With the men’s volleyball season ending with a National bronze medal, it’s time for the team to consider its future.
Head coach Wayne Wilkins and assistant coach Elie Shermer, said the steps taken in recruiting new talent are crucial to the foundation of a top contending team.
Recruiting season is a year, or sometimes longer process. When Wilkins started noticing players were staying for longer periods of time, they broke their recruiting process into a four-year cycle.
“What we try to do is have at least 80 per cent of the team within the four-year cycle, that way you’re never really losing a big portion of your team,” said Wilkins.
“We’re at the end of a cycle, and we are losing a few more than we anticipated, but we’ve got a dozen kids on the recruiting list, so it’s looking pretty good.”
One of those recruits is Patrick Richardson, a 6’4 transfer student from McMaster University and a former player of the club team the Durham Attack.
“Patrick is an individual we were recruiting two years ago when he was still in high school, but he chose Mac over Humber,” said Shermer. “We were going after him pretty aggressively.”
The Humber coaches are thrilled to add the talented setter to their roster.
“He’s a pure setter,” Wilkins said. “He’s grown up playing that role and that’s the only thing he’s ever done, so he will be bringing a lot of experience in the setting position.”
Shermer said Richardson will be launched as an official Humber recruit within the next two weeks.
“We’re waiting on a few more guys, that if we can land even one or two of them, will be game changers for the program, especially with (star left side) Terrel (Bramwell) graduating next year in his fifth year. That will be some big shoes to fill.”
Richardson said he regrets his decision not to attend Humber earlier, and is now making amends.
“Coach Wilkins is willing to take a chance on me, I value that and I know that I’m willing to put in the work. Having something to prove makes you work harder.”
Richardson also had the opportunity to play with and against several of the team’s lead players, like Kamyn Wilkins, a friend of his.
Richardson also worked with Bramwell and several other Hawks, including veterans Cam Fletcher, Andre Brown and Mack Roberston.
They had all played together at Madawaska Volleyball Camp, a training camp Richardson has been a part of since 2009.
Richardson is currently waiting on his acceptance to University of Guelph-Humber’s early childhood education program.
“Throughout my career in volleyball, Wayne and Elie have been hounding me to be a Hawk, but now everything has fallen into place.
“There really isn’t a better group of people to surround myself with,” said Richardson.
As for his future as a Hawk, he believes the sky is the limit.
“Big things, I can promise that,” Richardson said.