Regardless if Dan Everton gets action in the Canada Summer Games, making Team B.C.’s under-18 volleyball team is icing on the cake.
“I was never really that worried, just because I knew it was an older team,” said Everton, 15, a setter. “It wasn’t that much pressure for me to make it.”
Everton, who played for the Pen High Lakers last fall and now is with a club team in Kelowna, said the final tryouts in March were his best as he became more accustomed to playing with his potential teammates.
“They jump a lot higher … and faster,” he said. “I think I definitely caught on with that a lot better.”
Everton carried the confidence of the first tryout and remembered how he performed then to help him. He thought to himself to play the same way and if he did, he would be fine.
Now Everton looks forward to the next training session, which will be held during the May long weekend. Everton said following that session decisions are expected to be made as to who will be alternate players. Even if Everton becomes one of the alternates, he knows he will gain valuable experience.
“It’s mostly the training that matters,” said Everton. “Sure it would be fun to go to tournaments, but also I could go to the tourney and not play much.”
Team B.C. coach Brad Hudson said the thought process in selecting setters was based on the players’ ability to make decisions, athleticism and leadership, though Everton is on the younger side.
“He still possesses a lot of those qualities that I think are going to make him a very good setter down the road,” said Hudson.
Everton isn’t known to be loud or boisterous but does his job in a position that requires more responsibility. Hudson, who also coaches the UBC-O Heat men’s volleyball team, feels Everton brings a physicality with 6-4 1/2 frame to the position that the provincial team doesn’t have in abundance. Being added to the roster gives Everton an opportunity to continue to explore his craft.
Hudson has watched Everton in action for some time. Last year it was in the National Team Challenge Cup at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. Hudson has also seen him play with the Pen High Lakers and in club league. Hudson agreed with Everton’s comment about him still being able to gain experience as an alternate. He described Everton as a gifted athlete with a “boat load of potential.”
“We don’t want to limit anyone by age,” he said. “We are trying to get him amongst his peers as early and as quickly as possible. To play with the top 18-year-olds, kids that are going to be in university next year, playing meaningful minutes somewhere, it gives him a chance to play the game at another level.”