Tag Archives: Paintball Plex

Player Profile: Dan Norcross

Dan Norcross

Nickname: Back in the day I used to go by Little Dan, not so little anymore.
Occupation/Major in School:  
Paper chaser/sophomore/Management & Accounting
Hometown:  Anoka, Minnesota

Team:  Purdue X-Ball

Sponsors: Paintball BarnPaintball PlexHammerhead,  Rockstar Energy Drinks, Sly Equipment, Vintage Paintball Park

Position: I think one of the best things going for me is that I can play nearly everywhere despite my height (6’4”). I was raised playing streetball with whomever I could find, so playing every spot on the field was how I was brought up. However more often than not you can find me in a corner, the dorito side, or occasionally breaking up the center.

How long you have been playing:  Going on about 8 years strong now…wow that went fast.

Favorite field:  Vintage Paintball Park. Best fields, best people to play against, and just an overall great atmosphere to be in.

How did you first become interested in the sport:  I started out like most people playing with a few of my friends from school in the woods, after about three outings we thought we we’re pretty slick and entered a 3man league at a local field. We got beat down for about 6 weeks without winning a game, but it was the most fun thing I’ve ever done. To this day I remember the feeling I had after I played my first point, it was amazing and I’ll never forget it.

Why do you play:  In all honesty I think I play more for the things that happen outside the net rather than the ones inside. Paintball has taught me a lot about life, and more importantly about myself. Without it I would’ve never had the friends I have, traveled the places I’ve been, or tasted the food I’ve eaten. It’s given me about 90% of the amazing memories I have in my life and I’m ever grateful. Outside of the shenanigans that I manage to get into while not playing, I love the game, plain and simple. Paintball is very tenacious in that no two games are ever the same, and nobody has it exactly figured out; too much is left to chance, or luck as some call it. I’ve never played a sport where winning feels this good and loosing feels that awful. The feeling you get when you pull a sick move or win a big point for your team puts you on top of the world, and I guess you could say chasing that feeling every weekend is why I play.

Equipment: Dye gear has always been my favorite, I had the privilege of being sponsored by them for two full seasons on Shock-Kidz and Velocity Wrecking Crew and I’ve been partial ever since. Outside of that I wear Sly goggles and a Sly pack.

Notable wins or tournaments: I have yet to win a national event actually, the closest I ever came was Chicago 09’ when I took 2nd in D2 xball with Velocity Wrecking Crew. Outside of that I’d say the best experience I’ve had were the two times I’ve played on pro Sunday, (D.C. 2010 & 11). There’s really no comparison, biggest stage, big lights, big pressure. It’s the greatest place to be on the field.

Things you are looking forward to  in the upcoming year:  Enjoying the ride.

Favorite paintball memory: World Cup 2008 with Shock Kidz. We had just beat Palm Beach Vipers to advance into the final 4 in the pouring rain, we had a huddle right after the match and with all my best friends around me soaking wet I thought to myself “where else would I rather be right now?”. I thought without a doubt in my mind we were going to win that tournament, perfect team, perfect gear, perfect conditions. In my eyes, that team was perfect, however we lost our next match in overtime and placed 3rd at the tournament. I still look back at pictures from that event and think how did we not pull it off…

Biggest piece of advice: Above all just have fun, once you stop having fun you might as well pack up and leave. There’s no money here, no endorsements, no boosters. The only thing you are going to get out of this simple game is a smile on your face at the end of the day, if it’s not going to give you that find a different hobby.

Favorite pro team or player: Aaron Tholey has taught me pretty much everything I know since I was a young pup (about 15 I think), he’s one of my best friends and still somebody I look up to in the sport. My favorite team of all time will forever be the Oakland Assassins, those guys were hard; they put it on people and looked mean while doing it. It’s too bad that only one or two of them even play anymore.

Fun fact:  When it comes down to it I really am a big paintball nerd, I rarely get to actually chat with somebody that knows what they’re talking about when it comes to guns or anything else that relates to the sport, so when that happens I usually go off and get really excited.


