NXL Philadelphia Open 2019 Interview: Clutch

NXL Philadelphia Open 2019 Interview: Clutch

Brad and Matt Medes started a paintball team with a few friends back in 2012. At the time, I’m sure they didn’t think they would be as good as they are. Clutch quickly became one of the most interesting teams to watch from inside the pit. Every time they took field, I was right there in their pit listening to them talk back and fourth with one another.

If we are being honest, I’m not sure if they even noticed me until I introduced myself, but at no point did they kick me out of the pit while they were playing. They didn’t know who I was or why I was there, but the Medes bothers and company just kept focused on

Clutch is a team from South Jersey. Atlantic City would seem like a good home base event for them. This event was moved from Atlantic City to Philadelphia and they still made the trip out to play for the first time this year in the NXL. Division 4 X-Ball is a hard division to fight in. Victoria and HVP Wrecking Crew are good teams. Nasty X ended up taking home the gold.

J: One of your pit guys said you don’t play together often, is that true?

B: We only had one day of practice as a team.

C: We dragged three guys out of Paintball retirement and got us all as mutual friends to play an event with hopes of winning. It was a half ‘throw together’ and half set team if I could say.

J: How do you guys manage to keep this level of play?

M: We have all played together and or against each other in then past. A majority of the guys have been playing together for a while and decided to come out of retirement per say.

B: We are all individually very good players and have all at one point or another played together. I credit our individual skill and experience for allowing us to gel so fast with each other. We were just rolling hot and had a “Why not us” attitude coming in which I credit to our top 3 finish as well.

C: We keep this level of play because we all have prior years of a lot higher Paintball experience. I played D2/3 for a few years, and others playing D3. We aren’t sandbaggers but Division 4 is definitely easier and we were ranked accordingly to play in this division.

J: Your communication on the field is better than anyone else I’ve seen so far, What’s your key to that?

Matt Medes: We started out real slow with that actually, in practice we were having trouble communicating with each other. I feel like now we kind of zone in on that. We’re slowing down a little bit, we’re stopping and talking to our guys when we’re out there on the field.

Brad Medes: We also have a long history with each other. We’ve all played together at one time or another back in the day.

Matt Medes: We’ve been playing together since 2012, and it’s just a bunch of friends and a couple guys who we know.

Brad Medes: We know how each other play, we know what they’re going to do before they do it.

Colin Macguire: We’re just gellin together.

M: We’ve played against other teams before, and we’ve been very successful.

B: It took some time to start playing as a team.

J: What was it like to play against and beat Team USA Paintball?

C: Playing against USA was interesting, they were being coached by pros or pro team coaches. They were a group of six younger girls/women and 2 or 3 guys. We were just a caliber ahead of them as a lot of them are from around the country and can’t practice often. They’re Dorito side kid was a killer, I think he was 14 or 15 years old and he definitely gave me a harder time.

J: So we’re here on Sunday, which means you guys were in the playoffs. How’d you guys do total in the prelims?

M: We went a total of 3 wins and 1 loss, 4-0, 4-2, 4-2, and kind of just threw around some stuff. Didn’t quite really go as planned.

B: Tried some different stuff.

C: We knew we were making to Sunday.

M: We knew we were in.

B: We played the top team, HVP, and we had some battles.

J: I was there for that game, I noticed the guy that disrespected you guys on the way of off didn’t come shake your hand.

M: Yeah he was just a 16 year old kid, you know, you live and you learn. We’ll see them later today.

J: Did you guys play in Atlantic City, and what do you guys think about the differences between this Philadelphia venue and Atlantic City?

M:Absolutely yeah we did. It’s hard to tell cause it rained so much of the time. I love Atlantic City though, that’s cool venue. You’re on an air strip, you’re in Atlantic City.

C: There wasn’t really any grass there, it wasn’t that great. The weather wasn’t really the best. Here, like I said if it didn’t rain for the last week, this would have been next to Chicago.

J: So what do you guys think of the field layout?

B: It’s playing a lot slower than we thought. In practice we were winning points in 30 seconds, we were getting 50 bunkers. I think people died in their lanes. They were just playing slower, locking down that wide run. Once we can rapid shoot that guy down that’s locking it down, we can moved up the field.

J: In the pit you guys were talking about one side of the field not being able to see, how did you guys overcome that?

C: The way I did it was if I looked heads up down way and I couldn’t see anything, I looked inside and got as low as I could to block out the sun. I’d look for the shadows to see what they were doing. Other than that I couldn’t really see too much heads up. I just shot my lane and hopefully they ran through it.

J: You guys ended up losing to Sacramento Damage in the semi-final, what could you have done differently?

C: DMG was a league ahead of us. They practice with the pro team and have numerous solid divisional teams in California and knew shots we didn’t or didn’t even try. Like bounce shots I wasn’t shot on all weekend prior to that match. This was the top 4 bracket and anyway could play and beat anyone. I just think we weren’t as well prepared. We were down 3-0 and got a quick point to avoid mercy rule but we’re still outclasses by them.

Matt also added at the end: “We’re too good to not play against the teams that practice seven times a day”

Picture Source: @Im2Studios (Instagram)

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