After a fall season where the Ball State Wizardz placed fifth at States and played in three tournaments, the team is ready for the start of the competitive season.
Last spring season, the Wizardz finished in sixth place at the Eastern Plains Conference tournament. Captain Garrett Fuelling said this season will be much different.
“We had a lot of young players last year, and now they are all a year older,” Fuelling said. “The year of experience and extra chemistry building will be the difference between this year’s team and last year’s team.”
For this season, the team is focusing on three tournaments to prepare for the Eastern Plains Conference in April. Fuelling said he wants the team to peak at conference.
“We picked the tournaments where we believe we have a chance of winning them,” Fuelling said. “We will have to play at our highest level to do that.”
There are a few players the Wizardz are going to lean on. One of those players is captain Nik Risser.
“Nik will be our go-to guy all season,” Fuelling said. “He is our best all-around player and can do whatever we need him to do.”
During these tournaments, Risser wouldn’t be the only player the Wizardz will need to count on. Sophomores Jaden Jarrett and Justin Hess are two other players to watch for this season.
Jarrett comes into this season after leading the team in goals scored with 35. This season, Jarrett wants to work on the basics.
“Last year, I scored a lot and I was definitely a cutter,” Jarrett said. “This year, I want to be more of a role player for the guys. I want to step down from being the lead scorer and be more of a utility guy. We’re going to have a lot of old vets that are going to move on after this season and we’re going to need handlers for next season.”
Like Jarrett, Hess has been working on his handling skills.
“I have been focusing on my handler resets and a lot of my throwing, especially my deep throwing,” Hess said. “ I have been trying to make myself more threatening with the disc.”
And handlers are what the Wizardz need for the season. Last season, the team obtained 175 assists and 2,477 completions before heading into EPC play. The team will need to rely on everyone if it wants to advance to Great Lake Regionals this season. Jarrett said every guy on the team will be counted on this season.
“I don’t think anyone is better than the next when it comes to that kind of thing,” Jarrett said. “ I think we definitely have the top guys. But I think everyone is an asset. I think everybody who works hard and plays on this team, deserves a chance to play.”
The Wizardz will need everyone to play their hardest this season. The team will begin the season at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 24 in Nashville, Tenn. for the Music City Tune-Up.