When a novice volleyball spectator sees a high school boys team with a 24-1 record, they might assume that the squad has at least one or two players over six-feet tall. However, for the now 26-1 Wilcox Chargers, that isn’t the case. Not a single student on the 11-player roster is over six-feet. Nonetheless, this Wilcox team, which features five seniors—all captains—has managed to dominate their opponents via the “by-committee” fashion.
“They are a team unit,” remarked Chargers Head Coach Bill Pignanello on his seniors after a 3-0 win over Fremont on April 4 (sets: 25-19, 25-18, 25-20). “And, being a team unit, they all deserve to represent this team during individual matches as captains.”
The Chargers’ fab five seniors Rafael Tolosa, Aaron Davey, Hoon Cho, Jo Gee and Michael Crouch have guided Wilcox to a 46th ranking in California and 60th rank in the nation according to Max Preps. They are currently 9-0 in their El Camino League, the only loss on their overall record coming against San Jose’s Leigh High School. Leigh is ranked similarly to Wilcox at 50th in California and 65th in the nation. That lone Wilcox loss came in late March, but the Chargers also beat Leigh earlier that very same month. Wilcox looks like they will be a tough out for any opponent come the CCS playoffs.
“I can pretty much rely on Aaron for all of my sets,” said Jo Gee on the chemistry he showed with Davey in the win over Fremont. “A bunch of us have played club together, some of us played middle school volleyball together, so we’ve been together for a long time.”
“We’re not a selfish team at all,” noted Crouch when asked about all the seniors sharing in the captaincy roles. “We always want everyone to share the wealth. We would still be the same team regardless of one captain or five captains.”
At one point during this season the Chargers did reduce their amount of captains. Coach Pignanello chuckled when asked if he has needed to guard his team against being overconfident during this tremendous season.
“You might find this funny,” smiled Pignanello. “At the start we had all five listed as captains and then about four or five matches into the season I had only two. They got a little arrogant, a little cocky and so I had to keep them in check. I told them the reasons why I reduced them and if those things changed I would add them back. Eventually those things did change.”
The Chargers have five games remaining in league play as they attempt to close out the season 14-0. Their final game of the season will be at Gunn, currently the second place team in the El Camino Division. Gunn is the only team in league that has managed to win a set against the Chargers this season.