RDC Kings volleyball head coach Aaron Schulha has put together an impressive recruiting class.
Schulha announced the addition of six players, all out of high school, to a solid returning roster that helped the Kings to a second-place finish at the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference championship last season and a fifth-place finish at the nationals.
Three of the newcomers are out of Edmonton — setter Jackson Maris, power hitter Chris Jones and libero Pat McIntyre — while left side hitter Dan Schuring comes from Neerlandia, middle blocker Robert Brotherton from Busby and outside hitter Robin Smith from Whitehorse.
Both Schuring and Brotherton helped Barrhead win the provincial 3A boys’ high school championship in November.
Maris, whose brother Boston plays with the Kings, was one of the top two setters coming out of high school and was heavily recruited by a number of CCAA and CIS schools, including the University of Alberta, and was also wooed by the University of Hawaii.
“Jackson will be expected to make an immediate impact in the ACAC,” said Schulha in a news release. “At six-foot-three he’s a threat at the net on offence and defence.
“He has a tremendous passion for the sport and his volleyball IQ is very high.”
Jones is one of the top left side recruits in the province and has the potential to be a solid CIS player down the road, according to Schulha.
“He is one of those rare complete athletes at the high school level who possesses a good jump, a great arm, is a strong passer and has a great volleyball IQ,” said Schulha. “He is currently six-foot-three, but will likely grow a couple of inches.”
Jones played club ball with both Maris and McIntyre with the always strong Northern Alberta Volleyball Club.
Coming out of the NAVC program, McIntyre knows what it takes to win.
“He’s excellent in terms of reading the play and on defence, is a very strong passer and does a good job of quarterbacking the serve receive,” explained Schulha. “He has a good understanding of the game and will be ready to step in and contribute right away.”
Brotherton is a multi-sport athlete, who possesses a good vertical and a strong arm.
“He’s a bit undersized at six-foot-three, but makes up for it with his athletic ability,” said Schulha. “He’s quick and a great competitor. It’s always fun to work with raw talent and I expect his learning curve to be remarkable over the next couple of years.”
Schuring, at six-foot-four, is considered a very physical player who should contribute to the Kings immediately.
“The left-hander has a good jump and a live arm,” said Schulha. “He has all the things we’re looking for in a dominant opposite (right side) player. He’s an aggressive blocker, who plays quality defence and is a proven leader.”
Smith is a complete athlete, who dominated high school play in the Yukon the last two years. He led his team to the Yukon championship and was named MVP.
“He’s extremely aggressive on defence and serve receive and possesses a solid jump and a good arm. He’s committed to RDC for four years and we’re confident he’ll develop into a premier player in the ACAC,” said Schulha.