Our field team New England Crusade is always around the field so we decided to steal them for a few and see what they were up to after coming back from their first national event. If you don’t know these guys, they are regulars here at AG and have been playing in the woods and on our turf for years. The compete locally in the NEPL x-ball and in the foxball series. Today we have a few guys (Will Mclean and Trevan Miller) from the NEPL line here and wanted to grill them for advice to young teams in the area.
AG:Hi Guys, so tell us a bit about how your season has been going.
Crusade: The season has been going really well. We made the move up to D3/4 xball with the NEPL and have been doing really well. We took third at the first event and 1st at the next 2. Our foxball line just went 2-0 this weekend so they are still in the playoff hunt as well.
AG: So how was the trip to Cleveland? That was the first national event right?
Crusade: Ya Cleveland was the closest event this year, and since we took 1st at two NEPL events the entrance was pretty much free. The event was amazing, we all took one rental van to Cleveland and stayed in the same hotel so it was a good time to bond….although that ride was a bit long.
AG: And you guys did well there right?
Crusade: Ya we had really been working the weeks leading up to it to make sure we were ready. We went 2-2 in prelims in the toughest bracket of the event, our points margin put us at the top of the bubble teams and we made it in. Once Sunday rolled around we were dialed in and things went our way almost all day.
AG: You guys practice a lot, where did that drive come from?
Crusade: It's always been there. All our guys love paintball and get along great so when we get together and play it's not work, we have fun. If you watch us at practice it's a lot of laughing and jokes, but we practice hard. We know if we don’t keep working, someone else will.
AG: What other teams do you guys practice?
Crusade: We’ve been pretty lucky to have some of the best teams in New England give us time on the field. The Bandits have been here a bunch, GYC, Landslyde and more. We’ve also had some great coaches like Harrison Frye and Nick Leival come by to give us that next level.
AG: So you guys started out in the woods and have made the leap to national competitors. That's not common here so do you guys have any advice to local teams?
Crusade: I don't think we have too much to offer, all I could say would be to always look at the teams above you. We like to look at the local d2/semi-pro teams and learn from them. When we were d5 we did the same thing with D4 and D3 teams. There are a lot of teams around New England and you see this mentality like each one knows how to do things. But the teams that actually do are already moving up the ranks.
AG: So what does a typical practice consist of for you guys?
Crusade: We generally either do drills or we run points. Drill days we will buy 10+ cases or so and break down the field, the moves, lanes, and shots. Focus on individual skills but then also drop that into drills that require teamwork. 3v3s are common, half field drills etc. On points days its pretty simple, we ask the best teams in New England to play and if we are lucky enough that they say yes, we buy as much paint as it takes to play with them, as long as we can.
AG: What's the most paint you ever got for one practice?
Crusade: Oh man, I think one practice we shot over 30 cases in one day. A lot of new teams focus too much on cost and pinching pennies but when you win an event, it's all worth it.
AG: You guys also ref our 3 man, how does that work?
Crusade: The 3 man is awesome that you and Boston Paintball run. We love seeing the new teams come out and get that taste of tournament paintball. We have guys reffing, guys coaching, guys pitting, all helping these new teams with their tournament experience.
AG: Do you guys have a lot of sponsors to help pay for things?
Crusade: No, haha. AG sponsors us, as does Boston Paintball but those really don't “pay” for things. Having fields like AG and Boston help us to get the best equipment and pricing we can is really helpful. They also have our back with any needs that we have as a team. Luckily between AG and Boston, we are able to get out on the best fields around, drill until we can't walk and then go home. I think we tried for sponsors one year but it just boils down to this, if you aren’t willing to pay for paintball, why should someone else pay for you? I mean we just took second at a national event and still pay for everything out of pocket. It's not easy but it works for us!
AG: Well this is getting a bit long so Ill let you get back onto the field but thanks for taking the time!
Crusade: No problem, thank you for having us!