Dodging marble-sized balls of paint flying through the air at 200 mph may be a hobby for some, but a competitive group of students has re-established a paintball team through USF Club Sports.
“I think the team is doing really well since just starting back up,” said Russell Page, a senior studying mechanical engineering at USF.
Sean Wodrich, a sophomore majoring in civil engineering who was recently named the USF Paintball Team’s president, is wasting no time in getting a team together in preparation for a tournament next month.
Last semester, USF placed fifth out of 26 teams in the Central Florida Paintball Series (CFPS). As a recently re-established team, Wodrich said the tournament served as a huge lift in confidence heading into the next competition.
The team is scheduled to compete in the next CFPS event July 19-20. The outcome could be an early sign of the team’s readiness for the upcoming season, and Page said he is looking for a good start in the tournament in hopes of advancing to the later rounds.
When the team begins the practice in the fall, it will travel to play other club teams within the state including Florida, Central Florida and Florida Atlantic.
“The sport is a lot of fun and a challenge,” Page said. “Especially when playing schools like UCF who actually won nationals last year.”
In order for the team to compete at full strength, it needs to field a full squad of players. To fill the necessary 10 slots on a tournament roster, the club will host official tryouts sometime in the beginning of fall for new players. A $25 beginner’s setup fee is required to try out.
As a club team, the Bulls have received no funding from the NCAA. Therefore, the USF Paintball Team has to survive on the help of sponsors.
Aaron Vega, owner of Tiki’s Paintball Shop, coaches the paintball team since his shop is the main sponsor for the team. The shop provides equipment, paintballs and jerseys. The team is also in contact with a new potential sponsor, Ruthless Wear, which could help the team by providing additional equipment.
Team practices, which usually include scrimmages and agility training, take place at West Coast Paintball in Palmetto, about 45 minutes from