack team like ours, the hardest part was our front guys getting shot off break and having to push out through some pretty big lanes.

JJ @ ProPB: What adjustments do you think you need to make before Vegas?

Jonny @ Impact Echo: We are going to play the layout a few times, adjust guys to fit. Our whole team can play any position we need, so other than finding the right fit for each of us, we shouldn’t need to do too much. Maybe a little practice with Edmonton Impact, but hey, that’s always on the agenda right?

JJ @ ProPB: What teams in D1 were giving you the most problems? What were they doing that was working for them?

Jonny @ Impact Echo: We had some issues with propaintball.com getting into the car wash against us. We found that we were focused on getting our guys up field, and not preventing the same movements. Eventually we found the right lanes to stop that.

JJ @ ProPB: Anything going on in the Impact Echo camp that you want our readers to know about?

Jonny @ Impact Echo: Well, as is usual the team is heading to one of our families houses for a yearly team dinner, this year is Canadian New Years turkey feaster. Like most teams, we are all friends away from the events as well, we hang out regularly and like to make the best of the off field time as well as the on field.

JJ @ ProPB: Anything you want to add? Any shout-out’s?

Jonny @ Impact Echo: Well after a big win like we had in DC, we need to thank all of our sponsors of course, Go Paintball.ca, Draxxus, Planet Eclipse, Ninja, and of course Bart Yachimec for his coaching as well as his help in getting us to events and looking after us while we are there. Without Bart, I know it would make it a lot more difficult for us to play as well. Also of course to our local practice teams like High Octane, they take their beatings and keep us pushing ourselves as well.

Thanks Jonny. See you at practice!

-JJ Roth

Interview with PSP's Lane Wright, State of the PSP in 2011, Merger, SmackTalk

PSP Pro Paintball

After reading countless posts across the ProPaintball website, it became very clear to us that there is considerable confusion within the community. Three topics seem to be rehashed on a weekly basis — the NPPL-PSP merger, the future of the PSP and a “chosen” format. Additionally, paintball players, coaches and team owners have been discussing the concept of limited paint in competitive paintball. There are various degrees of uncertainty out there due to rumors floating around the paintball community. As such, ProPaintball decided an interview with PSP Commissioner Lane Wright would help clear the air. Lane is known industry wide as a straight shooter and everyone here at ProPaintball has been looking forward to reading his thoughts on the matter. Read on as Lane sets the record straight.

ProPB: Lane, you shared a note in December 2010 that painted a bleak future for tournament paintball. ProPaintball insiders rumored that after sending the letter, the PSP implemented several cost cutting measures to change the league’s direction. What can you tell us about the PSP’s finances and the difference between the 2010 and 2011 seasons?

Lane @ PSP: First, since you asked it first, I’m glad to say the 2011 season has been a very successful one for PSP. Barring a complete catastrophe at World Cup, this will be the best business year we have ever had. I’d love to be able to say that my decisions earlier in the year were the catalyst for the rebound. But, I can’t. While I do believe they succeeded in some areas, I can’t honestly say those decisions were the driving force in the attendance this year. I do think they helped.

Lane @ PSP: My opinion is that the years of effort prior to this season have been the key to the seasons success. I believe we have a format that teams feel give them the best chance at a fair and equitable competition. I believe the years of training and the decisions from years ago to put our money and efforts into referee programs, as opposed to other more glamorous areas, have helped tournament players grow respect for the fact that we put our efforts into things that actually do something tangible for them as opposed to just things that make them feel good. PSP has never made being “sexy” our priority. We have always believed that the slow steady approach, an emphasis on the actual product as opposed to the window dressing, and having our goal be that the best team has the best chance to win is the way to maintain our model.

Lane @ PSP: That’s not to say that we don’t spend effort and time looking into other areas. We certainly do. I simply try to manage our efforts so that the tournament and the competitive player are always topping the priority list. I believe we have accomplished that goal for the most part. We are set to take some steps into the other side of things very soon. We’ll have to wait and see if the timing is right. That’s about all I can say about that.

PPB: What can you tell us about the future of paintball?

Lane @ PSP: The future is both scary and promising. The economy is tough. It’s not only tough here in the US. It’s starting to slide in other places. The European market is a serious state of confusion right now. Whats happening to Greece, the Germans role in that situation, and the eventual effect both of those things will have on the EU are all big topics over there. Italy may be next. The paintball industry has had to shift focus toward Europe as the US economy has slowed. If the EU sees a continuation of it’s current trend, it will have a pretty substantial impact on the paintball market as a whole. With finances in paintball what they are today, having another slide is a scary proposition.

Lane @ PSP: Most paintball players are unaware and unconcerned with the impact this has on the league, the events, and on their team. But we have to pay attention and act on what we know and think will happen. We try to stay ahead of the curve even when some of the current player base doesn’t like it. I think we have done a pretty good job of that. Not perfect. But pretty good. We’re still here and we are doing well. So that’s a win for us and the teams.

Lane @ PSP: While all of that is happening and scary, there are some other things going on behind the scenes that look promising and exciting. As usual, we’re not out tooting our horn or making grandiose promises. We’d rather show what we got than talk about it. We’ve always been all about the league and it’s ability to continue into the future. We’ve always reinvested everything back into the business. The problem has been that most of the time there was little or nothing left. But, this year has been a good one. Probably an average year for people running a good business. But for PSP, it has been very good. There are some issues from the past that are still hanging over our heads. But we’re doing what we can to handle them properly and we’ll keep going.

