In what should be a rebuilding year, the Los Angeles Ironmen have shocked everyone but themselves as they’re currently ranked 4th in the league. By now it’s apparent the younger players Coach Kevin Bredthauer has chosen to rebuild this historic franchise came to play some to paintball this season. Bredthauer has his work cut out for him choosing a starting five, as the team is chock full of hungry talent on all sides of the field.
Eric Humphreys (ranked 33rd) will back on the field this event, which should give them help on the snake side. His badly broken toe, which kept him from playing at the Chicago Open, is healed and he’s ready to go. He’s one of the most consistent players on the team and could be one of the best mid players in the league, but honestly, it’s too early in his pro career to tell.
Look for Ryan Martin (ranked 23rd) to be a force on the Dorito side, especially with the way this field is laid out. He’s finally starting to become the player many old school pros always knew he could be. Justin Schwarz (ranked 22nd) and Alex Rodriguez (ranked 18th) are two of the best players in the league hands down. These three guys could be the magic ticket for the ‘Men in 2012.
New pick up Timothy “Raney” Stanczak (ranked 12th) came out of a short retirement and almost placed in the top ten for the overall player rankings his first event back. If he continues to play like he did in Chicago, he will help this team win events. They needed another solid and consistent back player to help the young front line. Kyle Spicka (ranked 43rd) is moving over to the doritos. He had a bad event in Chicago, and this move could help his confidence. He’s very talented, and can make a difference, as long as he doesn’t overthink his moves.
Tok Hamil (ranked 54th), Brandon Short (ranked 49th), Scott Kemp (ranked 83rd) and Humphries will be pushing down the snake for the Ironmen at the MAO. Hamil has been one of the best success stories for the Ironmen this year. He came up in Northern California, being trained by old school Ironmen legend Shane Pestana and he attacks with no fear. Hamil has been the best snake player for this team in 2012. He fell flat in the later rounds on Sunday last event, so it will be interesting to see how he fares in the deep end at MAO.
The Ironmen are anchored in the back center by their top ranked player, and emotional leader, Mike Paxson (ranked 7th). The Ironmen have had moments on the field where they looked unstoppable, but they just don’t seem to have confidence in themselves to succeed during the later rounds of the tournament. But that’s to be expected with the overall experience level of the team.
They need to gamble a bit more in their gunfights, and believe they can beat the best teams. The Ironmen have been knocked out of the three events this season by Damage, Red Legion, and Infamous, who are the best teams in paintball right now, so they’re close. Confidence will be key for the Ironmen if they want to win a tournament this year.