West Ranch boys volleyball’s Tyson Drake has been playing organized volleyball since the eighth grade and throughout his tenure with the sport, one aspect has managed to capture his heart:
“I feel like it’s kind of like a team … but there’s a lot of individual aspects to it, to boosting your team and stuff,” the recent grad said. “I feel like it’s just more laid back than other sports. Volleyball is still high-paced. It’s a lot more laid back and there’s more room to just relax I guess while you’re playing.”
Drake has mastered the juxtaposition that comes along with the game of volleyball to earn himself the Foothill League boys volleyball Player of the Year award.
The setter capped his Wildcat career with a senior campaign that included a team-high 723 assists. He ranked second on the team in terms of digs with 162 – just short of his brother, Zack, who totaled 169 digs.
Drake embraced the opportunity to play with his brother and the competition that came with it.
“To finish out my last year playing with him was super cool,” he said. “I knew I had someone to rely on and we’d talk to each other on and off the court and try to figure stuff out and try to game plan always.”
Heading into the season with a new coach and a handful of new players, Drake was unsure of what to expect. All he knew was that he wanted another Foothill League title.
“I was just trying to set up the team up as best as I could,” he said. “I feel like I did a pretty good job doing what all my hitters wanted and best to feed them and get them going.”
Drake’s goal was met as the Cats captured their third consecutive league title and an undefeated 10-0 league record before falling in the first round of playoffs to Beckman of Irvine.
Five other West Ranch players joined Drake on the all-league lists: Griffin Peters and Andrew Benser on First Team; Justin Woodard and Zack Soule on Second Team and Zack Drake on Honorable Mention.
“We definitely had a great team with a lot of great players,” Drake said. “We were a very strong team and we played very well together. We just had an unfortunate end to the season. Other than that we had a great team, great group of guys.”
Griffin Peters, senior, West Ranch
Andrew Benser, senior, West Ranch
Aaron Erskin, senior, Valencia
Cameron Graves, senior, Valencia
Wyatt Bates, senior, Hart
Dylan Lange, senior, Hart
Luke Leonard, senior, Saugus
Justin Woodard, senior, West Ranch
Zack Soule, senior, West Ranch
Connor Ruffner, senior, Valencia
David Chun, senior, Valencia
Kevin Clauss, senior, Hart
Gage Smith, senior, Saugus
Dustin Deisbeck, senior, Canyon
Esquivel Ramirez III, senior, Canyon
Oscar Talanera-Castanoli, senior, Golden Valley
Gavin Leising, sophomore, Hart
Dylan Spring, senior, Saugus
Dorian Ellis, junior, Valencia
Zack Drake, sophomore, West Ranch