PB Update

So a more robust update that usual considering the lag between posts. Before the break we played at Chicagoland Paintball:

Above: Drew Alford playing snake.

We had a practice at Paintball Plex a couple weeks ago. A bunch of teams came out to play. This practice was a big determiner of who will be attending Nationals in April on lines 1, 2 or 3. Videos of a couple of the matches are here: http://www.youtube.com/user/ugabulldog08. The one is Line 1 below with the same group in the pic 2 below except substitute Dan Norcross for Brent Hulsey. Of course I get shot, hence the trying to move out of the line of snake for a bit:

Above: Ade Dillon

Above: Line 1 including Alex Bilse, Drew Alford, Jake Loiben, Zach Carnahan and a local player stepping in for the day, Brent Hulsey.

Finally: A paintball related commercial, but the hopper is on backwards!

Player Profile: Jake Loiben

Jake is the President of the Purdue Paintball Club and an awesome leader for the team! In addition to his profile, he answers some questions about Purdue’s upcoming season.

Jake Loiben

Nickname: Loibsauce
Restaurant (jack of all trades), Junior at Purdue majoring in Multidisciplinary Engineering
Hometown:  Chicago, IL

Team:  Purdue, Project Mayhem, Joyride

Sponsors: Paintball Barn, Paintball Plex, Hammerhead, Crossfire, NCL Worldwide, Rockstar Energy Drinks

Position: I usually play the back line or doritos

How long you have been playing:  8 years

Favorite field:  The Paintball Barn, because the owner Micah has taken such amazing care of us throughout the years and it’s close to campus.

How did you first become interested in the sport:  I played for the first time at my friend’s 12th birthday party. We went to a woodsball field in Gurnee, IL called Paintball Blitz. Both of us got hooked and quickly bought our own guns, but I stuck with it throughout high school and eventually started playing PSP events. The rush you get at a national event is incredible.

Why do you play:  I’ve played hockey, football, baseball, basketball, soccer, and just about every other mainstream sport out there. Nothing comes close to the intensity of tournament paintball and no sport has as strong an emphasis on both individual skills and teamwork as paintball does.

Equipment: I shoot an 07 Ego with a Dye Rotor, Hammerhead carbon fiber barrel kit, Crossfire 68/45, and Dye i3 Pros are my mask of choice.

Notable wins or tournaments: My team finished in the top 4 at the 2010 PSP Chicago Open.

Things you are looking forward to  in the upcoming year:  PSP World Cup and NCPA Nationals. Oh, and getting my girlfriend to play. I’m sure she’d love to shoot me after all the phone calls I get about paintball whenever she comes over.

Favorite paintball memory: Making it to the finals at the 2010 PSP Chicago Open playing with my friends. We had a great time, plenty of hilarious bloopers throughout prelims, and the 6 inches of mud on every field made for an interesting playing experience to say the least.

Biggest piece of advice:I’ve always found that no matter how thoroughly you plan out an event in paintball, things will never go as expected. If I were to give one piece of advice to a new player, it would be to treat every event as a learning experience and make the most out of it even if things don’t go your way. There’s always another tournament and there’s always another adventure to be had. There’s no reason to hold grudges or get yourself worked up about that one bad call. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter.

Favorite pro team or player: My favorite pro team is San Diego Dynasty. I’ve been watching them since the day I started playing and I get to staff for them at PSP events. I learn so much from them and can apply many of the things they do to my own playing skills or my team. My favorite player on Dynasty is Alex “Mouse” Goldman, who is a great snake player and even walked the fields with my Purdue teammates at the most recent PSP event just to give them pointers and suggestions. He’s a stand up guy.

Big plans for the Purdue Team: When I began to plan out the 2011-12 season, I had four specific goals in mind. I want to take podium at any local event we play, win the college world cup, dramatically expand our recreational player base, and of course, win the national championship.

Planned Tournaments: Our two largest events of the year will be PSP World Cup and NCPA National Championships. We also plan on competing in the MWXL and Plex series.

