So you won the People’s Choice award. How does it feel to win the vote for something like this?
It feels really awesome winning the Peoples Choice MVP. I just wish as a team we could have had a more successful season, that way I would feel like my performance carried a higher impact than our placements showed.
It must be great to feel the love from the fans, because you’ve been someone your peers, the other pro players, have thought was a great talent and competitor for long time.
It was definitely an odd feeling when I heard about the voting and how I was trailing, in a close second place. Not because of my talent, nor personality, but just because I’ve never been a flashy over-rated player. I’ve been on the best of teams, and played some of the best paintball I’ve ever played, but it’s always been on teams that just never get the media attention they deserved.
How do you interface with your fans? Why do you think you have such a great following, other than the fact you’re a standout player and a champion?
I interact with my fans via my Facebook fan page, and personal website. In person I try to remain humble and always professional. The main thing that has always worked for me, is remembering my roots. No one gave me a professional spot, and I wasn’t in the best shape or most talented player from the beginning. I trained harder than ever to get to the position I am now, and I couldn’t be happier. When I see a fan, I see an opportunity to promote the sport I love, and a chance to make someone’s dream a reality.
What is the mindset of Tampa Bay Damage heading into the 2013 season?
Tampa Bay Damage is heading into 2013 with a whole new approach. Last year we just relied on our raw talent and carried more of an individual attitude. 2013 is going to be strictly a single unit approach. Less individual drills, players who are playing the best will play, less chiefs more Indians, basically. We all needed to learn our roles and do what’s best for our team. Which is play our best and do what we’re told, not what ever we feel like doing.
What’s your opinion of Houston Heat (the current World Champions)? How do you plan on beating them consistently? Because 3 wins in one year is pretty outstanding, especially against this hyper-competitive field.
Houston Heat, although they were a “New Team”, their players are obviously not new to the professional ranks. They are a team that is stacked with talent and have the financial backing to maintain a steady practice schedule and pick up great players.
Although we are still 3-2 against them in wins/losses, both of our losses have been by one point. A crucial factor that people have not realized is this year we played “Line” paintball, which means we played every player on our team no matter how they were performing, where as Heat played a core of 5 guys and would alternate a few players in, here and there. This is going to be our approach this season, as our players and management have discussed that winning is our #1 priority. By playing our players who are playing the best at that time, we should have a much higher success rate than we already do against them.
Who are the other teams in the league you would consider rivals?
I honestly do not believe we have any specific rivals. I love beating teams into the ground and I know everyone on my team feels the same. It’s nothing personal, but if we can beat you 7-0, then we are going to. None of us try to be mean on the field or shoot someone a few extra times, it just happens. I would say most of my aggression goes to who ever has a chance of keeping me from winning 1st place at that specific moment.
How do you look at your time in the game? You got a ton of skin in this sport now, been doing this for a long time and have achieved great accolades, traveled around the world. How much longer are you going to do this?
I look at the time I’ve invested into this sport as making me one of the luckiest people alive. The pay may be close to nothing, the time away from loved ones is never easy, bills stack up, and your body definitely takes a beating. However I get to say I have/am competing in the highest level possible in a sport.
I have won every type of tournament style I have played in, I have won both series in a single year, won a World Cup event, and played along side my younger brother (Jacob Edwards) during most of these achievements. I have traveled to places I would have only dreamed of, and met amazing people all over the world. Been on teams that felt like family, over came obstacles and succeeded where most have failed! Beats any 9-5 pencil pushing, number crunching, cubicle job if you ask me. As far as I am concerned, I will play until my talents are no longer beneficial to my team.
Anybody you would like to thank, or any thoughts you would like to share with the world?
I would like to thank my parents and family, my teammates, my fans, all of my sponsors, and the owner, CJ Botsolas, of Tampa Bay Damage. With out them I would never be where I am now, who I am, or get to do all of the amazing things I do.
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