Beyond Blue Skies
The UTSA Paintball Club will venture into uncharted waters in their third season as an organized club. Although the Roadrunners have had little time to come together, the team has shined, and has been selected to compete at the College and High School Paintball National Championships, in Lakeland, Florida, on April 11-13.
“We think we have the skillset to do pretty well. We are currently training new members to fill in some holes on the team, but overall we are just happy to be there,” said 2013 Team MVP and Captain Nick Laduca.
The team was founded in 2012 by senior Scott Renaud, and since learning of their upcoming Nationals trip, has garnered much buzz.
“We have been pretty successful. In the last event of 2013 we took first place here in San Antonio, and it was our own host event,” added Laduca on the team’s mentality heading into Nationals. “As for Nationals, it is our first time, but we feel like we have what it takes to make a significant push.”
College paintball is separated into two divisions. Class A and Class AA. The Roadrunners are currently in the Class AA; however, they regularly play Class A teams.
The tournament will field teams from all over the country, which is substantially larger than any previous tournament the Roadrunners have participated in and will feature notable teams from the Texas area.
“We are one of the better conferences in the area, we have A&M, UT, North Texas, Texas Tech and each college can bring multiple paintball teams,” said Laduca on the competition UTSA will be facing going into the tournament. “A&M is a powerhouse and usually brings three teams, with five players on each.”
Paintball is a fast-paced team dogfight where two teams of five strategically coordinate their players to a set field layout given to each team a week before play. The main objective is to try and target opponents with marble-sized paintballs, while running and maneuvering through obstacles in an attempt to dodge enemy fire.
“Basically it’s not woods ball; its speedball with air bunkers with five-on-five, and it’s a game based on strategy,” added Laduca on the details of the tournament style of play. “We have guns that shoot 12.5 balls per second, and the speed they’re going is 300 feet per second.”
The UTSA Captain also noted that they are always looking to recruit, and that their Facebook page is always a good way to keep up to date on their current activity.
“We don’t turn away players if they are not good; we look at their skill set, and if they are willing to let us train them, we do,” noted Laduca on the clubs future aspiration.
This is the first time UTSA will attend nationals, and they intend to leave their mark.