The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s volleyball team have signed their second and third recruits for the 2019-20 Canada West season. And like their first signing, these two players are from the province of Alberta.
Head coach Pat Hennelly and the WolfPack are announcing that outside hitters Kobby Nyarko of Calgary and Cole Behiels of Edmonton are joining the program effective September.
Nyarko will be graduating from Sir Winston Churchill High School this spring while Behiels will graduate from Jasper Place High School. Nyarko will be taking courses aimed at earning a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Thompson Rivers while Behiels hopes to earn a Bachelor of Computer Science degree.
“ The business program at the school is very good and I know I will thrive in it,” states Nyarko, who played for the Canuck 18 club team in Calgary. “ The volleyball team is great because the culture around the team is amazing. I want to be a part of it. I loved the city of Kamloops when I had my school visit and I think it will be a really good environment to live and go to school.”
Nyarko feels he will add a lot to the training component of the WolfPack, “ I bring good competition to every practice and I always try and bring the best out of my teammates. I also feel I am a good leader on and off the court and make sure I hold my teammates accountable.”
He helped lead his club team to an eighth place finish at the 2018 Club Nationals and his high school team to a fifth place showing at the 2018 Calgary city championships.
“This is a dream come true,” said Behiels, whose older brother Kyle is currently in his fourth year playing middle for the WolfPack. “ I have known for a while that playing high level volleyball is one of my biggest goals and I get to spend a year developing alongside my brother. That will be an awesome experience.”
His Jasper Place school team won the Alberta 4A championship this fall.
Behiels will likely ‘red shirt’ in his first season with Thompson Rivers and admits that Kyle: who is a multi year U SPORTS Academic All Canadian was a major influence on his deciding to come to TRU. “ Having someone that I know well that is also in the same academic program will definitely be a huge asset.”
Behiels has played club volleyball for the Nooks in Edmonton. Adam Rost has been his coach the last two years with that organization and for one year in high school. “ Cole was always a grade ahead of the boys on the club team so he showed a mature role. His strengths are hitting a heavy ball out of the off side and his spin serve. Cole has improved a lot on his serve receive over the past two years becoming a more consistent passer.”
Rost played high school volleyball with Kyle Behiels and says the two brothers are very similar, “Both are very kind, mature and sociable.”
Behiels knows he will have an uphill challenge ahead of him as he joins the ‘Pack. “I know I will have to improve every aspect of my game drastically, especially the serve receive. Attending a TRU practice helped me understand how serious the atmosphere is and how I will need to be the best version of myself constantly to try to better myself and the team.”
Nyarko is looking forward to being a part of the WolfPack’s community initiatives, “ I really like the fact that I can help in the community especially since I am new to the area. It’ll give me a chance to meet new people. Interacting with the community will not only be good but fun as well. I can’t wait to be a part of the WolfPack.”
He has a ‘TRU connection’. Nyarko’s father and current Thompson Rivers professor Kingsley Donkor (who teaches in the Physical Sciences and Engineering faculty) did their PHD’s together at the University of Alberta.
Says coach Hennelly about his two latest recruits, “ Very pleased to be adding Kobby Nyarko to our program for 2019. We had a great visit with Kobby and feel like he will be a solid addition to our program both athletically and academically. I feel Kobby will fit in with the culture of our program and will be a great addition as an outside hitter. Kobby is very dynamic in the front row and will be a player we are looking to shore up our ball control. I look at what Isaac Smit has done this year and Cole Keddie last year for us and see Kobby filling that role as well. I like the quiet intensity that Kobby brings and see him coming into his own in our program. “
“As far as Cole is concerned, “ says Hennelly, “ We are looking forward to having Cole join our program and his big brother Kyle. Cole is someone who has been to summer camp here in Kamloops and is very familiar to our players. We are looking forward to having Cole join the program and work on his game as well as support our social media. Cole is coming in as a red shirt and will be active in supporting our efforts to improve our social media presence.”
Earlier, the team announced the signing of Red Deer, Alberta outside hitter Brody Kopec.