Stack McClernan, EC Rampage, and Being a Pro Ref

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January 12, 2016

10338384_774434372589697_8389368030987024853_oHey Stack, how have you been?

Tim, I’ve been good, busy, but good. The 2016 season is right around the corner, and with limited time to practice, since living in the Northeast it’s usually temps of 40 degrees or less from December – March. Will typically Make practicing early in the year tough. So a lot of prep work goes into the equation when it comes to a tournament level team. Needless to say, good but busy.
How long have you been playing paintball?
I’ve played woodsball since I discovered a paintball gun around 2004. The local kids and I started venturing to a new paintball store that had opened that year. We had a patch ofwoods, Tippmanns, and Spyders. From that point on I fell in love. I have been playing tournament level paintball since 2006, back when I played 3-man young guns(Rookie) with the same local kids I started in the woods with. 
Where did you first play at?
My first time playing was with a Tippmann 98 custom in our local woods with some kids in my class. My first tournament was Global Paintball League at Del Hobbies Paintball in Southern New Jersey.
How long have you been reffing?
I have been reffing pro for 3 seasons, and I took all of 2014-15 season off from the PSP which switched hands to the NXL. I have reffed local and regional leagues for 13 years. I’ve been reffing countless leagues : PSP, GPL, MAPL , Captain Carl’s, QSPL, USPA just to name some .
What teams have you played on?
631 Kids, 631 Army, Jersey Distortion, EC Rampage, AC Rampage. 10321510_774434339256367_573113080639980197_o
What are some of your favorite paintball memories?

As all of paintball’s countless events, trips, and friends fly through my mind it hard to just think of a couple. However, my favorite time playing, that brings goose bumps up my neck, was our first ever full X-ball Events. It was 15.5 bps ramp, 20 minute halves,  and it was open class. A few pro and semi pro players were guesting on some of the teams we had to play. We had a makeshift crew of emerging d3 players who were looking for something new to play. We had no pit crew, no pod boy/girl, yet we still made the trip to upstate NY and played. That season we went all the way to the finals where we faced a newly decorated PSP D1 team, L.I.F.T.  The one main paintball memory that sits with me today is this one right here. The buzzer blew, our lanes or ropes is what we called them, at 15.5 bps it was literally a war scene of paint. We had shot two off the break and managed to win the points easily. The second point went the same way. On the sound of the horn on the third point we had received a minor and loss two guys early. We managed to win a one on one and went up 3 zero! On LIFT! The known D1 PSP team. I was amazed at what a bunch of kids from South Jersey and Brooklyn could do on an X-ball field. LIFT came back and beat us 9-5 outright, as they should.But to this day, the roar we had from our guys and the points we put up against an amazing Xball team is what had ignited a spark that I carry with me even today when I compete.

304620_412026782167666_755891651_nWhat is it like being a Pro Ref?
This season will be my first reffing the NXL. However, learning from reffing the Pro Level of the PSP, you’re grinding hard for 3 days just like the players. You’re constantly watching, listening, and communicating with your other refs, because if you don’t, a pack hit or a foot hit could be missed. Which could hold a huge value for a team, who might of actualy lost a player early on in the game. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the NXL, so I can imagine their reffing squad and process is 10 times better and I cannot wait to be apart of it in 2016.

What are some of the rewarding moments of being a ref in paintball?
For starters, being on the same field as some of the big names. Justin Rabackoff, Marcello Margott, Dave Bains,  Mike Paxson , and Grayson Goff. I mean I could go on and list each player on each team. These guys are legends, however, even legends can get majors for not following rules, haha. Lord knows I’ve thrown my fair share. They were well deserved.
What are some of the tougher things about being a referee? I would have to say the focus, and agility to be on your feet for three days. Sometimes four depending on the event and venue. You’re constantly accountable for what happens each minute of each match. I take pride in knowing I judged the best of the best in the game and knowing I left it on the field to be decided between the two who is the best.
What have you been to this off season?
Right now we are in the winter lull period, it has been freakishly warm for the north east. However, normally we take a break from training and playing from December till the end of January. This allows the guys to heal and celebrate the holidays with their families. I like to do a lot of outdoor activities. So I use this time to enjoy doing those before the season grind starts. Once practice starts we’ll be drilling, working on quickness, and overall endurance. Then it’s studying layouts and full onpractices.
What are your plans for this upcoming year?

This coming season I will be Reffing the Pro Field in the NXL. I also help run the Quickshot Paintball League in South Jersey. My team plans to compete in D3 Xball, and grasp some gold! We plan to train harder and capture our goals in 2016!

Thanks for your time Tim!

Stack – EC Rampage!

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