Before I get to the article, I just want to say that the response I’ve received so far has been awesome. Thanks to everyone for the comments you’ve left and the e-mails you’ve sent me. Don’t hesitate to send me anything else at email@example.com. Now the main attraction:
St John’s Bad Ass Monks (BAM) come from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. BAM is certainly a team on the rise in DIII. They attended the first College DIII Championship in 2010 (then run by the UPA) and placed 7th. In 2011, the did even better, taking second after an extremely close, hard-fought game against Claremont. With two years of DIII championship experience and a strong program, St. John’s is making a strong case that they will be the ones to take down the whole thing in 2012. Here is an interview with
captain Charlie Enders about the upcoming season.
Did you have notable roster turnover from last year? Are you a young team or a veteran team?
Charlie: We have had some notable roster turnover. Our beloved captain and most experienced cutter Chris Battista graduated, as well as Ben Roske (our best handler) and Matt “Comma” Theisen, whose ginormous forehand hucks accounted for a large portion of our scores. Our team is mainly comprised of sophomores now, which makes us a fairly young team. That being said, most of our sophomores came into college with high school experience, with many coming from Hopkins, Cretin-Derham Hall, and Cathedral High Schools. In the fall we attended No Wisconsequences and Eau Claire Chill-out, which gave the new members of our team some great experience.
Who are your up and coming players, guys on your team that are going to be making plays come the season?
Charlie: An up and coming player for BAM this year is Ben “Squints” Berthiaume. Despite coming into his freshman year with almost no experience, he blossomed into a typhoon of cutting prowess. He was one of BAM FOTY nominees, along with now-captain Pat Kunkel. Now in his sophomore season, he has become a fixture on the D-line, and looks to continue his bad-assery in whatever ways possible.
Star Players, who would be your Callahan nominee? Who are the big playmakers and leaders?
Charlie: Some star players for BAM are Nihal Bhakta and Pat Kunkel. Roommates, these two play on separate lines (D and O, respectively), yet show many of the same tendencies. Either of them could be the person throwing a great a huck, and either of them could be the person on the receiving end of that huck. However, it’s certain that in either case someone will be Tebowing in the end zone. (Editor’s Note: I remember playing against Nihal last Spring in the finals of DIII Championships. After he skyed some of our best players, we realized this guy is the real deal. Look for him to make sweet layout Ds and huge skies all season long.)
What tournaments are you planning on going to in the spring?
Charlie: This spring, BAM is planning on attending High Tide, in Brunswick, GA over spring break. We also plan on attending the Chicago Invite and Conferences/Regionals/Nationals.
Who are the big DIII teams and players to look out for, both in your region, and in the entire division?
Charlie: The teams to look out for are Claremont and GOP. Claremont has Tommy Li, who is pretty good I guess, while GOP has Rhys Lindmark.
Is this your first time competing DIII? If so, what made you change your mind from last year? If not, how did you do last year?
Charlie: We attended D-III nationals last year, and lost to Claremont in the finals.