Boys Volleyball Ends Season as Champions

Nick Davidson, Staff Writer

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For the first time since 2003, the Clairemont High School Boys Volleyball team has been crowned league champions, and even more importantly are in an ideal position to capture a CIF championship, and return glory to a once powerful program.

 

In recent years, the boys volleyball has faced grave turmoil, due to four different coaches since the 2015 season. This instability is likely to cause discomfort amongst any team, and the chieftains were no exception. The program was actually on the brink of folding before the 2016 season, with so few players coming to tryouts and no coach in sight.

 

Yet, there was always the constant presence of CHS legend Gerrard Knuppel, who’s volunteer coaching provided a basis of success for the team. Knuppel is always one to be honest about his teams, stating, “Man, these guys are knuckleheads, but I see the potential they have, and if they can focus and stay disciplined they can potentially win a CIF championship.”  If it were not for Knuppel, this 2018 team would probably not even exist.

 

This year’s team has managed to band together under the tutelage of Knuppel, and achieve a 17-3 record on the season, attaining the fourth seed in CIF division 3 playoffs.  However, this achievement was not without obstacles, as an early season home loss to Madison jeopardized their run at league champions. This negative was very short lived, however, and from that game forth the Chieftains remained undefeated in league, conquering the Warhawks on their home turf.

 

The Chieftains also participated in a high level tournament as well, with the likes of Francis Parker, Point Loma, and Torrey Pines, all of which playing in the CIF San Diego Open Division this year. Despite their relatively low division in comparison, the Chiefs conquered Helix, a top division 2 team, and Pacific Ridge, a mid-tier division 1 team. The Chiefs’ only losses in the tournament came in a tie-breaker against division 1 Scripps Ranch, and a loss in two games against Francis Parker, a top 5 team in the county.

 

These promising victories and continued momentum are paving the way for an already prolific season to possibly end with a CIF ring. Assistant coach and fellow Chieftain Abby Linsdau stated “I love our boys, and I know that if they play to their fullest potential they won’t be stopped.” Confidence like this was rare for the Chieftains in the past, but this is just a testament to the greatness of their 2018 season.

 

Best of luck to the Chieftains in playoffs.

 

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