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Local volleyball lad garners national attention

Jacob Schweyer believes he is only just starting to scratch the surface of his volleyball potential.

Apparently, he is not alone in seeing the potential that lies within.

A little over a month after being named for a second straight summer to the Team Ontario roster, the grade 12 student at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School was informed of his inclusion in a group of 30 athletes representing a half-dozen provinces that were selected for Team Canada U19 Virtual 2020.

"Honestly, this was kind of out of the blue," said Schweyer, a 6'5" right-side attacker who also ranks among the city's top high jumpers. "I'm guessing they based it on the (Canada Cup) tournament last year, where the coaches were watching all of the provinces together."

"They also likely talked to the Team Ontario coaches and the coaches in the OVA (Ontario Volleyball Association) that would have watched me and my teammates play this year."

It's all been a bit much for a young man who grew up thinking that basketball would be his sport of choice. "There are players who have been doing this pretty much their entire lives, whereas I've just started taking it seriously the past two to three years," said Schweyer.

"It makes me believe that if I've progressed that much, just in those two or three years, I feel that with proper training and stuff, that I could be very good. I hate to pat myself on the back, but I think that's what other coaches have noticed."

Beyond the obvious pandemic, the summer of 2020 has proven to be quite a memorable one for Schweyer, who has already participated in one Zoom call, broken down by position, with he and five other right-side hitters on-line with head coach Mike Hawkins (University of British Columbia).

"When I made the provincial team, I was pretty proud of myself, because it put me in the top 24 in the province, for my age," he said. "But when you get an email from the national team and we're talking top thirty in the country, it just kind of blew me away."

"There's just so much competition, right across the country."

While potential international competitions for Schweyer and company include both the Pan Am Cup in Colorado (August 23rd to September 1st) and the Continental Cup in Honduras (Sept 13th to 21st), the local lad is not holding his breath.

"Unfortunately, if some of those tournaments are cancelled, I feel that's where most of the recruiting for the US schools (NCAA) would be during those events," said Schweyer. "But I have talked to a few western province universities as well, just from them seeing my name on the list, which sparks an interest."

And while no one is quite sure exactly how either the high-school or club volleyball seasons will play out in 2020-2021, Schweyer is committed to remaining at home - for now. "I've lived here my entire life," he said.

"After high-school, I expect I will be going elsewhere to find a new home (Laurentian University does not offer varsity volleyball), but I would still like to be able to represent my city, until this is done."

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