UBC Heat men’s volleyball coach Greg Poitras did not have to look far to find his latest recruit as Kelowna Secondary product, Leo Schober has signed his letter of intent for the fall of 2011.
Leo is a relative newcomer to the game, “I picked up volleyball for the first time when I tried out for the KSS AAA senior volleyball team September 2009, my grade eleven year,” says Schober. In Leo’s short volleyball career his team has had considerable success, “our team that year [his Grade 11, fall 2009] were City Champions, and finished 9th at provincials and I was named the Most Improved Player. In 2010, we won the Kelowna City Championship, Okanagan Valley Championship and finished fourth at the Provincial Championship. This past spring my club team finished fourth at provincials.”
He was an integral part of the Kelowna Senior Boys Volleyball team,” says Mike Sodaro head coach of KSS. “His superior net play, led us to the Provincials, following a City and Valley Championship. Leo will develop into a great player at UBCO and we wish him all the best.”
Heat coach Greg Poitras thinks Leo might be a diamond in the rough, “with Leo’s size and how quickly he has picked up the game I was motivated to spend some time watching him over his senior year in school and into his first club season. By the end of the club season it was clear to me that he was going to be a good fit for our volleyball program.”
Leo’s quick development caught the attention of other post-secondary volleyball coaches as Schober says, “I have also been offered places at TRU, Camosun College, and Capilano University. Some of the schools (TRU, Capilano) do not offer an engineering program and this was one of my reasons for choosing UBCO.”
“Leo is a high achieving student that is interested in engineering for a career,” adds Poitras. “Leo had a number of good options but has decided to step up to the challenge and begin his volleyball career in the CIS.”
“With UBCO going into the CIS league, I could not pass up that offer,” says Schober. “Playing at a much higher level I will be surrounded by some of the best players in Canada. I will learn extensive knowledge of the game and develop experience, which I definitely need. Academically I chose to study engineering as my future career. I know that UBC is an extremely well known campus around the world. It’s going to be tough, balancing my studies with my passion for volleyball. However I am determined to make it work. UBCO is also local so I can remain in my lovely home town of Kelowna.”
Coach Poitras likes Leo’s work ethic and thinks he will have no problems adjusting, “He [Leo] is prepared to work hard and help the Heat in the weekly grind that we are up against this coming season.”
Leo joins two other Central Okanagan recruits to join the Heat, as Leigh Goossen also a Kelowna resident, and Jonathan Russo hailing from Lake Country, will all be freshman this season. The strong local club scene is a recruiting boon for Heat coach Poitras, “these three athletes are the first of a strong contingent of 14-17 year old boys playing volleyball in the Kelowna area that I will be following as their high school and club seasons go on.” The lone recruit from outside the Okanagan is Jeremy Fostvelt, a libero form the Lower Mainland. All four newcomers will look to challenge the Heat veterans for precious floor time this fall in the tough Canada West men’s volleyball league.