After you graduate High School most of us don't go on to play Volleyball in college. You end up missing the game, the competition and the family feel you once had. Thankfully if you go to school somewhere on the west coast, they probably have a club team or an adult league for you to fill that desire to play. I decided to forego the college route during the summer of my senior year.
Going into the military I knew they had national and international programs for various sports, including men's Volleyball. Being able to even tryout for these amazing opportunities isn't a guaranteed thing. My first year in the Air Force I was in training, and the following year I was deployed. At the end of the day we have a job to do and that takes priority above all. This year is the first time I have been able to tryout for the team in Florida.
"After you graduate High School most of us don't go on to play Volleyball in college. You end up missing the game, the competition and the family feel you once had."
I made the team after a week of tryouts and ended up being one of the starting Middles. We spent three weeks in Florida where Volleyball was our job every day. Air Force won Gold in the Armed Forces Tournament, with five wins and one loss. This tournament is a three day competition where you compete against your sister services, the Army and Navy.
At the closing ceremonies I was chosen for the All Tournament Team award and I also made the Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) team. It's an international organization home to 136 countries that allows nation's military sports team's to compete against one another. The CISM team consists of the best players from the Army, Navy and Air Force teams. Together we represent the military's USA team. From the 26th of May to June 5th we will be competing at the CISM World Championships in Canada. There we will face countries such as Germany, Iran, Netherlands and several others. Some of these countries will bring players from their Olympic team as well as professional players. We are all very eager to compete and hope to earn a spot at the CISM World Games next year in China. The World Games are referred to as the military's olympics. All of the different sports will be there competing as well.
For most of us it has been an amazing experience to get to take nearly 50 days off of work to train and play volleyball at this level. It's certainly not a guaranteed thing each year either. Some of us won't be able to go due to deployments, manning or work. We don't take this opportunity for granted and we are very excited to be here.
Note from the Directors: Anthony is one of the most fantastic examples of a Bay to Bay player. From the day he walked into the gym he brought a positive and hard working attitude, helping to build his teammates up and instill a sense of pride in their work.
On this Memorial Day, help us in saying thank you to the Men and Women like Anthony who serve our country. Happy Memorial Day!