It’s official, summer is over. What does that mean for paintball? Absolutely nothing - it’s business as usual and that means it’s time for this week’s edition of Spotlight!
This week we have two brothers from Cleveland, OH; Mike and Ron Lewis of the Cleveland Iron League, who also own a private field as well.
Mike and Ron started playing paintball in the 90’s and then took a short break. They resumed playing fourteen years ago and have been playing ever since. They’ve played at various fields - Pinnacle Woods, Splatter Park, Battlezone, Indy Paintball, Battlegrounds and Hell Survivors. Their home course is their field, “The Devil’s Lair”, where they have spent the last twelve years building the field to what it is today. Their goal is to grow paintball in Northeast Ohio, where they’ve had over three hundred players join their group.
Mike frequently has paintball on his mind, asking himself those critical questions during games such as “Do I push to the next bunker and rally my team,” or “Do I wait for the battle to come to me?” As it stands, he finds the former to be the most rewarding. He has his bucket list game in mind as well; Living Legends. He says he’d love the experience, in addition to playing alongside his friend, Djuan Mitchell.
When asked what his preferred style of paintball was, Mike compared woodsball and speedball just like you would ice hockey and roller hockey. Overall the sport is the same, but each has their unique components that don’t tend to overlap with one another. He favors woodsball due to the asymmetrical layouts and the diverse landscape. With the seasons changing, you can visit the same field and have a totally different experience playing. His equipment is indicative of his role in the game, choosing to go for the heavy gunner; he has two Dye Dams and uses the three hundred twenty round box rotor to stop enemy advances while simultaneously suppressing their fire.
Having memorable experiences is what paintball is all about - Mike told us about how he rode in the back of a troop transport truck with Djuan Mitchell and his friend the Hungarian Hammer at Hell Survivors Monster Game. They made a video of it called “The Hounds of Hell”. Mike has traveled out of state for paintball and is willing to travel anywhere the game takes him. His parting words for new players is this: “Paintball is the ultimate team sport. Win together or die alone. If you commit to this sport you will find adrenaline in pushing forward, exhilaration in eliminating opponents, success in communication, victory in strategy, and a bond of brotherhood rarely seen in other sports.”
Ron’s favorite thing about paintball is hunting a real smart enemy, or having him vs. a dozen other players. Ron hasn’t chosen a specific big event just yet, but he definitely wants it to be a big game close by with all his friends. Just like his brother, Ron prefers woodsball, but for slightly different reasons. He hates the sun and doesn’t care too much for pillows. He also prefers to save his paint. His Dye Dam is his usual marker of choice, but he also likes using his Havoc Launcher and his TipX pistol.
Ron’s played paintball with his brother Mike for quite some time. His favorite experience in all the years playing was when he beat eleven people by himself. Aside from the in game experiences, building the course with his brother was just as amazing. They keep statistics on their field and average them out to their “Iron League Index” number, which takes into account multiple factors, relating it to be similar to a batting average. The furthest he’s traveled for paintball is roughly one hundred miles, preferring the northeast area as his home turf.
Ron’s also given us some words of wisdom for new players to the sport, or anyone that is thinking of starting: “Don’t give up if you enjoy it. You don’t need the best gear either, if you can be sneaky you can get close! It will get easier the more you play.”
That wraps it up for this week’s Spotlight - Mike and Ron Lewis from Cleveland, Ohio. Thank you everyone for reading and we hope to see you on the field at future events! Be sure to like, comment or share to possibly be selected / featured in a future spotlight!