David Campbell, Anna Shumaker, Brian Kretsch
In my opinion, the 2017 NorCal Ninjas were one of the most pleasant surprises of the Team Ninja Competition. Dave Campbell’s team line up turned over from Season 1 into Season 2 and with the new faces produced wins over Party Time, Tre Amigoz, Towers of Power and the Lab Rats. They also picked up relay show down victories over Karsten’s Fast Kats and the Superhero Squad. Part of the magic was surely captain Dave Campbell who picked up all four of his career team ninja wins last year, knocking off three top tier statistical ninjas in Brian Arnold, Dan Polizzi and Brian Wilczewski in two-point match ups. However, the NorCal Ninjas also got a big bump from rising star Anna Shumaker. She too picked up four critical wins in her debut season and gave the team a big boost in their two relay showdowns. She and David are back this season.
Brian Kretsch is back this season as well for NorCal after suffering an injury after three matches last year. When he went down in Team Ninja Two, NorCal picked up alternate Sean Bryan. Yes, the same Sean Bryan who made it to Stage Three this past year on American Ninja Warrior (unsurprisingly, his alternate days are over this year). Bryan went two for three in relief and was undefeated on the team relays he participated in. That will make for some big shoes to fill for Kretsch, but the ninja veteran should be up for the challenge. He’s been a perennial Vegas finalist contender for the last half decade with multiple trips to the big dance.
Tyler Gillett, Bree Widener, Kevin Carbone
We are in a golden age for young Ninja Warrior competitors (that is sure to increase this season with the lower age limit). No team exemplifies this idea more than the Young Bloods led by three of last year’s most promising rookies. Although these kids haven’t contested the relay challenge before, they showed signs of their potential during ANW regular season action. Tyler Gillett was one of the top rookies in the entire competition, making it all the way to Stage Two. Kevin Carbone, the architect of destruction via the Wing Nuts, was also a Vegas Finalist in year one but was toppled by the Jumping Spider. The memorable Bree Widener didn’t lock up a spot at the National Finals as a rookie, but she was scary good in city runs. She made it to Rolling Thunder in both rounds and would have advanced to Vegas with a slightly faster time.
It’s fitting that they put this team of young pups against the Godfather himself David Campbell and Brian Kretsch who have been competing in American Ninja Warrior since its first season! Old school vs. new school should make for a fun storyline.
Ian Dory, Jeri D’Aurelio, Dan Yager
Ian Dory has proven he’s one of the strongest ninjas on the show. When it comes to the most grueling tests - like the City Finals courses - Dory hasn’t been defeated. However, the speedier challenges could bring a bit more pressure to one of this competition’s few Stage Three veterans. Although “challenge” is a relative term with Dory. He’s won four of six matches on Ninja and only lost to rising star Thomas Stillings and one of the great Team Ninja players in Travis Rosen. Those two losses kept Dory from the Relay Showdown where he and his teammates are undefeated thanks in large part to Dory’s superior strength.
The Wolfpack captain is joined by Dan Yager, his teammate the past two seasons and a recent Stage Two qualifier, along with newcomer Jeri D’Aurelio. Jeri has strong Team Ninja Experience, competing each of the past two seasons, and is now a Vegas Finalist after an excellent performance in ANW 9. Only Meagan Martin topped her during Denver qualifying. Ironically, Martin is the ninja who Jeri will replace in 2018.
Tremayne Dortch, Meghan Beatty, Andrew Lowes
Tremayne Dortch and Andrew Lowes will team up to hit the course for a third straight year on Team Ninja as part of Tré Amigoz. Dortch is improving in the Team Ninja format, winning his first match a year ago. Although Tremayne didn’t make it to the Vegas finals last year, he’s a strong, proven competitor who has reached Stage Two as recently as ANW7. Lowes is a Stage Two vet as well. He’s made it to this difficult stage twice in the past four seasons. This last season, Lowes made it all the way to the final obstacle on Stage Two and finished among the top 15 in Fantasy Points. Meghan Beatty will round out this team, trying to make a name for herself among the ninja elite. She hasn’t had much face time to date, but many times those end up being the best ninjas. She’ll have a great opportunity right away to prove herself against D’Aurelio.
Who you got?
This poll is closed
The Young Bloods