Paintball: Ohio Heads to Nationals

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This weekend the Ohio University paintball team will head to Lakeland, Fla., for the National Paintball Championship which will mark the end of its season. Despite how it performed throughout the season, the team always makes this trip to Nationals. This season, however, Ohio's road to Nationals has been different.
The team usually competes in a conference during the regular season with teams like West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Penn State. Upon assuming the role of president, Alex Amerio, had money-saving plans for the team. 
“This year I got us out of conference which saved us from paying around $5,000 out-of-pocket altogether,” Amerio said.
Instead of competing in conference tournaments, Amerio and his squad spent a fraction of what they would have spent by traveling to different paintball fields to practice against teams like Kent State, Akron, Ohio State and Western Michigan. The change in strategy doesn’t affect the outlook of its performance at Nationals.
“[Our chances] look pretty good,” Amerio said. “Last year we were one of the teams people were watching. We were a force, and we did terrible. This year we’re going into it as an underdog, so hopefully that will give us an advantage.”
The Bobcats will see teams such as Maryland, Tennessee, Florida State and Nebraska at Nationals, just to name a few. Nebraska is a favorite this year as most of their players are on a professional team.
“About 80 percent of their team plays professionally, so hopefully we won’t see them until finals,” Amerio said. The team is sending sixteen athletes to Florida this weekend. Eleven men from its “class A” squad, a squad that costs more money and typically has a higher skill set, will be attending Nationals. Five men from its “class AA” squad will also be attending Nationals for Ohio.