BEHIND THE SHIELD: JOHN JACKSON

A warm welcome Texan John Jackson as the newest member to the squad! From off-the-break shooting to supreme survivability and the experience of 7 years competing at the highest level, we are confident Mr. Jackson will be a perfect piece to the puzzle for an outstanding 2021 season.

With another Ironmen team practice here at Victory Paintball Park this weekend, we sat down with the man himself to learn more about what John is all about.

Age: 35

From: Austin, TX

Current Residence: Houston, TX

Playing since: 1998 

Professional since: 2014 was my first year going pro with our Houston boys VcK. 

Podium Standouts:

  • 2nd Place Chicago NXL 2019

  • 2nd Place Atlantic City NXL 2018

  • 2nd Place Chicago NXL 2017

  • 2nd Place Texas NXL 2017

  • 3rd Place Texas NXL 2018

  • 3rd Place Vegas NXL 2017

  • 3rd Place Texas NXL 2016

  • 1st Place 5 Man ICC 2019

  • 2nd Place 10 Man ICC 2018

Best part of competing?

John: The best part of competing at the professional level is the challenge and experience of learning a new field. The mental challenge of coming up with and creating game plans. That experience never gets old. It keeps the game more fun and exciting than ever!

Hardest part of competing?

John: The hardest part of competing at the pro level was originally learning the tempo and timing of the game. Now after a few years in the pro bracket, the hardest part is putting all of the pieces together. Someone on your team can have the best event of their life, but if the players and coach don’t have it together during the same event, on the same day for the same match, you end up going home early.

Photo by Stephanie Buschang - @stephanie_b_photo

Favorite music?

John: I have to say rap or hip-hop is my favorite music to listen to. I grew up listening to it through friends and on the school bus. I didn’t realize until recently not everyone knows who DJ Screw is. I went to the same high school as Pall Wall and hip-hop music was, and still is, a big part of the city’s culture. 

Favorite food?

John: Hands down Tex Mex Mexican food is my favorite food. Queso and chips helps me put on the pounds each year to stay warm in the off season. :)  

If I was not a professional paintball player…

John: I would be someone who helps others start their own businesses and grow them. That, or a website nerd. I love entrepreneurship and the process. I genuinely enjoy seeing others go for their goals and succeed.

What’s something most would not know about you?

John: I met my fiancé Amy because of Matty Marshal talking about me on the GoSports webcast. Shoutout to her brother Ed for watching the webcast and putting a good word in!

What’s it mean to you to fight for the Shield?

John: The Shield and the Ironmen team name are legendary with a mile-long list of some of the best players to ever play the game! To be a part of the history is incredible. I am so damn excited to do my part to keep up the high standard the Ironmen name and the Shield represent. It’s an honor just to know I’m wearing the same Shield that some of the oldest legends to ever play the game wore.

Did you know many of the Ironmen before jumping on board?

John: I only knew a few of them before coming out that first weekend. Dan Norcross was my sales rep for a time when he worked at DYE. Corey Hall came down to Texas play a local 7 man event once before. Then there's Nick Slowiak and Nick knows everyone!

How’d the first practice with the team go?

John: I’ve never gone to a tryout without really knowing the team before, so I was fairly nervous. I felt the first day went fairly good. I had a couple solid games and a decent number of off-the-break kills. The second morning was rough. It took me way longer to wake up then it should have, but I did feel I ended the day strong.

Photo by Stephanie Buschang - @stephanie_b_photo

So now that you’ve had the DYE M3+ in your hands for a little while, how does it handle on the field for you?

John: I have shot cases upon cases of paint through my new M3+ already and it has stayed super smooth and rips each time I take it out. I’ve shot some super brittle paint without any issues. The thing I’m most excited about is the feel of the platform. The DYE Ultralite frame has always been one of my favorite designs DYE brought into the paintball world.

This isn’t the first time you’ve used the DM platform though. Can you share some of that history?

John: This is will be the 6th or 7th model DM I’ve got to shoot! In 2004, I picked up my very first DM4. My first team, Organized Chaos, won 2 national events that year and a 3rd place using the DM4. We were hooked on the DM platform. I shot the DM4, DM6, DM7 and DM8, along with the other DYE markers the PM6 and PM7. At one point I was the tech at a local field and had the o-rings sizes, pressures and settings all memorized I enjoyed the guns so much. I’m pumped to be back with the DYE DM. the first thing I did when I got home from the airport from the tryouts was open up my marker and get to know everything about it.

You have a successful paintball store ProEdge. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

John: First off thank you for letting me spread the name of the store! So, I opened Pro Edge Paintball in 2008 without a clue of what I was doing. I just loved paintball. I didn’t have a business plan or anything. Just an opportunity to open a store. The Houston paintball community has been absolutely incredible over the years with the support and patience as we learn what to do and what not to do as a business. We now have a steady online store, a YouTube channel that’s growing quickly and a great city of players who stop by to show their support. We moved into a larger store about 7 years ago and now have 5 employees. Business is steady and I couldn’t be happier with how everything has turned out! 

One of many Pro Tip videos John Jackson will be putting out this season for new and experienced players to take advantage of.

With a store and being a full-time player, it sounds like you’re around paintball 24/7. Do you ever get burnt out or need a break?

John: I definitely have those months where I don’t even want to hear the word paintball. haha During the offseason I don’t do much for playing because the season is so packed with travel and events that I feel I just need a little time away. Luckily, I still have that love for the game and I'm really enjoying working at the store around my guys.

2021 season goals?

John: I’ve never won a pro event before, so I’m fired up to do my part to win an event this season! 

Shoutouts/thanks? 

John: Thank you to Kyle, Jonathan, Tony and Richie who I 100% trust and rely on to run my store while I am away. Without these guys I wouldn’t be able to enjoy playing like I do. Shoutout to Chris from DYE for having me out to tryouts and sponsoring my first paintball team when I was 15 years old. Thank you to the Ironmen squad and coaches for letting be a part of this team's history. Thank you to all of the players and friends who have reached out to show their support for joining the new team!

Keep up with John Jackson and Team Ironmen on Instagram: @JohnJackson_22 & @TeamIronmen