They are loud, a little crazy and not afraid to tell you what they really think. I have been playing agains these guys for most of my life and once you get past the loudness and the NY talk they are some of the nicesest guys playing paintball today. I have played with and refed them and they are absoultly hillarious to play with and watch play. Always talking smack to each other for real or imagined flaws but they stick together like glue when they need to. They have a real team first program and are always wanting to do what is best for the team and not just for themselves. I really admire that in a paintball team. What I like best about the Blasters is how they are always looking to help new teams and players. They have been a huge hit at our international events helping new teams get into the UWL mix. And who better than a team that as been playing together for 30 years. I had a chance to talk to the Captian Kevin Donaldson at the UWL in CA and asked him some questions.
1) How long Have you guys been a team? The Master Blasters started in 1985 as a group of friends that worked together at a Sears store in Newburgh N.Y. playing mostly for recreation at Jerry Brauns field Survival N.Y.. In 1987 the Blasters entered the Big Apple Open( I think we finished dead last) and started playing National Events. But it wasn't until 1988 when things really started to come together with the addition of Robert "Rosie" Rose, Rich "R.T." Travis, The Heff brothers, Dave Arnold and Danny Weisel to name a few that the Blasters became a dominant team in competition.
2) What Do You think Is special about your team and keeps you playing together so long? We are much more than a Paintball team. Some of us have been playing together for 30 years and a lot more of us know each other for the same amount of time as competitors from other Old Skool teams. We take care of each other in both Paintball and our non Paintball world. We have so much respect for each other as players, warriors and friends that we wouldn't have it any other way. When you become a Blaster or play for any team spawned from the Blasters you are a Blaster for life.. We are a family, extremely dysfunctional as most of you well know, but a Family.
3) Who is your oldest player? Age or time served? Our oldest player in age today would have to be Dave Arnold at 61 but we have 2 players at 58, 4 players at 57, a few in their early 50's and many in their mid to late 40's currently attending events. As far as time served, I am the oldest active Master Blaster(1987) with Robert "Rosie" Rose, Ken and Kevin Hefferle, Danny Weisel,Dave Arnold, and Carl "jr" Rinne,(1988) Dennis "Mooner" Mood,Dana Mennerich and Phil Martucci (1989)
4)What was the first National Tournament you guys played? Our first National Tournament as a team was the N.Y. Big Apple Open held at Survival N.Y in 1987 where we had our Baptism by fire playing teams like Navarone, Lords, Atlanta Blue ,and others and as I said earlier finishing last but the experience gave us something to build from. We returned to the Air Pistol open in 1988 just missing the finals and then went on to win the PPGA P.M.I. North American Championship at Skirmish in 1989.
5) You guys just recently started playing internationally again at the UWL Mexico and UWL Costa Rica. What did you think of the events? Traveling to events has always been one of the best things Paintball has to offer and international events are always a great experience. The growth of the UWL into Latin America has provided us with more opportunities to play, make new friends and promote tournament Woodsball. After all, that is why we got back together in the first place, to grow and bring awareness to another aspect of Paintball (Tournament Woodsball). The two events we attended (so far) have been extremely well run and well worth attending. Cancun was fantastic, the location was great and made for a great vacation and the event promoter Raul Iberra did a fantastic job. Costa Rica also ran very well and was an enjoyable event. That should only become better with experience. Chris Circonne and staff should be very successful in the future. Our intention for 2016 is to attend many more events in Central and South America including these events again.
6) What advice would you give for any team or player wanting to start playing in the UWL? My advice.... The UWL is no joke. This is becoming one of the most competitive tourny series I have ever attended. People think that speedball, airball or whatever you want to call it is more competitive.. they are mistaken. The UWL requires all the skills of Speedball/airball and the additional skills of a Woodsballer. If you want to build a competitive team you need a good mix of young aggressive speedballers and some of the Old original (Jedi) Masters to be successful. This league should be looked at as the future of any Competitive Paintball Player . Ask yourself this question. Where am I going when my speedball days are over and I want to still compete ? In the UWL age has no boundaries, we are living proof !!!! Get out and try it....