A local volleyball player is taking his talents to Alberta.
River Thomas, 22, will be heading up to Olds, Alberta to join the Broncos volleyball program, and it was an interesting way the three were discovered by Broncos Head Coach Ryan Marsden.
It was at a tournament in Northern Alberta in Wabasca where he and two of his friends, who also committed to the Broncos program, were approached by Marsden. They were at the adult program and as Marsden watched them through the weekend, he knew that the three would fit into the schools plans. Toward the end of the weekend, Marsden offered them spots on the team.
In Thomas’ first semester, he will be doing open studies to ease into college and focus on volleyball, but Thomas has big plans as his college career continues.
“I plan on getting a land agent diploma,” Thomas said. “My goal after college is to be working as an independent consultant for lands.”
Thomas, along with Thundersky Walkingbear, a middle from Saskatoon and Tyler Donnallay, an outside hitter from Lloyminster, will be moving up in the fall for their first season. Thomas said he knows having that support from his two friends will make a big difference.
“It’s so exciting; it makes it so much easier,” he said. “We all play different positions, I play middle myself. We’re in a competition in the off-season to see who can make the biggest transformation in our workouts and off-season training.”
Thomas, the 6’5' North Battleford product is currently a corporal with the combat engineers within the Canadian Forces said he is excited to get the season started.
“It’s going to be quite the experience, it’s going to be really fun,” he said. “Ryan, our coach is very outgoing and he said he’ll be there to support us in any way he can. The whole environment of Olds is very inviting, they’re excited to have us up there and we’re all excited to be there.”
Thomas didn’t ever see himself making the jump to collegiate athletics. But said he is thankful for his friends and family that pushed him to pursue the sport and continue to get better.
“I didn’t really start taking it seriously until three or four years ago,” he said. “I never thought I’d be playing at a college level, but here I am.”
Thomas’ coach shared his analysis on the local through a press release.
"River is a big player. He is tall, but also very physical," he said. "His maturity will be a welcome addition to our program. We expect River to make an immediate difference within our team. His calm demeanor on the court will help those around him."
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