Connor is an Army Vet I met in Colorado. I came to Covert Ops Paintball regularly in Colorado Springs where Connor played with the Air Force Academy at the time. This guy would fly down the field with a killer attitude and is probably one of the nicest dudes off the field. For a while after I met him he was deployed and I wasn’t sure if he would come back to visit us, he ended up coming back shortly for a time to play before he moved back to New York. He now plays with HVP Wrecking Crew in the NEPL and they recently won two events in a row. I had enough time to interview him for their first event win, but the icing on the cake is winning once again by the time this interview was dropped! Congrats to Connor and the rest of the team on HVP Wrecking Crew for a successful win back to back in the NEPL.
Photos by Aztek Photos
T: So what’s new man? You’re living in New York now and playing the NEPL and Foxball series?
Connor: Yeah, I moved back home to Long Island about a year ago. I jumped onto HVP Wrecking Crew we’re playing NEPL this year and the last three national events. The team took a vote and decided not to play the Foxball Series.
T: That’s still cool. I always say “whatever works, just play”. What’s different now playing paintball back home opposed to Colorado when we lived in Colorado?
Connor: Oh man Long Island paintball is very different from Colorado Springs paintball. There’s only one xball field here but nobody goes to it so we travel a lot. Upstate New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, but it’s cool though the journeys make it fun. And grinding with different teams from all over definitely helps grow as a baller.
T: What teams did you practice leading up to the event you just played?
Connor: The first practice on the layout we played a D3 team, the Storm Riders, in New Jersey at a field called Golf Zone. The second practice we played at OTP, also in New Jersey, and we practiced the Rutgers team.
T: As a team how we’re you guys feeling going into the tournament?
Connor: Everyone was extremely confident. We knew after our practices that our lines are solid. Our coach realized who meshed well together and which plays worked. I was a little nervous but I mean I feel like it’s normal for most players to get that way the morning of the event.
T: Anybody have that gut feeling you would win it from the start?
Connor: My buddy Dan Nobile. Once we got into the pits and squared everything away we were getting a last leg stretch in and he said they might as well hand us our first place trophy now (laughs).
T: I like that attitude. That’s the type of person that gets me hyped up. So you took 1st in D4 in the NEPL event this year, is this the first or second event?
Connor: This was the first event of the NEPL series. First place at NEPL gets your half off entry to a national event and 10 or 20 cases, I forget which it is, but our goal is to take first in our region so it’ll be easier for us financially to play Atlantic City, Chicago and World Cup. Right now personally, I want to place well at these events so we can play D3. It’s more of a challenge which is one of the things I like most about this sport. We only lost two points all day playing D4 xball, so I mean if it’s like that for the next NEPL event I think we should probably consider moving to D3 xball.
T: Do you have any input on any divisional teams in the NXL that you would want to see?
Connor: Texas Phalanx and Carolina Tradition. At World Cup last year we played Phalanx on the pro field on Thursday I believe it was, we didn’t do to good, but now we’ve grown as a team and that team has a great program with great players so it’s great competition. Carolina Tradition knocked us out on Saturday at Cup but it was a controversial game so a rematch would be cool.
T: What do you like the most and least thing about paintball?
Connor: The most I like about paintball is probably the adrenaline rush I get while playing. Doesn’t matter if it’s practice or an event, win or lose my adrenaline starts to pump and it’s awesome. It’s fun. I try not to let my competitive side take the fun out of paintball. Of course you want to win but you can’t forget the reason you started playing.
The least thing I like about paintball is when the day is over and I’m in the car heading home and I’m replaying my mistakes in my head over and over. That might not have been the answers your looking for but I mean I like everything about this sport, it’s not easy to pinpoint something that I have a lot of love for.
T: You have any knowledge or advice to share with the people and paintball?
Connor: Never give up on your dreams. if you want to make it pro, shoot for it and don’t quit until you make it. Take the losses as learning lessons and come back even stronger.
T: Anybody you’d like to thank?
Connor: Absolutely, big thanks to all our sponsors for hooking us up, especially High Velocity paintball, my teammates and good friends for helping me grow as a player, big thanks to our coach Andy Han for everything he does for this team, and to my woman for being supportive and wanting me to always progress and to see where this journey takes me!