If someone is interested in playing for Purdue, what are the qualifications/process for making the team? The only qualification to make the team is that you’re a full time Purdue student. The process for making the team involves trying out, making the cut, and being a good fit in our team; our family. We hold tryouts in September every year and usually take ~15 players for xball and the rest are invited to play 5-man until they’re ready for xball. Every player, including past Purdue players, must try out every year. For students that transfer mid-year or miss tryouts, we’d have to handle that on a case by case basis.

Fun fact: Heather Owens is an awesome photographer, but I can’t say the same for her hugs. (My response to that Jake: You guys are all like 12 years old. Don’t want to walk that fine line of sexual harassment of a minor. I’ll step it up next time.)

Other comments: Thank you for coming out to all our events Heather! (This year I’m actually going to play… and of course keep photographing and blogging!)

3 on 3 Paintball Plex Tourney

I had a great time traveling with the Purdue Paintball Team to Laotto, Indiana this past weekend to watch and photograph them playing in a 3 on 3 tournament with 21 other teams. Waking up at 5am certainly was not a great part of the weekend, but meeting up with the other guys they were all ready in their new team jerseys, pumped and prepared to play. Two and a half hours, energy drinks, gas station donuts and some very poor driving (not by my driver mind you) later, we arrived at the facility. Similar to Grindhouse, Paintball Plex looks like an indoor soccer stadium, however they are strictly a paintball facility. The owners were nice enough to let me photograph inside the nets (unfortunately the lighting was horrible for any action shots). I only got hit 3 times, and only one broke. I told Jake, the team Coach, that my paint evasive skills should be enough to warrant me being on the team (joking of course). Jake usually plays however this tournament was strictly for D4 and D5 players. There was even a group of very young boys playing. I like that there are tournaments like this, as it encourages less experienced players to come out and stay excited about the sport without being annihilated by more experienced players.

The guys played great. There were two teams aptly named Black and Gold. The scoring was based on a number of items including first shot, players from the other team you get out, players remaining and flag capturing. After a series of head to head games, the top 5 teams move on to finals. Now here is where some interesting scoring comes in. A number of teams were very close together in scoring at the top of the bracket (including Purdue  Black). While Purdue Gold played well, they were not high enough to be within striking distance of finals. Purdue Gold had one more match to play against a team (that will remain unnamed) that was currently battling Purdue Black for the #5 spot in finals. This team needed X number of points against Purdue Gold to pass Purdue Black in the rankings. Well being the smart Boilermakers we are, they devised an ingenious plan. If Purdue Gold could grab the flag in the game, it was worth enough points that even if the opposing team gained all remaining points, they would end up in 6th place. So the quickest player on the team immediately went for the flag near the beginning of the game. Of course he was shot rather quickly following. The other team celebrated thinking they had won overall and made finals. Much to their chagrin they were 2 points behind Purdue Black. Overall it was a great day filled with such a great sense of team spirit. The guys (yes, I can say guys, because there are no girls on the tournament team) really pumped each other up in the holding area before each game and would cheer each other on from the sidelines when they weren’t playing themselves.

Final result: Purdue Black 5th place, Purdue Gold 10th place. Boiler Up!

Purdue Paintball Practice

I photographed and videoed Purdue’s practice this past weekend. I enjoyed meeting a new group of people and also getting to film outside (so much better lighting on even a cloudy day than inside an arena). One unfortunate byproduct I did not expect was standing a little too close to snake, and getting myself as well as my Flip shot. Luckily the sturdy little camera was fine and all I got was yellow jeans and some faint bruises. I stayed for a few hours but did not get as many action still shots as I would have liked. This was the first time I saw the Paintball Barn facility and think it will be a good size for our MBA group. Hopefully it will be a bit warmer next time. The 30 degree temperature definitely necessitated my borrowing Jordan’s coat and staying in my heated car as long as possible. Tomorrow we’re leaving bright and early (6am) for a tournament at PaintballPLEX. The Purdue team just received their new jerseys from Raza, so the pictures should turn out nicely. Lucky me is being gifted Jordan’s “old” (read: barely worn) jersey. Fingers crossed that the rain holds out tomorrow!