A TRIO of Kelso High School’s talented volleyballers will take the next step towards national representation next year after being selected as members of Volleyball Australia squads.
Year 10 talent Deua Berry has been named in the Pre-Youth Squad, while Year 8 duo Hamish Alexander and Tyler Pears form part of the 54-member Youth Squad.
Given over 7,000 athletes were scouted Australia-wide by the national junior men’s development program and less than two percent were named in one of the two squads highlights the talent and potential of the trio.
Their selection in the squads was announced on Monday after spending a week in Bendigo at an Australian junior camp.
Kelso High coach Jerry Sheader was delighted to see three of his squad members given the opportunity to further develop, labelling their selections as an “incredible achievement”.
“Tyler is natural athlete who can also jump really, really high and Hamish is not only a natural athlete, but he’s really big,” he said.
“He’s six-foot but he’s got the longest arms … in volleyball it’s not about how tall you are, it’s about how high you can reach.”
As for Berry, who will also attend school at Lake Ginninderra College next year after being given an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship, Sheader had special praise.
“Deua’s picked a position [libero] where lack of height will never be a hindrance, if anything it will be an advantage. He’s slightly smaller so his agility stays with him, your centre of gravity is slightly lower when defending in the back court,” he said.
“He’s in a perfect position to take his volleyball career as high as he wants now that he’s been asked to train with the youth development program with the AIS.”
Berry himself is excited about what lies ahead next year after what has been an impressive 2017.
He attended the International Volleyball Federation youth championships in Thailand and at the recent Australian Schools Volleyball Cup, he won a gold medal and was named most valuable player in the final.
“Thailand, it was good fun and good experience really, travelling overseas. I learned heaps,” the 16-year-old said.
“It’s going to be a big change. I’m excited and nervous because it is going to be tough and challenging, but I’ll give it my best and get through it. I’ll get positives out of it.
“They have a really good system down there which enables us to keep our school work and volleyball going well. They say school first and volleyball second.”
Berry thanked both Sheader and Hayden James for aiding in his development.