At the end of the 2016 boys volleyball season, West Ranch’s Michael Flores was told he was one vote away from winning Foothill League Player of the Year.
He entered the 2017 season with the award on his mind. And after battling back from a collapsed lung in December, Flores earned the title he set out for.
“This year I was doing everything I could to get it,” Flores said. “…Especially coming off of that (injury) I had to get as good as I can as fast as I can.”
Flores had 482 kills in his senior season and has over 1,000 kills in his three years on varsity.
The senior picked up volleyball as a freshman when Wildcats volleyball alum Braden Drake encouraged him to try out for the team.
“I had a little extra time the day of freshman tryouts and my friend told me to come and to go from there to win this award means a lot,” Flores said.
The recent grad will go to Mexico City on August 22 to train for his mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Then in October, he’ll go to New York to work in places like Brooklyn and Queens for the mission itself.
The senior was part of a Wildcats squad that went back-to-back as the undefeated Foothill League champions.
West Ranch made it to the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs, where they fell to Oak Park 3-1.
Wildcats Tyson Drake and Connor Bertolett both made the All-Foothill League first team, Dorian Ellis and Connor Ruffner of Valencia joined them on the list. Ellis is the only sophomore to make first or second team. Gage Smith and Luke White from Saugus as well as Regan Marsh from Canyon were also first-team honorees.
Derek Seo and Cameron Bertolett from West Ranch and Aaron Erskin and David Chun from Valencia were all second-team picks. Steven Stanley (Saugus), Shea Stanford (Canyon) and Wyatt Mates (Hart) also made the second-team cut.
Rounding out the year’s top players are Dustin Deisbeck (Canyon), Anthony Devantier (Golden Valley), Alex Schmidt (Hart), Victor Ramirez (Saugus), Andrew Johnson (Valencia) and Peter Patag (West Ranch). Each was named honorable mention.