Boys Varsity Volleyball

“It’s a joke. They did it just to play a sport senior year.”  The Shaker Boys Varsity Volleyball Team, a team consisting of more first year players than returning, most with little to no volleyball experience. Five new seniors, and one experienced senior returning. Does the team sound like a joke to you? Well not to me, my team isn’t a joke.


Making the team was a great accomplishment for me because I have never played a school sport before. A decent amount of my friends said that they were going to try out so I decided to give it a try. It turns out, the people that I was competing against would turn out to be the people who I would create special bonds with. 


Volleyball seems like a very simple sport. All you do is bump, set and spike. To be honest, I thought the same. Little did I know, there were multiple rules that can determine the outcome of a game. Did you think there were plays in volleyball, or different ways to have to position yourself during serve and serve receive? With time, I got these ideas understood in my mind and on the court. 


Davis Ratigan, a senior who has been playing varsity volleyball for Shaker since freshman year. He is one of two captains for the team, the other being Jae, a junior. Davis is a phenomenal volleyball player. He currently leads the team with the most kills and is  all around, the most explosive on the team. He is a five year volleyball player and four of those being on the varsity team. He was put on varsity as a freshman. He is the greatest leader amongst the team.


Last season, Shaker Boys Varsity Volleyball received a new coach, Chloe Clark and assistant coach Troy Kurk. Davis Ratigan said, “I wasn’t really nervous about getting a new coach, the previous coach was a hockey coach and didn’t have much knowledge about volleyball.” Coach Clark, thankfully, had the volleyball experience the team needed. She played volleyball in highschool, as an outside, while attending Shaker. I am very lucky to have Coach Clark as coach. She is a very nice person, she pushes us to be our best, and she has created friendships with all of the players. Keenan Mulroy, a first year starter, says, “She is a very nice person, and she creates special relationships with her players.” She would then lead an 11-5 team to sectionals and lose in the semi-finals making their record 12-6.


This season, we are keeping a somewhat even record, 6-5. Close games here and there that go into 5 sets, and blowouts going both ways. I have an advantage that some people might not think that it is. I am a first year volleyball player. I had no previous volleyball experience. I remember exactly what she said to me the last day of tryouts, “Anthony, we would love to have you on the team, but I’m not sure how much playing time you are gonna get.” I didn’t care about the playing time part.


Being on two sides of the team is special. I get to see everything on the court and get it explained. I learn from people’s mistakes, which is a great advantage. When I’m confused about something, I can ask coach. It’s hard to ask someone a question while you are in the middle of a game. Learning from people’s mistakes makes me a better player and will prevent me from making mistakes when I end up getting in the game. 


On the other hand, getting into the game is so much fun. The crowd, and your teammates on the bench go crazy. You make one play and everyone is cheering for you. It is a special feeling which you need to cherish for the time being, because if you’re not a starter, you’ll never know when the next time you will be in will be. 


This may sound crazy, but I like being on the bench just as much as getting in. We are all one team, a unit. You have to cheer on the people on your team. They feed off the hype and we want them to do the best they can do.