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Route 66; GB’s Powell leads all-league squad

League champion Grizzlies, Woodcreek each place three on first team
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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The recently concluded boys volleyball season was a critical year in the development of the sport in the Sacramento area. For the first time ever, the Sac-Joaquin Section crowned a champion, and the initial title banner will hang in the gym at Granite Bay High School. If you want to find Granite Bay’s star player, Jack Powell, that gym would be one place to look, but according to his coach, Bruce Honberger, you might also try Chipotle, where he says Powell eats every day. Powell has spent more than enough time in the gym since he first picked up the sport four years ago. The senior, who will take his talents to Long Beach State in the fall, shared the Sierra Foothill League’s MVP honors in voting by the league’s coaches. His explosive kills and impressive power game made him the league’s most feared player. “He is the strongest player in the league,” Honberger said. “Jack hits the ball with the heaviest pace and he also has the highest vertical jump. He is the best blocker in the league.” Two of Powell’s Grizzly teammates join him on the all-SFL first team. Senior Mike Naki is an incredibly talented player with great leaping ability, and a high level of emotion in his game. While he sometimes flies under the radar, opponents always knew who he was. “He is our glue,” Honberger said. “We were as good as he was. He led our team in kills, aces, and passing. Naki ended three Nevada Union matches with a solo block on the same player.” With Powell and Naki solidifying Granite Bay’s net game, senior libero Travis Wefald tied down the back line. “Travis was the best passer and defensive player in the SFL,” Honberger said. “(He has) great instincts on the court.” Woodcreek was another of the SFL’s top volleyball squads, and the Timberwolves reached the second round of the playoffs. Coach Brian Jew was blessed with a group of outstanding seniors who carried a big presence onto the court every night. Three of them were selected as first team all-league players. The Timberwolves’ talented setter was Mike Greiner, and the senior was a solid playmaker for Woodcreek. “Mike Greiner is a very athletic setter,” Jew said. “He plays with an intensity and drive that a setter needs.” Greiner is joined on the first team by a pair of powerful net players from Woodcreek. Middle blocker Ryan Albers was the key to the Timberwolves’ success, as Woodcreek did much of its damage in the middle of the court. When the Timberwolves were not powering points home through the middle, they looked to the flashy outside presence of Tevin Tyus, a big hitter and athletic presence on the perimeter. All-SFL boys volleyball team Co-MVPs: Tyler Salcedo, Sr., Nevada Union Jack Powell, Sr., Granite Bay First team All League: Justin Carroll, Sr., Nevada Union Lucas Parker, Sr., Nevada Union Braxton Dunstone, Jr., Rocklin Jeff Patton, Sr., Placer Mike Greiner, Sr., Woodcreek Ryan Albers, Sr., Woodcreek Tevin Tyus, Sr., Woodcreek Chris Adams, Jr., Whitney Mike Naki, Sr., Granite Bay Travis Wefald, Sr., Granite Bay Trevor Parker, Sr., Bear River Kyle Russell, So, Del Oro Honorable mention all-league: Mason Jaynes, Jr., Granite Bay Tom Patterson, Jr., Granite Bay Brad Rostratter, Sr., Woodcreek Sean Raeside, Jr., Rocklin Grant Currey, So., Rocklin Troy Bowser, Jr., Whitney Matt Hall, Sr., Bear River Cory George, Sr., Nevada Union Jason Adams, Sr., Nevada Union Anthony Ruggiero, Sr., Nevada Union Nathaniel Grady, Jr., Oakmont Connor McKenzie, Jr., Placer Ben Wolken, Sr., Placer