MVB coach and players from Kelowna, Edmonton and Waterloo off to Jr National Team tryout camp
Kamloops, BC—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack will be well represented when the National Junior team opens its selection camp this weekend (June 5) in Gatineau, Quebec.
Head coach Pat Hennelly will be there along with middles Kyle Behiels (Edmonton, AB), Sam Taylor Parks (Kelowna, BC) and outside hitter Charlie Bringloe (Waterloo, ON).
“I decided to try out for the team when I found out it was U-19,” said Behiels. “It was too good an opportunity to pass up.”
“I decided to try out for the team after talking with some of the fellow players on my team as well as talking with Pat,’ explained Taylor Parks, who was a Canada West all- rookie team selection this past season along with Behiels. “They all said it was worth me going to the tryouts which helped me with making my decision.”
While Bringloe adds: “ I decided to try out for the Junior National team right after the NTCC’s last year when I found out I didn’t make the U-18 team.”
“When we recruited these three guys along with Josh Mullaney (Calgary, AB) we said this was one of our best high school recruiting classes of all time,” said Hennelly. “We have seen Sam and Kyle make a big move. They both secured starting spots for us and were named league all-stars. They have started to show their potential and I believe there is more there. Charlie was one of the top two recruits in the country when we brought him in. We want these guys to be successful at the next level and challenge themselves. There is a chance they might fail but you have to take the challenge. These guys have taken up that task and use it as motivation for a summer full of weight training. In my mind, if they are successful or not at Gatineau, they will represent the program and chase their dreams. We are here to support them. All three have legitimate chances of making the team.”
Behiels, Bringloe and Taylor Parks have all been working hard in preperation.
“I have been doing a lot of weight training,” said Bringloe. “I stayed in Kamloops and have been working out with a lot of the other guys who stayed here. I was doing some practices with other teammates on our men’s and women’s team who are trying out for the national team of their age. I also went to the coast to work with the Force 17U team. This week, Kyle and I are with a men’s club team at the USA national championships. Being able to get as many touches with the ball, in as many different situations I can before heading to Gatineau will only benefit my game before tryouts.”
“I’ve been practicing with a few club teams who are on a very high level for their age,” stated Taylor Parks.
The three agree that having each other at the national team tryouts will help with the adjustment to the new surroundings. “It sure will, “says Taylor Parks. “With a strong representation from TRU, we are excited to show that we can all play volleyball at a very high level.”
“It will be great to have good friends like Charlie and Sam at the tryouts with me,” states Behiels. “We are always encouraging each other and I think we feed off each other in terms of intensity.”
And all three feel representing their country at the NORCECA U21 championships would be an honor. “ For me to represent Canada on the court would be a dream come true,” Taylor Parks states. “I have always wanted to wear the red and white and this would be a big deal for my volleyball career.”
“Playing for the Junior National team has been a goal of mine for a long time,” Bringloe adds. “It would be a great accomplishment to represent my country internationally.”
All three members of the WolfPack say the exposure to competing with the best in the nation will be beneficial. “This experience will help me both mature as a person as well as enable me to be a stronger leader and player at TRU,” says Taylor Parks. “Even if I don’t make the team, the tryouts will be a great experience for me playing at the top level.”
“Any sport at this level can only be beneficial to a player,” adds Behiels. “I think no matter the outcome, I will learn an incredible amount. Not only the technical skills but also professionalism and poise that comes with such a stressful environment. Besides, it is always beneficial to get another coaches opinion on skills and I consider Canada’s coaches to be some of the best in the world.”
SIDEOUTS: Hennelly hasn’t been a guest coach at the Junior National Team camp for a number of years.
“It is an opportunity to talk to peers and to work with Glen Hoag (National Team coach),” he said. “Glen is thinking of retiring soon so it would be my last chance to learn from him. The first time I went was with Gord Perrin (Creston, BC-now playing pro in Poland and a member of the national “A” team). It was early in my coaching career and helped me tremendously. It gets me in touch with what is expected at that level and what they expect from our athletes. CIS is a feeder system to the national team program. Our weight training program was the result of something Glen perceived as a deficiency at the CIS level. We implemented a strength coach (Rob Petrie). That has become part of the culture of our team.”
Hennelly also went with Brad Gunter (Courtenay, BC) . “A lot of it is to reaffirm what’s going on and what are the expectations. Also, what are the weaknesses of guys coming in from the CIS that we can address at TRU. I believe I am a part of the national team system by trying to develop these young athletes. I want to know what their expectations are at the top level.”