FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (July 20, 2016) – For much of the year, the athletes on SCVA Boys’ Youth International team play against each other, either at rival high schools or clubs.
For one week this year at the 2016 High Performance Championships, the teens – who quickly admonish any notions of nasty rivalries – are playing together with one goal: Win the Boys’ Youth International Division.
“There aren’t any cliques on this team, even with all the different high schools and clubs we come from,” Garrett Halsey said.
And if you think your region’s high performance team is inter-woven, just try to keep track of how much overlap this team has:
Mitchell Haly, Brandon Browning, Clayton Dickinson and Kevin Kobrine attend Corona Del Mar High School together in Newport Beach, California. Their high school is rivals with Spencer Lawrence and Carlos Rivera-Vega’s school, Newport Harbor.
Now here’s where it gets complicated:
Haly, Lawrence, Dickinson and Rivera-Vega play together at Balboa Bay Volleyball Club. Browning, Kobrine and Diego Perez are teammates at 949 Volleyball Club. Additionally, Troy Magorien and Alvin Chea play together for a third club, while Matthew Faraimo, Noah Franklin, Halsey, Troy Magorien and Garland Peed all have played with each other – and others on the team – on both school and club teams.
Got all that?
“It’s really not strange for us to be on this team together because we’ve all been playing together and known each other so long,” Rivera-Vega said.
“We really just bonded well during practice,” Haly added. “And we have great coaches.”
Coached by John Hawks, Assistant Coach at UCLA, the team had only one week to practice together following the conclusion of the 2016 Boys’ Junior National Championship in Dallas, Texas.
But SCVA isn’t worrying about rivalries; they’re too focused on winning the division. The team is off to a hot start, defeating Arizona Boys Youth 3-1 on Tuesday and taking down the USA High Performance Youth Continental White Team 3-0 Wednesday afternoon. The results for their second match on Wednesday weren’t available at the time of publication.
“Some of us have known each other since we were 12, so this is really just a lot of fun,” Lawrence said.
The 2016 High Performance Championships began Tuesday and conclude Saturday with eight divisions playing for a championships. This year’s tournament features 112 teams from six countries. The tournament is being held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the second time since 2013. Fans can watch live matches on Courts 1-4 at bit.ly/2016HPCs, or follow along on USA Volleyball’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.