Scouting Reports: Chicago Aftershock
Mental mistakes are keeping Aftershock from winning games in 2012. It’s not game plans, or a lack of aggression, because on that front they are keeping par with the most aggressive teams in the league. Coach Mickey Bruno is trying to reignite the fire of this legendary franchise, using players mostly untested at the pro level until this season.
Their biggest weaknesses are the issues with communication and survivability, which have plagued ‘Shock in 2012 through three events. They are regularly getting into positions off the break other teams struggle to make, but then don’t work together or play off each other when they get there.
Also they’re getting shot out of keys spots once they make them, often forcing the rest of the team to play on their heels, or make desperate moves to refill those positions. They’re going to be without a few of their top ranked players heading into the mid-Atlantic open. Cody Mickowski (ranked 38th) has retired from the team, and the veteran Aaron Tholey (ranked 59th) who they picked up just for the Chicago open is gone as well.
So it will be up to talent of Eric Daily (ranked 104th), Davey Simmons (ranked 111th), AJ Lawhead (ranked 64th), and Kirk Wozny (ranked 92nd) to make it happen. Lawhead is showing the most skill on the team this year and will be Aftershock’s highest ranked player after the departure of Mickowski and Tholey.
Lawhead is a truly capable and the most experienced man on the squad. A team needs leaders on and off the field, so it’s time for Lawhead to transcend his game. Simmons gets into to really good positions all the time, but also needs to step up and fulfill his potential in order for ‘Shock to compete in the hardest league in the world.
Lucky for Aftershock, you can’t teach aggression, passion, or heart, which they have, so these pillars of winning paintball will need to be the foundation Aftershock uses to rebuild their team.