There’s one team in Northwest Arkansas taking the country by storm and it’s a sport you may not be familiar with. The NWA United are a paintball squad based in Tontitown.
“It’s about trust,” said Zac Owens. “It has to do with every person on that field having a job to do. It’s a different feel you get for this sport from any other one.”
The United just got back from a national tournament in Chicago. In a few weeks they’ll be off to Riverside, Calif. They are the premier paintball team in Arkansas, a sport where you need it all to be successful.
“It’s mental, it’s physical, it’s everything,” said Brandon Vinson. “All the work you do on the field you do equally off the field as well. You need a good diet, keep water intake, work out.”
It started as a small group in 2008. Now five years later, they have a team of 28 and its getting bigger every year.
“Ever since then it’s quadrupled in size,” said John Cook. “That’s what we’re all about. We want to grow NWA paintball. We want to grow the scene here.”
Paintball is so unique because it is the ultimate team sport. Five guys are allowed on the field. If one guy is not on the right page…the team’s in trouble.
“It’s not like football where you can hand the ball to someone and they score a touchdown,” said Cook. “Without the other four guys working on the same page you can’t accomplish that one goal that you’re trying to achieve.”
“I’ve been on traveling teams for baseball for a couple of years,” said Owens. “This is totally different. This really does feel like a family to me.”
The team will compete at the World Championships in Orlando this October. They practice at Wild World of Paintball in Tontitown. Anyone 10 years or older can join.