Sports

Spartans volleyball team stocks up on talent

Mike Grypma, who helped Langley Christian win the AA provincial title earlier this month, will suit up for the Trinity Western Spartans next season. - Gary Ahuja/Langley Times
Mike Grypma, who helped Langley Christian win the AA provincial title earlier this month, will suit up for the Trinity Western Spartans next season.
— image credit: Gary Ahuja/Langley Times

Fresh off helping the Langley Christian Lightning capture the gold medal at the senior boys' volleyball AA level, Mike Grypma was announced as part of Trinity Western Spartans 2013 recruiting class.

Grypma and Blake Scheerhoorn (Belleville, Ont.) — both outside hitters — setter Adam Schriemer (Winnipeg, Man.) and middle Levi Wolthuis (Sturgeon County, Alta.) were all announced as the newest Spartan recruits.

"With the addition of these four to last year's recruiting class (Tyler Heppell, Ryan Sclater and Scott Plocktis) the future cycle is now complete and I can't wait to see all of them in the gym together," said Trinity Western coach Ben Josephson.

"These four have size, athleticism, and, above all, unquenchable work ethic.

"The future looks bright for Spartans men's volleyball and I couldn't be more excited to get a front row seat to the show."

Grypma, 6-foot-1 outside hitter helped Langley Christian medal in each of the past three seasons at provincials, including the gold medal on Dec. 1, earning second team all-star honours in the process.

He has also played for the Fraser Valley Volleyball Club since he was 14, helping the program win gold at provincials at the U16 and U18 levels.

“Mike has been developed in our own club program, FVVC, where I had the pleasure of coaching him personally last season,” Josephson said.

“He has great technical skills and has a commitment to improving those skills, as evidenced by his involvement in the Volleyball Canada Centre of Excellence, which is coached by Spartans assistant coach Ryan Adams. With Mike’s great development background and his commitment to making himself better every day, we expect to see great development in our gym over the next five years as a controlling left side player and libero.”

Grypma said his goal since Grade 7 has been to sign with Trinity Western University.

"There was no doubt in my mind that I would attend TWU after graduating," he said, noting the school's academic reputation as well as their campus atmosphere as reasons he wanted to attend the Langley university.

"But being able to play volleyball there was a dream come true and (I) still cannot

believe that this is happening."

Grypma will likely play left-side and libero for the Spartans.

Scheerhoorn is a six-foot-seven outside hitter and is the Spartans' first-ever Ontario recruit.

He has guided Quinte Christian to three consecutive gold medals as well as silver and bronze with his club teams.

Josephson said Scheerhoorn brings more than just physical gifts to the team.

"He has a deep love for the game and an insatiable appetite for improvement," the coach explained.

"Immediately following his commitment to our program, he was already studying our matches and asking questions about how to improve and prepare for next year.

"This love of improving is what makes great players truly special."

Schriemer is a six-foot-six setter who guided his high school team to the 4A Manitoba championship this past season.

He has also won gold (2011), silver (2009) and bronze (2010) at the club level.

“At 6-foot-6, Adam possesses great size for the setting position and this past year he set from the middle position to take advantage of his blocking presence at the net," Josephson said.

"While he is a very physical setter, it is his subtle skills that impress me most. He has amazing footwork and touch for a big setter. He moves around the court very easily and has a great understanding of offensive choices and deception."

The 6-foot-6 Wolthuis has earned five gold medals at the provincial level and two gold medals at the national level, including MVP at the 2010 nationals. His high school team won silver this past season.

"Levi possesses great size for our level in the middle position but, above that, his leadership abilities are what make him such an exciting prospect for us." Josephson said. "He has great charm, charisma and toughness and those intangibles are exactly what we were looking for in recruiting Levi's position."

"These four are all coming off extremely successful high school and club careers.

"I believe winning is a learned trait, not trained," Josephson said.

"So with all four having experienced what it takes to win, I believe they will help our Spartan men's volleyball program continue in our tradition of competing for national titles."

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