Player Profile: Jesse Fraim

jesse-fraimName: Jesse Fraim
Age: 32
Team: The Settlers of Baton

Where are you originally from?

Sturgis, MI

What’s your day job?

Assistant Banking Center Manager for Comerica Bank in Kalamazoo, MI

What do you like best about kubb?

What’s not to like? It seems so simple, yet has so much strategy and skill involved to become a really good player. You can pick up the basics of the game very quick, but takes a while to master all the shots necessary to be great. The level of sportsmanship in Kubb is beyond amazing. Every kubb player/tournament/organization you meet are elated to have you there and just want to see you do your best. Players shake hands before and after matches, they call fouls on themselves, and just want to see the game grow. Kubb has a major following in the Midwest but it still feels like you are in on the ground floor of building the sport. You can email, text, or call major stars or tournament organizers and they are more than happy to help you out in any way possible.

What’s your kubb speciality? (short, long, king, etc)

I’m not afraid to take any shot, at any time. I have to remind my team to not let me try anything stupid during tournaments. In friendlies I’ll go for the high risk, high reward shots so I generally do better with the 4 meter group shots when I’m taking the games seriously. I always want to throw first and I’m first blaster on Settlers of Baton and backup driller. I’m a very streaky 8 meter player, and you DON’T want me doing the king shot. Before the US National Championship, my team had me do the opening baton toss because I always came close to hitting the King but could never hit the King.

What’s your favorite kubb memory?

I’m sure the rest of my teammates will go with day one of the US National Championships this past July. Mine is the afternoon the day before the tournament. We arrived in Eau Claire in time to head to the park and practice. To see all these players and teams I have read so much about or only seen in You Tube videos was surreal. You could look down the pitch and see all of these Kubb superstars that were right there in front of me and I couldn’t believe we were actually there. Second place memory was the conversations I was lucky enough to have with Eric Anderson at the Des Moines Fall Kubb Klassic. The guy is such an inspiration and gets you pumped up to grow the sport.

What’s your biggest kubb goal?

Make it to Sunday at Nationals. We had 10 kubbs in play against Kubb’d in the round of 32 in our first ever tournament, so it’s just a matter of getting better this offseason. Everyone has been playing a lot and sharpening their skills, so I’m confident our best 3 or 4 players can do it.

Where do you see the future of kubb?

The sky is the limit with this sport. Michigan has great potential for growth and we want to do our part to help grow it in Southwest Michigan. I see kubb growing outside the midwest and spreading on the east and west coasts. As soon as we get a New York City, LA, Boston Kubb Club I think it will explode. I’d hate to think of Eau Claire ever losing it’s crown as Kubb Capital of North America, but I think Eric Anderson would be happy to give it up if we could grow it in these big coastal cities.

What are your interests outside of kubb?

I’ve always been a huge sports geek. I love college football (Notre Dame) and Major League Baseball (Chicago White Sox). I also like to listen to sports Podcasts, specifically The Tony Kornhesier Show, the Adam Carolla Show, and Fox Valley Kubb Radio (which they really need to bring back in this kubb offseason, I miss it badly).

Name a fun fact about yourself.

I used to be into professional wrestling, and not just watching it on TV. I made what they called an “e-wrestling” website called World Fantasy Wrestling where you made up wrestling characters, wrote up “promos”, and I would write a weekly show with line-by-line commentary and moves. It was quite the thing for a few years with members all across the Mid-West, Canada, East Coast, and even the UK.

TBT: 2014 U.S. National Kubb Championship

IMG_2204In honor of throw back Thursday, I thought I’d share a post I wrote about my first trip to the U.S. National Kubb Championship. Fellow Kalamazoo Kubb members Jesse Fraim, Joey Wood and Alan Bobalik made the long journey (7.5 hours or so) to Eau Claire, Wis. with me (Christopher Jones) for our first tournament. We had watched everything we could on YouTube and were ready to give this kubb thing a try outside of our backyards. The Settlers of Baton put on a pretty decent rookie performance. Read the full post on my blog.

KUBBQ

On Saturday, Oct. 11, Kalamazoo Kubb hosted a KUBBQ. We set up a few pitches, grilled some dogs and threw wood at wood all day long. We couldn’t have asked for better weather (especially for a mid-October day in Michigan).

IMG_2617We were lucky enough to make some new friends from up north. Great Lakes Kubb Championship Director Phil Dickinson and his son made the five hour journey south. Thanks for doing so, Phil. We had a great time getting to know you andKalamazoo Kubb will definitely be represented at next year’s tournament up north!

There were some battles fought in the relatively new Kalamazoo Kubb ladder system. After some tough matches, our ladder currently stands as:

  1. IMG_2620Joey Wood
  2. Jesse Fraim
  3. Alan Bobalik
  4. Christopher Jones
  5. Tyler Wood
  6. Bryan Jones

There are sure to be more challenges happening soon.

It was a laid back and enjoyable day of kubb (just the way it should be). Thanks to everyone who came out and played. There are plans for some other kubb events around Kalamazoo over the next year. Keep an eye out for more info.

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