For many, being shot at is not only a valid fear but a concern. Police officers and soldiers put themselves in the line of fire to keep others safe. One Western Michigan University student not only volunteers, but jumps into action.
Haney and his team of WMU paintballers have been competing on a national level for almost a year now, and are already making waves in the business, quickly becoming one of the best teams in the country.
Haney is the founder of both the paintball team and WMU’s paintball club, and said that his motivation behind starting the team came from his previous knowledge of the competition at the college level.
“I’ve known about college scale paintball for a while,” he said. “We just want to represent the University on a national scale.”
So far, the team has done just that. After winning the only two tournaments that they participated in 2011, WMU’s paintball team went on to compete in the national championships in Lakeland, Fla., where they finished as a runner up.
This year, Bronco paintball came into the season with many followers picking the team to win the national championship. To this point, the Broncos have remained undefeated in tournament play, making these early predictions seem closer and closer to reality.
“We’re getting our name on the board,” Haney said.
While paintball may not get the following that other college sports carry, the competition is by no means limited. WMU competes against schools such as Central Michigan University, Purdue and University of Michigan, among others.
The Broncos return to tournament play in Feb. 4, when the team travels to Toledo, Ohio, to compete in a tournament at War Zone Paintball.
For students that want to join in on the paintball action, Haney said that the club is welcoming to everyone and organized in such a way
“There’s the competitive tournament team for people who are more serious about paintball, but I also run the paintball club for people wo just want to go out and have fun by playing paintball,” he said. “With the club, I usually do monthly or bi-weekly outings to play paintball. If people are interested, it offers the social and fun aspect of the club for some, and the team for people who have a competitive drive.”
Haney knows a thing or two about competition in paintball, as he’s been playing the game since he turned 12.
More information on the WMU paintball team can be found on Facebook by searching “WMU Paintball.”