Boys Volleyball
Boomer Elmsdale
Fri, February 16, 2024 at 10:02 AM
St. Joseph Academy (SJA) is a relatively new high school program, established only a year ago. However, this has not stopped the boys volleyball team from setting high goals and striving to make a mark in their very first year of competition. We had the opportunity to speak with Coach Ryan Hanson about the team and their plans for the upcoming season. When asked about the team's goals, Coach Hanson shared that their main focus is on individual and team growth. Being a new program, the team aims to establish a strong foundation and start a legacy from the very beginning. With a mix of talented freshmen and experienced upperclassmen, they are determined to compete in the CIF and make their presence known. Speaking of freshmen players, Coach Hanson highlighted two players to keep an eye on - Max Pokholok and Sean Ambuul. Both of them were part of the parochial league championship-winning team in 8th grade and are now ready to take their skills to the next level. In addition, seniors Bryan Mendoza and Andrew Barsoumian have also shown great potential and are expected to contribute to the team's success. Leadership is a crucial aspect of any team, and for SJA, their captains serve as strong examples for their teammates. Coach Hanson emphasizes that their captains not only lead by example on the court but also in their faith and prayer life. As a Catholic school, having a strong Catholic identity is a unifying element that plays a significant role in the team's success. One of the unique advantages of being a small school with only 95 students is the close-knit community. Coach Hanson mentions that this tight-knit dynamic helps build camaraderie among the team. Playing other sports together and supporting each other in their endeavors creates a strong bond that translates onto the court. The team also uses this closeness to have fun during practice and push each other through conditioning drills. In addition to physical and technical skills, Coach Hanson believes that accountability and mentorship are crucial for teenagers' development. He strives to guide and correct his players while also showing a genuine interest in their lives off the court. He aims to instill qualities in his players that will make them not only great athletes but also responsible young men who can create a positive impact in the future. The team has faced a time crunch due to many players participating in other sports such as basketball and soccer, with both teams making it to the playoffs.