No matter what he does, West Ranch boys volleyball’s Michael Flores is goal-oriented.
After missing the honor last year, Flores was determined to become the Foothill League Boys Volleyball Player of the Year. He fought back from a collapsed lung at the start of the season and earned the title at the end of the year.
He led the league this season with 482 kills. West Ranch coach Nate Sparks estimates he has over 1,000 in his varsity career.
Now, he’s the 2017 All-SCV Boys Volleyball Player of the Year.
“I knew that it was the last time I’d be playing for West Ranch … I just wanted to not have any regrets when I played,” the outside hitter said. “I wanted to be happy with how my team and I did.”
West Ranch was the undefeated league champion for the second consecutive year and went to the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs, where they fell to Oak Park 3-1.
It was Flores’ last season as well as Sparks’.
“I’m happy with how we did as a team and how I did individually,” said Flores, who picked up volleyball his freshman year.
“It was cool to be able to send our coach off in his last season with a league championship. So it was really cool, especially because it was my third year on varsity and probably one of my most successful years.”
He’ll leave this October for a mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He’ll travel to Mexico City in August to perfect his Spanish and mentally prepare to spend two years of his life in urban New York.
Then, he’ll go to BYU for his MBA and hopefully get involved with investment banking or real estate after that.
Although Flores isn’t sure if volleyball will be included in his future, it’s still safe to say he’s determined, a characteristic he hopes he passed down to the coming year’s varsity Wildcats.
“Just to play and leave everything on the court, not want to look back and think (that they could have done more),” Flores said.
All-SCV boys volleyball first team
Connor Bertolett, West Ranch, senior
One-half of the Bertolett twins, Connor was top-ranked on the team each game in terms of digs. He finished the season with 356 total.
David Chun, Valencia, junior
Chun was a balance of offensive and defensive action for the Vikings, pairing 105 kills with 117 digs. He also had 124 assists and 25 blocks.
Tyson Drake, West Ranch, junior
It’s not unusual to see a player with a triple-digit stat. Drake had a quadruple-digit stat with his 1,066 assists. Drake didn’t necessarily have crowd-dazzling moves, but his set-ups kept the Wildcats rolling.
Andrew Johnson, Valencia, junior
Johnson kept the Vikings energized with his fiery on-court presence and used his left-handed hitting abilities to accumulate 153 kills, 27 aces. On defense, he had 16 blocks and 121 digs.
Gage Smith, Saugus, junior
A high passing percentage is just one of Smith’s selling points. That number was 2.15 and it added to an impressive offensive resume of 139 kills and a .294 hitting percentage. Defensively, Smith had 47 digs and nine blocks.
Shea Stanford, Canyon, senior
Stanford was a staple for the Cowboys and consistently ranked toward the top of statistical categories after every game. He totaled 225 kills, 63 digs and 22 aces at the end of the year.
All-SCV boys volleyball second team
Wyatt Bates, Hart, junior
Bates led the Indians in kills with 177. He added 24 aces and a defensive flair with 107 digs as part of a Hart team that insisted it wasn’t going to roll over this year.
Dorian Ellis, Valencia, sophomore
Ellis made the jump from the freshman team to varsity this year and proved that’s where he belonged. Using his natural height and his athleticism garnered from football, Ellis notched 150 kills and 78 blocks.
Aaron Erskin, Valencia, junior
Erskin was a well-rounded playmaker for the Vikings in his first year as a starter on varsity with 555 assists, 108 digs, 78 kills and 38 blocks.
Regan Marsh, Canyon, senior
If Shea Stanford was the offensive leader for the Cowboys, Marsh was the defensive. He had 104 digs on the season, but also was effective on the attack with 155 kills and 11 aces.
Derek Seo, West Ranch, senior
When Seo hit the ball, everyone in the gym knew it. He pounded the ball 45 times for an ace in addition to providing 242 kills for the Wildcats. Seo was the guy they could count on for a clutch hit.
Luke White, Saugus, senior
White was a defensive workhorse for the Centurions, with a team-high 91 digs. He could be counted on for some strong serving from time to time, evidenced by his 11 aces. He also had a 2.08 passing percentage.
Canyon – Dustin Deisbeck, junior
Einstein – Justin Barker, junior
Golden Valley – Anthony Devantier, senior
Hart – Alex Schmidt, sophomore
Saugus – Stephen Jones, senior
Valencia – Connor Ruffner, junior
West Ranch – Cameron Bertolett, senior