Looks like another piece will be added to the Wilkins’ Humber volleyball legacy for the upcoming 2014-15 season.
Brothers and men’s and women’s volleyball head coaches Wayne and Chris Wilkins were star volleyball players for Humber in the early 90’s. Most recently, Wayne’s son Kamyn joined the men’s squad.
Now it’s Wayne’s daughter Kyla’s turn to step on to the court. She is currently waiting for acceptance into Guelph-Humber’s justice studies program, but is not stranger to the Humber gym.
“Humber is really our second home,” said Wayne. “When we were playing games, my daughter came to watch. She’s used to the environment and the atmosphere. It’ll be like a home coming and it would feel weird if she wasn’t coming to play.”
Chris agrees and said he believes Kyla’s connection to Humber already gives her an advantage.
“Even though she hasn’t been in the Humber program yet, she’s been around the Humber program and she understands the pressures of winning and understands what I’m about and what this program is about,” said Chris.
Kyla’s history with Humber is part of a long list of attractive qualities she’ll bring on the court.
“She’s an exceptional defender. She passes the ball really well and has a strong defensive presence so I’m really excited for that,” said Chris.
Chris has led the women’s volleyball team at Humber to seven straight provincial championships, tying the OCAA record for the most consecutive provincial wins. Though the women’s program has an intimidating reputation, Wayne says Kyla is prepared and ready to play at that next level.
“I approached her development similar to that with Kamyn because I already knew what she was going to have to deal with coming into Humber. Her training has been similar, very tough, very rigorous and she’s developed into an excellent player,” said Wayne.
“We were just trying to really prepare her for mental toughness, because as the kid of a coach you are expected to do more. It’s tough but we really focused on getting her to be that tough person and deal with the challenges that come with being on the team.”
Chris isn’t worried when it comes to coach-player professionalism. “I’m really proud of her and the accomplishments she’s had to get to this level and she knows she’s going to have to work as hard as everybody else and she knows she’s going to be looked upon to make sure she’s earning her minutes and earning her time.”
Her father, her uncle and her brother, Kamyn, are all proud and excited at the prospect of adding to the Wilkins’ legacy. Kamyn has no doubt she’ll be an asset for the team.
“It’s been great to watch her grow through volleyball the same way I had to,” said Kamyn. “She definitely brings a high energy and that’ s just what this team needs. She won’t have a problem of fitting in on Humber.”
Chris said he believes Kyla will be a game changer in helping bring the team to the next level. “I expect that she’s going to be one of those players that’s going to help us win that national championship we’ve been trying so hard to get,” said Chris.
For dad Wayne, it will be a special moment, one he’s been looking forward to for some time. “I just can’t wait for the first day I get to see her in the blue and gold,” he said. “It’ll be a proud moment.”