Your editor’s own team.
I started this team in the winter of 1989 with six other players from the Muthers of Destruction.
The Muthers had grown in size from 15 players (barely) in 1984 to 41 in 1989. Unfortunately most of those players didn’t want to or couldn’t support a serious competition effort. Seven of us who wanted to go that route had a meeting in Pete ‘Ghost’ Miller’s blacksmith shop.
Present at that meeting were Steve Davidson, Chris Harrison, Aden Jacobson, Ian Jessiman, Pete Miller, Rich Schmidt and Ron Stark.
The seven of us committed to no less than two years of totally serious effort, putting everything in our lives second and the team and paintball first.
The beginning was rough. We had some strange (and effective) ideas about how to go about doing what we wanted to do: we would play short-handed until we found the right people. There was an absolute prohibition against just filling holes with bodies; we wouldn’t name the team until the right name came along; we didn’t seek sponsorship because we wanted to be independent; we had no home field because we intended to travel as much as possible.
We played short a lot. In the end, this proved to be one of our most successful concepts. There wasn’t another team on the face of the planet that was as comfortable playing against bad odds as the ‘Wolves. Even when we only had one guy left on the field, we were still in the game.
We moved from Skirmish USA (home of the Muthers of Destruction) to the first field to being operations in New Jersey – PPA (Pursuit Paintball Association). Our parting with Skirmish was difficult, but necessary. Through no fault of anyone involved, the team had gotten ‘fat, dumb and happy’. The only solution was a complete break with the past.
PPA stole a jump on Ray Gong’s TopGun Paintball by opening as a “private club” rather than as a commercial activity. Ray would eventually become responsible for paintball becoming legal in New Jersey, but in the meantime we were able to play close to home.
Our plans included opening up a team company store (eventually quasi-realized as Performance Paintball; we brought Nelson paint into the NJ/NY/PA area and would be responsible for exposing the entire East Coast to LAPCO’s Grey Ghost) and in pursuit of that we were looking for a paint supplier. We’d tested the paints that were available at the time and had concluded that Nelson was the best to be had.
Unfortunately, Nelson only distributed through licensed regional dealers at the time. But this turned out to be all for the good as it turned out that we happened to fall under Mike Lyon’s (Lyon’s Paintball) jurisdiction.
Mike was one of the captains of the legendary L.R.R.P.s team, the 1988 NSG National Champions. We mentioned the team to him and Mike invited us down to Adventure Games of Virginia for some practice. (We would also end up playing the ORKS and the Green Machine.)
Tony had a Winnebago, we rented another and did the trip in style. The L.R.R.P.s were a great bunch of guys and over the course of two days we went 2-2-2 with them – on their home field! I’m not sure who was more surprised, the L.R.R.P.s or us.
Having played the current champs and holding them to a dead-even record on our first road trip told us that we were ready for prime time.
Ultimately, we ended up being known for our toughness, our long-ball game, our ability to read a field and come up with an entirely different way to play it and our “air-mail” tactic (everyone on the team would simultaneously auto-trigger a designated location for five or ten seconds. So much paint rained in from so many difficult angles, we often eliminated a player or two using it).
Here’s a video of the guys:
And the roster – in living color: