Interview with Newly Sign IronmEn Player Grew Siewers
By Kevin "Kali" Rudulph
Greg! Welcome to the Valken family! I am excited to get the chance to talk with you about your recent paintball adventures!
Give the people reading this a little history into the Greg Siewers saga. Who have you played for, where have you traveled, what you do to pay the bills, what you do to have fun besides winning on the paintball field….. Don’t forget to mention the part where you and I played on Infamous together and Won a couple of events haha good times!
Well I’ve recently heard myself called a veteran in the sport, so I guess my story is getting a little long these days. I’ll give you all the highlight reel! I grew up in the Boston area playing paintball under the NE Hurricanes organization. I was recruited my first pro event at the end of 2006 by New York Extreme (NYX). Following World Cup, I received an offer to tryout for XSV. I flew out the next week, made the team and never turned back. I spent an entire year flying from Boston to Sacramento every weekend for XSV practice and events.
Following high school, I made the move to California to chase the paintball dream. I graduated from CSU Sacramento with a B.A. in Food & Nutrition, all the while finding myself switching teams on nearly a yearly basis. I always felt like I left teams for a good reason and always on good terms. I mean, in my sophomore year of college I was playing 6 paintball series! I played 2 series in the USA, 1 in Europe, 1 in Australia, 1 in Mexico and 1 in Canada…phew!
After all that paintball, I probably only became a recognized pro player when I joined Infamous in 2011. We held strong, built a solid crew and in 2012, we won back to back events, both in overtime points! Since then I’ve had the honor to play for some heavy hitters such as Impact, Houston Heat and now returning to the Ironmen.
Outside of paintball, I tend to stay 1000mph. I run an online personal training business, MAP Training. I’m also an active sales representative for a supplement company, 1st Phorm. Now, I also work doing sales in the paintball industry. So, when I finally do find some free time, I’m a big gym rat!
I heard Ronnie was moving over to Heat before it was put online and the first question I asked was… “is Greg going to split time with Ronnie & Nico?!” so I guess I want to know, did you leave on your own terms? What are your feelings towards Heat?
Yes, I had a lot of these same questions the week the Houston Heat roster was announced. Luckily, yes, I left on my own terms. After 3 years with Heat, truly living the paintball dream having been able to play paintball as a full time job, I decided I was going to take a job opportunity in the industry. Unfortunately, that meant a clash of sponsors for Heat and I wasn’t able to do both. I have nothing, but love and respect for Heat’s organization, Mama D & Sarge (owners), as well as my friends still on the team. It was a great run and I wouldn’t have changed a thing about it.
Why the move over to Ironmen?
I chose to move to the ironman because of two reasons. One, you and I both know, Kali, what it is like to play under Todd Martinez. He is a great coach and I was excited to see if he could bring out my best game again. Secondly, the ironman organization is legendary. The team has been a heavy hitter since their inception back at the start of paintball, even into when I won the World Cup with them in 2008. When I heard the passion that the Ironmen owners/managers had for rebuilding something great, I couldn’t pass up the chance to help lead that charge.
Heat has had a couple different “coaches” over the last couple of seasons… Todd Martinez is the Ironman’s Head Coach continuing into his 2nd season with the team, he has coached you before… tell me about that.
So clearly I’m excited to have Todd as a coach again since I mentioned him above before reading the next question! Todd is great. He understands paintball, but more importantly he understands players. If you have the heart for the game (and some kind of intelligence), Todd will bring out the best in you. Then again, if you don’t have the heart, avoid Todd. He will break you, haha.
What’s the relationship you have with Todd?
My relationship with Todd started as just another friend in paintball. It wasn’t until he coached us on Infamous in 2012 that it became a coach-weapon relationship. I earned his trust as a player that year and ever since, we have had a mutual respect in our relationship. I really appreciate how willing he has been to hear my input on paintball over the years, and more importantly my input on our current team, the Ironmen.
Does his coaching style fit your style of play, or does your style of play fit his coaching style?
That is a tough one, but I would have to go with my style of play fits his coaching style. He likes direct information, valuable input between points and a punch people in the nose mentality. I’m all about shooting bad guys and sticking to the KISS method between points; Keep It Simple Stupid!
You have been known as a Dorito side specialist, will you continue to play on the D-Side?
Yes! This was actually a major part of the conversation when the Ironmen approached me to play. They had noticed I spent more time playing the second position on the Dorito side in the last few years. This was just due to field layouts and personnel. We have decided I should go where I feel the most effective, which will be as the attacker on the doritos.
Ironmen had a rough 2016 season finishing 12th out of 16 teams actually finishing lower than the previous season ranked 9th, how do you think you’ll be able to help get the team back on the podium? And what do you think the team needs to improve on all around to play for 1st places, instead of just making it to Sunday?
They definitely had a rough 2016, there is no denying that. I think they just had one too many hard losses early on and got a little mentally beat down. I think I can bring that hungry mentality they lost, back to the team. I’ve had experience with rebuilding teams in my years moving up the pro rankings and I think I can bring some of those experiences with me to help expedite the growth of the team.
I think going into 2017, we will have to wait and see what the team really needs to win. Even with just a one player change, like myself, it can completely change the dynamic of a team. No matter how it breaks down, people can expect to see a hungry, mean, competitive Ironmen team looking to do more than just make Sunday.
What are your expectations for the 2017 season?
I have my expectations set high for 2017. First, I’ve learned to always set my goals unrealistically high because it will always make you work harder. However, I think the true goal for me is to skip the “rebuilding season.” Rebuilding usually means getting your head blown off for a year trying to figure out how your team works well together. I don’t really want to deal with that, so I’m hoping to come out strong from the start of the season.
Ironmen currently does not play in the Millennium Series, will we be seeing you overseas in 2017?
Of course! Where there is paintball, I will definitely try to be there. I have two offers to play in the CPL (pro division) right now. I will have to wait and see which team I am able to confirm my spot with, but I am hoping to be guesting with Comin’ At Ya!
What do you think about the NXL bringing back the same field kit as 2016?
I think bringing back the same field kit is a good thing. At some point we have to give ourselves a chance to be seen as an organized sport. That requires everyone to be on board from the players to the team owners. The W is a small part of paintball, but to replace it across the globe becomes very expensive. Keeping the same kit allows everyone to continue working towards unified rules and bunkers.
Thoughts on the big “W” aka Wall?
That thing scares me, haha. That bunker takes a special kind of mentality to play because there is always someone getting bunkered….a lot. That being said, it also makes my job much harder. It is difficult to always be sure if there is a player in the W, so making those small bumps on the Dorito side become more dangerous. I guess this is why I have gray hair at 27…..
Any thing you would like to add or say?
I pretty much gave my life story, so all I would say is if there are players reading this looking for help in paintball and/or fitness, don’t be afraid to reach out to me for help!
Thank you for your time and see out on the field!