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With the HRL expanding from 20 to 24 teams for the upcoming season, there will be many new faces in the HRL in 2013.  We introduce the Hopkins Rockies, captained by young Tyler Flakne, currently a baseballer at Augsburg, and whose distinguished wiffle colleagues with the Fridley Factors have participated in (and won in 2010) our Wifflin' for Wishes tournament.  We always tell certain youngsters at W4W that we have our eye on them as future HRL stars, and these young bucks definitely fit int hat category.   We got a chance to ask Tyler a few questions about what he expect out of the Rockies' first HRL season.

Q: Many people know you came into the league via the annual Wifflin’ for Wishes tournament. What has the W4W experience been like for you?
A: The Wifflin’ tournies have been awesome. My first experience was as a replacement and I told myself right away I was going to have my own team next year. I know Luke and the Fridley Factors have enjoyed their experience as well.

Q: Reading down the Rockies roster looks an awful lot like seeing a W4W entry form for the Fridley Factors. How many players are also from that squad?
A: Our team is a mix between the Factors and the other 3 of us who have gone by many names (Whispering Eye most recently). Luke Thompson, Casey Urbach, Dan Duehn and Josh Groth are the guys from the Factors.

Q: Did you meet many HRL players at W4W and what made you want to join the HRL?
A: I have met a few HRL players over the years. Sam Bliss and I are classmates here at Augsburg and he’s been wanting me to get a team since we became friends freshman year.

Q: What can the league expect from the Rockies in their first season?
A: We are a bunch of easy going guys who want to have some fun playing wiffleball. But at the end of the day, we are going to be competitive and want to win.

Q: Any initial impressions on joining the HRL?
A: Seems like a bunch of good guys who enjoy playing the same game we do!

Q: Tell me about your players and what they bring to the table.
A: Well I should probably plug Luke’s very popular YouTube channel, Mippey5. He has made countless parody videos and the videos are really pretty good. He even has one about wiffleball. Casey has also been known to grow a pretty solid mustache and beard. One year for W4W he tried to dye it red, which didn’t turn out well, but the idea was pretty clever, I thought.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most?
A: With the weather we’ve been having, I am really just looking forward to warmer weather.  Anything after that is just icing.

Q: What are the favorite beverages of the HRL Rockies?
A:  Personally, I’m a huge root beer fan. I know there’s a few of us who enjoy the occasional kiddy cocktail. If I were 21, I’d list some adult beverages but I’ll stay away from that for now, haha.

Q: What HRL player or team do you look most forward to facing? Least forward?
A:  I don’t know if there is any team we are most looking forward to facing because we don’t know enough guys, but I know in the past the Factors have struggled in W4W against Dr. Seuss, so I don’t know if I’m excited to step into the box against him.

Q: What wiffle skills will help the Rockies compete in the HRL? Any skills beyond wiffle that will help?
A:  We have a few guys that can stick pretty well. We will have to see how well that translates to the HRL, but I think they will be fine.

Q: Your prediction for the Rockies in 2013?
A: Early in the year we will struggle due to missing players because they are still at school as well as figuring out different rules. Then we will start to gel and hopefully get to .500.


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