Here’s our EXCLUSIVE interview with 2016 CIS Champion and Most Valuable Player Blake Scheerhorn!
What was the first thing that you did the day after winning CIS? How and what was your day like as a champion?
The day after winning the championship I went for a hot tub in the morning with my best friend and setter Adam Schriemer. Then we packed up, trophy in hand, and headed out for a team meal (Burger and fries for me). From there we went to the airport and flew back to Langley and were greeted at the airport by the Spartan Faithful. Then guys on the team got together and celebrated the victory at my place talking about our favourite moments of the tournament.
It takes us so much work to attain such success in a very competitive league. How did you and your team prepare for the season? What kind of mental and physical preparations did you do as a team?
This season was a hard season for the team as a whole. We started this season off with and poor record and even in the first game of the season we did not record a single block. Ben Josephson (Head Coach of the team) always talked about the process and to work through the bad and if we stuck to what we were doing we would come out on top. Our record was not looking good being 9-9 at midway through the second semester, our coach would always say, “the tires are spinning and soon they are going to grip the road and we will be off.”
Our team stuck with the plan and week after week down the stretch the skills we had been working on all year were starting to fall into place. Once we learned to compete as a team physically we mentally started to work through things. Every week for the last 5 weeks of the season we faced elimination games making us mentally strong. By the end of the season we had turned a mental switch and regardless of the situation we were in, down or up, we always keep our composure and were willing to do anything to win. This helped us in the CIS national tourney and against the home crowd in the finals, it truly was a Cinderella run!
Name one valuable lesson you learned from this season?
This season I learned that the most important thing you can do is stick with the process and with what you are working on even if it feels like you are going nowhere. Our team worked super hard every single rep and though many people could not see the improvement right away by sticking with it at the end of the season we were able to show what we had worked so hard on behind closed doors. This was not just a one year process but rather years of quietly watching others and putting in the work day in day out most of the time without any recognition, waiting for an opportunity and when it came taking it in full stride and not looking back. I truly believe if you can see it and dream it you can achieve it.
What’s next for Blake?
Next I am going to try out for the Canadian National B team this summer and look to get more reps and some time with the National Team. Next season I will be back with Trinity Western looking to improve as a player and get another opportunity to fight for the championship. In future years I hope to be making an impact in the international pro landscape and hope to experience the Olympics with Team Canada!
This is your chance to thank the people again behind the team’s success?
There are so many people that have been a part of the team’s success this year. Some of the people that I think need to be thanked are the seniors from previous years, by being able to watch them when we were younger and adopt the champion’s mentality that they had we were able to learn a ton from them first hand. Then we have to thanks the strength coaches like Andrew Hemming for keeping us fit all season and feeling fresh. We have to thank the fans all of the Spartan faithful and people who supported and came out the game to cheer from our parents to our student body. We have to thank the Lord our God for the opportunity to play this game in His name. Lastly, ‘Ben Jo’ and the coaching staff for working with us and never giving up on us and always seeing the potential in us even when many did not!
Any tips you can give to all outside hitters out there?
I would say to all the outside hitters don’t try and fit a mould, outside hitters can vary in so many different ways don’t limit one’s self to any one style. Guys like Matt Anderson who are large guys with a big jump or Michal Kubiak who make their money on shots and being smart with the ball all can be successful in this game. Make sure that you can hit all different shots and keep the blockers and the defense guessing. Just because you are doing something different than most does not mean you are doing something wrong.
In one word, complete the following.
My coach is …Brilliant
My team is …Loyal
Blake is …determined
Winning CIS feels …. Satisfying
Volleyball is …Life
The MVP award is …Humbling
My supporters are …Appreciated