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April 18-20, 2008
1st Place Class
A - Illinois State University Redbirds
The National Collegiate Paintball Association gathered in Lakeland Florida at Central Florida Paintball's tournament fields for their annual championship event during the weekend of April 18th through the 20th. Teams from high schools as well as universities, military academies and colleges attended the event with the goal in mind of a title to take back to their sponsor school. There were 10 high school teams competing, 40 AA Class college teams, and 14 A Class college teams all gunning for first place.
Originally there were planned to be eleven teams to compete in the high school division, but Wellington didn't show at the tournament, which gave some teams a bye of 95 points. Playing in the three-man high school competition, Coral Glades High Vipers came out on top with the highest rank after completing their preliminary matches. After four maxes during their eight games and two dropped games, the Vipers were well placed and on fire for a continued push toward a first place trophy. Joining them in the semi final round were the top four ranked teams, JC NRG Blue, Pulaski Academy, and Arundel. Missing the cut by just one point was Glenbard South Raiderball. CHS Dragons took sixth, The Anti-Happy took 7th, Mariner Tritons in eighth, jcnrg white in 9th, and Mercury in 10th.
The AA Class division saw the greatest number of participating teams with forty teams making the trip to compete in 5-man centerflag games. Some teams were given a bye as the University of Georgia Bulldogs missed the trip, but had already been scheduled into game play. Taking first place after the preliminary games of five on five was Illinois State University Redbirds Black with 8 games won and a score of 778. Joining them were Cal State University Long Beach 49ers with 770, Southern Illinois University Salukis with 696 and Liberty University Flames with 610. Because of the larger number of teams participating, the AA Class would advance not just four teams to semi-finals, but would put 16 of the top ranked teams after prelims into the Ocho final round. Joining the top four teams were Stevens Institute of Technology Ducks, University of Minnesota Golden Gophers-Gold, University of Wisconsin - Platteville Pioneers, Northeastern University Huskies, Virginia Tech Hokies Orange, University of California Irvine Anteaters Blue, Embry Riddle University Eagles, Air Force Academy Falcons Blue, Winona State Warriors, University of Arkansas Razorbacks, Michigan Tech University Huskies, and University of Wisconsin Whitewater Warhawks with a final score of 492 after 8 games.
All fourteen of the Class A teams made the trip and played three games each in the standard five-man X-Ball format. Class A, unlike the other divisions of play at the NCPA compete in conferences throughout the season. Their games consist of the NCPA's repeating goal format, which plays like X-Ball. At this season finale, the top four teams out of the 14 competing were the University of California Irvine Anteaters, the University of Illinois Illini, Ohio University Bobcats and the Illinois State University Redbirds. In the Ocho Finals Penn State beat out Drexel University Dragons 7-2, the Anteaters beat the U of Maryland Terrapins 7-6, the University of Illinois Illini beat the Black Knights 8-1 and the Ohio University Bobcats took down the West Virginia Mountaineers 11-3. During the Quarter Finals for Class A, Perdue dropped to the Bobcats 6-11, University of Tennessee Volunteers dropped to University of Illinois Illini 4-7. University of California Irvine Anteaters scored 8-6 over University of Connecticut Huskies and Illinois State University Redbirds had a hefty victory of 12-3 over the Penn State University Nittany Lions.
Class AA Ocho finals were played with three games for each team. On top were Cal State University Long Beach 49ers with two maxed games and a solid win. Virginia Tech Hokies Orange won their three games with a 288 total, Liberty University Flames had two games and a partial for a 268 and Illinois State University Redbirds Black dropped a game, but brought home a 210 score, enough to secure the fourth slot into the quarter finals. Taking up the fifth spot was University of Arkansas Razorbacks, in sixth Air Force Academy Falcons Blue, in seventh was University of California Irvine Anteaters Blue and in the final spot Embry Riddle University Eagles with 192.
The Quarter finals for the AA teams saw Liberty University Flames on top after three games, followed by Cal State University Long Beach 49ers, Illinois State University Redbirds Black and Virginia Tech Hokies Orange in fourth.
Central Florida delivered clear skies and warm humid weather for the weekend event, alternating between bright sun and overcast shade. Central Florida Paintball's fields are built with tournaments in mind. Prestressed concrete netting poles have the durability to handle the high winds that come during Atlantic hurricane season, and the mowed natural grass turf is ready for inflatable bunkers. High pressure airlines buried throughout the site constantly recharge twin HPA cylinders near each field which in turn deliver air to fill stations located inside the netting near the 50 of each field. The existing infrastructure helped improve turn-around time between games.
The semi-final games would pit two teams against each other, the best two of three games would determine who would carry on to play for first and second place. The two losing teams would battle for third and fourth place. High School semi final games saw Pulaski Academy dropping their first game against JC NRG Blue, but they came back strong to win a spot into the finals. Coral Glades High Vipers crushed Arundel with two maxed games.
The Class AA semi finalists Virginia Tech Hokies beat out Liberty in two matches, moving them on, while Illinois State dropped their two games to give Cal State Long Beach a chance at first place.
The high school finals were a surprise to nobody as the Coral Glades High Vipers again pulled out two maxed games over Pulaski, securing first place for the Vipers and second for Pulaski. JC NRG Blue took third place after a max and win over Arundel who took fourth.
The finals match for AA division saw Liberty University Flames bring Illinois State University Redbirds Black down after two games, securing them third and fourth place, respectively. Cal State University Long Beach 49ers dropped their first game against Virginia Tech, but won the following two, giving them the title of first place.
The finals for the Class A teams saw Illinois State University Redbirds taking down the University of California Irvine Anteaters with a nail biting score of 7-6, giving the Redbirds the title of champs and the Anteaters with second place trophy.
Founded in 2001 out of a movement toward organized intercollegiate paintball competitions in the 1990s, the National Collegiate Paintball Association is a not for profit corporation that organizes events and facilitates support and communication between college and high school paintball teams. The NCPA season follows the academic school year so with the close of the championships in Lakeland, the league will take its summer break, the events to be announced for the 2008-2009 season in August.
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