VERNON — There’s no doubt that there will be plenty of action in the outdoor spring athletic activities such as softball, baseball, lacrosse, tennis and golf to keep high school sports fans enticed throughout the spring season.
But, if local fans are looking for an exciting, highly competitive indoor spring team to watch compete, they should attend a Vernon High School boy’s volleyball match.
The Vikings are looking to continue the momentum from a 2013 season that saw them finish with an overall record of 18-4, including a 9-1 mark-which was good enough for first place-in the West Jersey Volleyball League.
Varsity veterans returning from last year’s squad include Damian Priestner (senior, setter), Charlie Spirko (senior, middle blocker) and Logan Costello (junior, outside hitter).
Amongst the newcomers to the varsity lineup this spring are Andrew Wolak (senior, middle blocker), Matthew Wolak (senior, libero), Xavier Castro (junior, defensive specialist), Eamon Logue (sophomore, defensive specialist), Marcel Thomsen (sophomore, opposite), Stephan Thomsen (sophomore, middle blocker) and Chris Ploch (freshman).
“I expect Damian to emerge as a primary leader of this squad," Vernon coach Jeff DeYoung said. “He has the most varsity experience and has developed into a pretty versatile player. Charlie has had the benefit of playing behind some solid middle blockers and now has a chance to come into his own. The Wolak brothers help to keep the mood light but focused. They have a calm, easy going demeanor and had the benefit of some spot varsity time last season."
The West Jersey Volleyball League will once again feature its share of quality teams this season.
“I honestly think Harrison and Summit return strong, technical squads that will compete for league supremacy this year," DeYoung said. “I’d like to think we will be in that mix, but the key to our success will be how well our newcomers pick up the speed, tactics and court awareness necessary at the varsity level for success. We have the potential to be a solid team if we can put all of the pieces together.
“Our interest and squad numbers increased from last season, quite possibly as a result of our tradition and success," DeYoung said. “We’ve had a fairly long run of success. This season will be a testament to the program as a whole, if we are able to overcome major graduation losses, develop brand-new faces and still maintain our level of competition and success. It will be a challenge, but it has been fun so far teaching, developing, and problem-solving match tactics and strategy. The biggest goal for most of the new players is adjusting to the speed of varsity. That said, Damian, Charlie, and Logan should draw positive attention given their experience and playing ability."
NOTES: On Tuesday, April 8, the Vikings are scheduled to host Pope John.