TORRINGTON – The recruiting process is all about compatibility for Eastern Wyoming College Lancer volleyball coach Julie Sherbeyn.
“There is a special kid that fits this community, there is a special kid that fits this program and there is a special kid that fits my kind of philosophy,” Sherbeyn said. “There is some kind of chemistry that has to go along with finding the right fit for coaches and for players.”
Sherbeyn relies on her current players to recommend upcoming recruits. The current players know what she expects and how she operates as a coach, so they have a grasp of what types of high school seniors to recommend.
“The kids in my program right now know exactly what I expect,” Sherbeyn said. “They’ve bought into my coaching philosophy and the expectations of the program… they’re my greatest recruiters because they know who will fit.”
Sherbeyn also started a club team in Torrington. That’s a big recruiting resource to get out and see girls from the area. She also uses the club team to help develop local athletes into better volleyball players.
When looking at a possible recruit, Sherbeyn considers several factors. She looks at both the athletic ability and character. She said one tool she uses to try and decide on the character of a recruit is game films.
“I always tell my recruits if they’re going to send me something, I want a whole game,” Sherbeyn said. “I need to know how you exist in a whole game. I need to know where your setting is going, are they going to you when it gets tight and what are you doing with it when it gets tight? Are you serving all out or are you serving safe? If you have an error, how do you come back from that, what’s the body language after that? All of those intangible things speak to character and demeanor and heart and competitiveness.”
Throughout the recruiting process, Sherbeyn has her depth chart in mind. She looks to fill the holes in her roster with recruits who excelled in the needed position, but her depth chart can be flexible if it needs to be if injuries or illness arrive. The goal is to have recruits to fill specific needs on the team.
“I need to be able to tell you as a coach, where you sit on my roster,” Sherbeyn said. “Having a good grasp of (the depth chart) – you can’t overload one position because obviously I had three people on the bench last year with ACL’s. You can’t predict that stuff, so having a nice even mix and making sure those scholarships are spread out appropriately and having kids who can do multiple things (is important). So when those injuries occur, you can slide them in somewhere else. That’s hugely valuable in any sport.”
The EWC volleyball program offers 10 full scholarships and four partial scholarships. The Lady Lancers’ coach said that she likes to have a roster of around 16 players. Sherbeyn said she fills her remaining roster spots outside of her scholarship-earners with walk-ons. Walk-ons are treated like every other player, she said. But they still have to fill a role.
“Everybody gets a chance, but they have to contribute and have to have a role,” she said. “If I can’t give someone an assigned role on the team, I will be honest with them.”
From a scholarship-earner down to walk-ons, Sherbeyn looks for the recruit that will go the extra mile.
“There is an influx of people who fill out our athletic recruit forms. If a person wants to be recruited, that’s great. But with a coach like me who is busy and doing a lot of other things with her job here on campus and other volleyball related things… they’re going to have to be a little more tenacious,” Sherbeyn said.
While Sherbeyn does not get every recruit she pursues, she still continues to work on building her roster for the next season with players who fit what she is looking for.
“I really feel like it all works out the way it’s supposed to work out,” she said. “The people who are supposed are supposed to be here. It just works out that way.”
Members of next year’s recruiting class include:
– Dawson Sharman, Potter-Dix, Neb. “She is an outside hitter that can jump and hang for hours and see the block and turn it wherever she wants.”
– Kodi Edwards, Wright – “She is so physically strong. She is just a great athlete and she has a great attitude.”
– Shaniah Freeseman, Gordon-Rushville, Neb. – “She has great potential. She is long and has a great work ethic. She is a great kid and is very active in anything she does.”
– Paige Vitosh, Diller-Odell, Neb. – “She is a competitor, but she is a super sweet kid and just being around that competitiveness… that speaks volumes.”
– Jaysie Thomas, Wright (Transfer from Northwest College) – “To watch her and Helena (Khouri) play defense beside each other – it’s amazing. Sometimes I get shivers. They just compliment each other so well.”
– Walk-ons include: Jaclyn Seeley (Sundance) and Morgan Wobig (Cody-Kilgore)
Helena Khouri, Alex Simmerman, Kylee Tresch, Giovanna Jordao, Lissette Lefforge (red shirt), Katie Strohschein (RS), Sage Martin (RS) and Prescious Williams (RS) are all returning from last year’s roster.
Check out future editions of the Telegram for an in-depth report on the other EWC programs’ recruiting processes.