Check out part 2 of this interview for discussion on Limited Paintball/Tactical Race-To, Merger Rumors, and more.

Pro interview with Chicago Legend's Dennis Olson

Pro Paintball team Chicago Legend wins NPPL DC

After smashing their way through prelims in DC, pro paintball team Chicago Legend (official website) powered their way into a nail-biting 1 on 1 final with DC Arsenal to determine the 2011 NPPL DC event champions. With Damian Ryan getting the drop on JRab, Legend earned their first win in the NPPL pro paintball division since joining the league in 2009. I caught up with Dennis Olson in between flights for a quick interview that will give our readers some history and insight into this team that has quietly worked their way into 2nd place overall in the series.

JJ @ PPB: Who is Chicago Legend? Give us a brief history of how your team came to be?

Dennis @ Chicago Legend:  Legend was formed back in 2003, we’re actually from Eastern Iowa. Josh, Cliff, Damian, & I have been playing together forever (not to mention Towlie & a bunch of other local friends). The team has been competing in the NPPL from day 1, starting with D-3 and since have worked our way up. Over the years we became very good friends with Ian, Brad, Jerry, & AJ so it was natural that we all would come together eventually. This is a very tight crew.

JJ @ PPB: What do you see as being your team’s strengths that have led to your success this season?

Dennis @ Chicago Legend: I feel like we’re still students of the game, we’re like sponges at events. We all HATE losing with a passion and want to win more than anything. One of the great things about this team is that there is absolutely zero drama, and that enables us to focus on making adjustments & corrections when needed. We’re getting better at doing just that, and it’s showing.

JJ @ PPB: I would like your opinion on the format that the NPPL tested out in the 2011 pro paintball all-star game. Are you in favor of the center flag? Sideline coaching? Race-to format?

Dennis @ Chicago Legend: We tried it with Impact & Mutiny the week prior to the event. Honestly it didn’t do anything for me, but I was open minded about it. After listening to the players the NPPL has realized that we need to go back to the drawing board, and we will. The pro paintball all-star game was just a test, and people’s panties are getting all bunched up. I’m not a fan of center flag myself, this game is not football, soccer, etc. where the ball or flag is the focal point. We have 9 million balls in the air at all times, I like seeing players get their heads blown off. I hate coaching, always have & always will. I feel it takes away the big moves that are the most exciting to watch. Race-to or something like that is interesting, we are toying with it.

JJ @ PPB: What’s the future have in store for Legend? Will we see you guys in 2012?

Dennis @ Chicago Legend: You bet you’re going to see Legend in 2012! We have worked our tails off to get to this level and to have this opportunity, we truly appreciate the chance. I have to say though, we love being off the radar and being the team that no one knows anything about. We have quietly moved into 2nd place in the series points race, and we’re not about to take our foot off the gas pedal now. One thing people should know about Legend is when you line up against us, we’re coming to get you. Make no mistake about it, we are here to win.

JJ @ PPB: A hot topic of discussion is this rumored pro paintball league ‘merger’. What are your thoughts? Is a one league system the future of pro paintball?

Dennis @ Chicago Legend: Hmmm, tough question. I see Pro’s & Con’s. Pro’s being it would be great for sponsors to get behind one league and be able to attend all events. Another would be for field owners to just have one bunker system & format, none of the 50/50 stuff that goes on now. One more would be for the teams to have one format that they can practice and take to any event anytime. I feel these points are truly valid. Con’s being that I do not believe that there will be one format that will truly make every single tournament paintball player happy. For this to happen, all players & teams will have to compromise something. What will that format be? I honestly don’t know at this point, everyone likes so many different things. I like the fact that I can pick & choose what I play or don’t play. In essence, one format would take that away. I’m also not sure that I like the idea of one monster having all the control over players and field owners, that alone could hinder future growth. I’m all about free enterprise. I could be very bias in my answer since I am an owner of the NPPL, but this is much larger than my opinion or any other individual opinion for that matter. We need to have the sport in mind, so there’s lots to think about. Either way, paintball will go on. One thing I do know for sure is that Haters will always Hate no mater what.

JJ @ PPB: Give your sponsors a shout out. Who supports Chicago Legend?

Dennis @ Chicago Legend: Empire Paintball of course!! They’ve been with us from the very beginning, we would not be where we are today without their support. Thank You!! CPX Sports in Joliet IL, our amazing home field. Paul, Mike, & Big Papa are the best!! They’ve always been willing to do whatever it takes to help us succeed, we appreciate their help so much. Thank You!! Check out TAY Products, their new supplement line is second to none in regard to body repair after a workout or a day of paintball. Amazing stuff!! Thanks Pro Paintball, see you at NPPL Las Vegas!!

ProPaintball says: Special thanks to Dennis Olson of Chicago Legend for taking the time to sit down with JJ Roth from Pro Paintball. Chicago Legend is currently ranked #2 in the NPPL Series Championship and we wish the team the best of luck at the Las Vegas season finale. For more information on Chicago Legend, be sure to visit the teams official website at TeamLegend.com.