HK Army - The "AGG" Issue
Hostile Kids article written by Alex Fraige (team Dynasty):
"THE HOSTILE KIDS WERE THE PRODUCT OF THE SC VILLAGE ARENA. FROM STREET RATS TO WORLD CLASS PROS, ALEX FRAIGE CHARTS THE TEAM’S RISE AND FALL…
In 1999 SC Village Paintball Park decided to build a Paintball tournament complex to accommodate the rapidly growing demand for arena competition. We witnessed Paintball changing before our very eyes. Along with this field, which was the firstof its kind, a new era of Paintball was born. The age of the average Paintball player began to drop and, by late 2000, SC Village was filled with 14 to 20 year olds – before, the major body of players consisted of grown men well into their twenties. This new movement brought on many young and aspiring teams. These kids were fearless and came to SC every weekend to have fun with their friends.
ANGRY YOUNG MEN
The Hostile Kids were the first sole product of SC Village and the new generation of Paintballers. Some were friends from school and others just met up with kids at the field who shared their interest and passions. As they grew, their Paintball careers became less of a joke and a chance for success became more tangible. With time came experience and some of their players began to be noticed by high profile teams based in the area.
I first spotted them in early 2002 wearing black mock turtle necks adorned with the Ironmen\Kids shield, except inside the shield it read “Hostile Kids.” This immediately started blood between us because we thought that image belonged to us, even though we did sort of bite it off the Ironmen. But that was different…. Us Iron Kids immediately confronted them and set-up a day where we would play them for the rights to wear the shield. The Iron Kids reunited for one afternoon and smashed the Hostile Kids into the ground. They wore their scars with pride and I felt they were humbled. In hindsight, I was more flattered than angry that they put the shield on their jerseys and to this day it remains there.
As time went on, the Hostile Kids became the poster boys of SC Village street ball. They became notorious for playing the grey – the reason, I believe that they never fully succeeded in the tournament platform – but that wasn’t the reason they were out there. They were there to have fun, and that’s what they did.
The Hostile Kids consist, or at least consisted, of teens from the Orange County area and throughout LA. You see, this started out as an article about the rise of a promising young team. But while I was writing, the team disbanded after most of their players were picked up by Pro teams. You didn’t need a magic eight ball to predict this outcome: SC Village is a farm where prize Paintballers are bred before being auctioned off to the highest bidder. If you look at the majority of the young talent entering into the NXL and NPPL Pro leagues at the moment, most of it has come out of So Cal, and more particularly, SC Village. It takes a lot of time and patience for teams like the Hostile Kids to rise to the top, despite their talent. And when players are offered the opportunity to become stars overnight, they don’t usually turn it down.
Originally I ended the article with this paragraph, but I thought I’d include it here as it now sounds prophetic: “The Hostile Kids are a potentially great team and, with the proper support, they could be among the best. Unfortunately good teams like this rarely find the means to stick together and they end up going their separate ways to exploit their individual paintball abilities. I see small reflections of the Iron Kids in the Hostile Kids; in the way they stick together and in their strong friendships. Keep an eye out for Alex and his crew in the future. They may be spread out over the NXL and NPPL but they are all Hostile Kids forever.”
Now this has happened and the HK army no longer exists, like the Ironkids, the players are likely to still consider themselves members of their former team. They’re still the first generation of laid back, scene kids, acutely in tune with what’s cool – or as they would say, “agg”. They’ll probably still be at the field every weekend without fail with the same good attitude, ready to play anyone.
Alex Cadalso was the captain and spokesperson for the Hostile Kids. He conveniently lives around the corner from the Dynasty Manor at San Diego State and is frequently seen hanging around with uncle Markus Nielson. I got a hold of Alex for a chat about the past and what the future holds for the now divided team….
Alex Fraige: When were the Hostile Kids conceived?
Alex Cadalso: Hostile Takeover was a Novice/Amateur team on the circuit a few years ago. A few members from our team entered a kids tournament thrown by Hostile Takeover at Tombstone Paintball field in Corona, CA. First prize at the tournament was a package from sponsors of Hostile Takeover including Scott goggles and team jerseys etc. Scott and Mark Kressin, along with Steve Nabi, took first place and became the Hostile Kid. Years later we would combine with the second place team, Dead On, and pick up Josh Myers, Bobby Aviles and Vinnie Palmieri to play Cal Jam 7-Man. Cassidy Sanders and myself were picked up from our team, Mutiny, to play the same tournament.
AF: What were the Hostile Kids’ biggest accomplishments?
AC: Not long ago we took second place in the Amateur division at Cal Jam. Last year we played two events as a team under the name Check It Factory – the Huntington Beach and Vegas NPPLs – where we finished 6th and 5th respectively. We couldn’t finish the season because of our financial problems. The core of our team played the PSP Pomona 10-Man event and finished 4th in the Amateur division.
AF: How do you feel about the way you were treated by the Pros around SC Village?
AC: We developed notoriety around SC Village for beating teams in our division and making decent targets for the Pros, but we never had the money or leadership to win – or even enter – larger tournaments. We didn’t legitimize what we were proving Sunday after Sunday at the field, grinding out victories against much more experienced teams. We didn’t get respect because we were young, loud and somewhat arrogant because we were coming up fast in a sport that respects its elders. Now we have made friends with all the prominent players in the scene and are getting some respect from the locals. Paintball is cliquey; people don’t naturally want to befriend their rivals, but as the sport grows I think we are all getting closer.
AF: Who do you consider to be influential in y our career and in the success of HK?
AC: Personally, Todd Martinez has had the greatest influence on my career. He helped me out when I was just starting and took me under his wing, always giving me the freshest gear and trying to help further me in the sport. In our early days he helped set up practices between our team and Avalanche, which gave us some respect. When old school Avalanche were still in their prime they were practicing rag tag kids team in a practice that members had flown down for; that says something about how quickly we were developing as a team. Markus Nielson has been a loyal supporter of the army and a close personal friend. Steve Quan has been around to offer advice and bend over backwards for the team. Without Steve many of us wouldn’t be the players we are today, we looked up to him and he helped show us how to succeed and build yourself in this sport, though sometimes we were too young to listen."
Rest in Peace Dan Donlon (nj1) 10/16/90 - 3/15/11