Cactus Dominate Boy's 18's Scene
Cactus 18-1’s boys team culminated their season long
dominance of the Arizona Region by winning their first 18’s
Boy’s Championship over Molten’s 18-Black squad,
capping a 23-1 season that saw them never relinquish the
#1 ranking in the State.
Coach Kasey Harwell was ecstatic over his team’s success. “All
the guys played great all season long,” Harwell said. “The first
championship for a team is especially sweet.”
Taking their success west, the boys conquered the field in the SCVA Boys Invitational
tournament in January, beating the California Riptides 18-Orange team for the
Championship, (25-21, 23-25, 15-13), earning an automatic berth in the Open
Division of the Boy’s Junior Olympic Championships to be held in July.
“Matt Vanzant, Woody Osburn and Steve Madsen were awesome in the final
match.” Harwell lauded. “Their jump serves were lethal, giving us
some easy points off of the ace.”
“It was an outstanding effort by all of the players, everybody contributed.
With our players, the setter can get the ball to just about anybody on the court
and feel confident they will terminate.” Harwell said, adding, “It
was a great event and a super win for our club.”
Cactus 16-1's Three Peat
David Thistle could only describe his Club Cactus Boys 16-1’s
team’s season this way; “Wow!”
The CCJ team started the season inexperienced and in the ankles of their division
all year long but they fought their way to a straight set win over the Arizona
Rage 16-Black team, giving Club Cactus and Coach Thistle his third straight
Arizona Region Boys 16’s Championship.
The CCJ 16’s Champs were a modest 13-10 for the season, and started ranked
21st in their division. But with the Championship on the line, Thistle’s
guys saved their best for the absolute last.
What’s his secret? “I try not to take the fun out of it.” He
says. “You look at the sidelines and see a lot of kids getting down on
themselves and they’re hard enough on themselves without having a coach
breathing down their neck and screaming and yelling at them.”
“I found that just being positive, very positive is a key.” Thistle
says of his obvious success. “The biggest thing is to just let them play.
The only way they’re going to improve at the game of volleyball is to play
the game of volleyball.”
He’s looking forward to coaching the CCJ 16’s next year again,
and with as young as this team was, and some key returning players, an unprecedented
four-peat is not out of the question.
“I’ve thought about it,” Thistle says grinning
Standings of our Boys Division are available by clicking
here. You will need Adobe Acrobat to read it.
Back to Newsletter