Prior to the MAW Canonsburg Classic on August 18th, The Drop chatted with members of the NWLA Tournament champion WILL Waves - Austin Berger, Jake Davey, and Steve Keelon. In this fast moving one hour discussion, the Waves dive into the finer points of their title run including how the team was put together, what they felt their keys to sucess were, and their motivation to improve on their 13th place finish from a year ago. Austin, Jake, and Steve also discuss their ongoing learning process with cut balls, the benefits of various forms of wiffleball rules, and which players impressed them the most in Michigan.
00:00 – Introduction
01:15 – Berger on pitching in a high walk rate environment.
02:45 – Keelon on the Waves playing with a chip on their shoulders.
03:30 – The unique challenges of managing an NWLA Tournament roster; Nate Morris’ unexpected big tournament; the challenges of putting together a fast pitch all-star team in a slow to medium pitch league; practicing for the NWLA tournament; what were the differences team/roster wise between this year and last that allowed the Waves to be so successful?
14:20 – The differences in style of play between the Wiff is Life League, NWLA Tournament, and MAW; adapting to cut balls for the first time; major differences and challenges between slow/medium pitch and fast pitch.
20:45 – Paul asks the Waves for the opinions on several players re: Drop Player of the Year award (Caleb Jonkman, Chris Roeder, Ryan Bush, Jordan Castelli, K-Von, Soup); thoughts on Griffleball & OCWA NWLA teams as a whole; the types of pitches most seen at the NWLA tournament; how can the walks come down at the NWLA Tournament?
35:10 – Do the Waves feel added pressure going into next year as the reigning NWLA tournament champions?; how they feel about being called fluke champions; the Waves walk through the pivotal moments of their tournament; games against HRL and OCWA.
41:45 – Plans for the future in terms of playing in other organizations, traveling, etc.; the advantage of being able to face different types of pitchers in their practices; future additions to the Waves.
49:40 – Future plans for Wiff is Life League; possible fast pitch league; how the league has grown over time.
Organizations: Wiff is Life League, NWLA, MAW, Fast Plastic
Teams: WILL Waves, OCWA Freaky Franchise, AWAA Blue Kamikazes, HRL All-Stars, GBL Legends, Ridley Park Longballs
Players: Austin Berger, Jake Davey, Steven Keelon, Jordan Castelli, Nate Morris, Mike Graziani, Tim Marra, Rob Licht, Caleb Jonkman, Chris Roeder, Ryan Bush, K-Von, Connor Young.