For the third year in a row a West Ranch player takes home the title of All-SCV boys volleyball Player of the Year. This time around, it’s Tyson Drake.
“I’m super stoked to get the award,” Drake said. “It’s definitely a huge honor. Getting the award when so many great players have gotten it in the past means the world to me. I’m proud to carry on the legacy that Ethan Marshall and Michael Flores started.”
Leading the Wildcats to a second consecutive undefeated season with a 10-0 Foothill League record, Drake was the catalyst and primary ball handler for the Wildcats, dishing out a whopping 723 assists on the season.
“I don’t know why I’m so unselfish, it’s kind of the way I’ve always tried to play,” Drake said. “Being a setter, you are kind of the quarterback on the court so you have to run the offense. I try to keep everything positive and focus on what I can do better for the team.”
Finishing second on the team in aces (63), blocks (44) and digs (162), Drake still managed to punish balls by ending the year with 88 kills.
Playing alongside his younger brother, Zack, Drake cherishes the time that he was able to share with his brother on the court.
“It was so fun being able to finish my career with him,” Drake said. “He’s turned into a really great player and it’s good knowing that we have him and Johnny Buchanan to lead the team the next few years.”
Falling to Beckman in the first round of the Division 1 CIF-Southern Section Boys Volleyball playoffs, Drake’s career didn’t end the way he thought it would, but he will always remember the fight and passion that his teammates showed this year.
“I think it was just exciting,” Drake said. “Every time we went out on the court, whether it was at practice or for games, I was excited to play. There was so much energy and it was always so much fun playing with the bench going crazy. Coach was just awesome and winning league the last two years was pretty great too.”
Heading to BYU-Provo in Utah this fall to study Mechanical Engineering, Drake plans on trying out for the volleyball team as a walk-on or as a practice squad player.
No matter what happens in the future, he’ll always have past experiences with the Wildcats to reminisce on.
“My favorite memory was when we played in a tournament against Desert Vista,” Drake said. “We were the two seed in our pool and we had some really crazy rallies. It ended up going three sets, but it was really exciting because they were talking a lot of trash the whole time and we shut them up with our play.”
Wyatt Bates, Hart, senior
The Indians’ most explosive player, Bates led the team in aces (32), kills (263) and digs (185).
Andrew Benser, West Ranch, senior
A sharpshooter, Benser served up 67 aces on the year to lead the team. He was second in kills (231) and third in digs (149).
Zack Drake, West Ranch, sophomore
As a sophomore, the youngest Drake brother was an overall team player, leading the Wildcats in digs with 169, averaging 2.1 digs per set.
Aaron Erskin, Valencia, senior
The team captain and unheralded leader of the Vikings, Erskin took command of the Valencia offense, consistently setting up his teammates by dishing out a Foothill League season-high 929 assists on the year.
Cameron Graves, Valencia, senior
Making the Division 2 CIF-Southern Section team, Graves led the Vikings in kills with 319, averaging 3.1 kill per set to end the year with a 41.8 kill percentage. Graves also led the team in aces with 23
Griffin Peters, West Ranch, senior
Leading the Wildcats in kills with 312, the 6-foot-5 inch senior was just one facet of an explosive West Ranch front line.
David Chun, Valencia, senior
Quiet, but effective, Chun was Top 5 player for the Vikings in kills (141), aces (19), blocks (28), digs (187) and assists (32).
Dorian Ellis, Valencia, junior
The outspoken voice of the team, Ellis was an energetic and aggressive player, finishing the season third in kills (185) and second on the team in blocks with 73 total blocks in 81 sets played.
Dylan Lange, Hart, senior
Lange managed to finish in the top three of the team in both kills and assists with 132 and 275, respectively.
Gage Smith, Saugus, senior
Smith was the high-energy player that often led the Centurions with his aggressive style of play and timely kills.
Zack Soule, West Ranch, senior
Leading the team in total blocks with 61, Soule’s height and length up front caused problems for opposing teams’ offenses this year.
Dylan Spring, Saugus, senior
A dual sport athlete who played basketball and volleyball, Spring added a fierce intensity every time that he stepped out on the floor as one of the senior leaders for Saugus.
Canyon — Dustin Deisbeck, senior
Golden Valley — Eric Castro, senior
Hart — Kevin Clauss, senior
Saugus — Luke Leonard, senior
Valencia — Connor Ruffner, senior
West Ranch — Justin Woodard, senior