By STEVE HEISER
Northeastern’s Reese Devilbiss is one of six Class AA all-state boys’ volleyball players on the Bobcats’ team. The junior is a three-time all-state selection. The all-state team is selected by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO — firstname.lastname@example.org)
It’s the middle of July.
The Northeastern boys’ volleyball team hasn’t hit a spike in anger in more than a month.
Yet, the accolades keep pouring in for the Bobcats.
That is what you call excellence.
Northeastern has been nothing but excellent over the last three years en route to winning three straight PIAA Class AA state championships.
The latest evidence of the Bobcats’ dominance came when the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association recently announced their all-state teams.
The AA all-state squad included six Northeastern players. That’s not a misprint.
When you consider that there can only be six players on a volleyball court at one time, that’s a truly staggering accomplishment. The six Bobcats represented more than 27 percent of the 22-player AA all-state team.
But the state volleyball coaches knew what they were doing. The honors were definitely deserved.
After all, Northeastern didn’t drop a single game all season in a best-of-five match. In the 25-9, 25-22, 25-12 state final beatdown vs. Saegertown, the Bobcats set a championship match record for fewest points allowed (43) since the change to rally scoring began in 2004.
The 2015 all-state Bobcats were outside hitter Reese Devilbiss, outside hitter Brandon Arentz, libero Chris Lee, middle hitter Jeff Reynolds, setter Matt Schaeffer and outside hitter Philip White.
Devilbiss, of course, was no surprise. The 6-foot, 3-inch Ohio State recruit is now a three-time all-state performer and he still has one year of eligibility remaining. Devilbiss was also recently named one of 25 underclassmen to watch nationally by Volleyball Magazine.
The 6-2 Arentz and the 6-3 White are repeat all-state selections. Lee (5-10), Reynolds (6-3) and Schaeffer (6-0) are first-time selections.
But you want to know something truly scary?
Devilbiss, Arentz, Lee, Reynolds and Schaeffer are all heading into their senior seasons. The Bobcats may be even better next spring.
Northeastern head coach Matt Wilson addressed the 2016 Bobcats’ expectations shortly after they won the 2015 state crown.
“I don’t know what to expect yet,” Wilson said. “But here’s what I do expect. I expect that they (the players) will push us (the coaches). It won’t be long, and I’ll want my little break and they won’t allow it to happen. They’ll start texting, ‘hey, when can we get into the gym?’ And that’s the DNA of these guys. They’re thirsty for more, they want more and they’re willing to do more. And that striving to be great and seeking greatness and a legacy of greatness, that’s what they’re about.”
Yes, “greatness” is what the Northeastern program is all about. They now own six overall state titles and No. 7 could very well come next spring.
And next July, the Bobcats will likely again dominate when the 2016 all-state selections are announced.
Central York trio also honored: While Northeastern garnered most of the headlines this past season, the Bobcats were certainly not the only outstanding York-Adams League team to take to the court.
The Central York Panthers had a pretty fair season themselves, finishing second to the Bobcats in both the York-Adams regular season and playoff tournament. The Panthers then won the District 3-AAA title and advanced to the state quarterfinals.
Coach Brad Livingston’s crew landed three players on the PVCA all-state AAA team: Jeremiah Dadeboe (6-2, senior, outside hitter), Jason Gardner (6-3, senior, outside hitter/middle hitter) and Landon Shorts (6-3, senior, setter/outside hitter). All three are repeat selections. A total of 32 players earned all-state recognition in AAA.
The Panthers, of course, have a pretty fair volleyball tradition of their own, having earned six state championships, with the most recent one coming in 2014.
Braswell recognized: In a related note, Northeastern graduate Luke Braswell was selected among the top 50 recruits in the nation by Volleyball Magazine in the class of 2015.
He was one of three Pennsylvania players honored.
The 6-foot, 5-inch setter is bound for Penn State. He graduated from Northeastern after the 2014 state championship season, but opted to defer on attending PSU until 2015.
Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.
CLASS AAA ALL-STATE LIST
FROM DISTRICT 3
• Chris Booth, 6-3, sr., OH, Hempfield
• Jeremiah Dadeboe, 6-2, sr., OH, Central York
• Michael Fisher, 6-3, sr., OH, Cumberland Valley
• Dawson Funk, 6-2, sr., S, Penn Manor
• Jason Gardner, 6-3, sr., OH/MH, Central York
• Sam Greenslade, 6-5, jr., OH, Penn Manor
• Jacob Kerschner, 6-4, sr. S, Central Dauphin
• Ben Naumann, 6-3, sr., OH, Hempfield
• Nick Oleksa, 5-8, jr., LIB, Hempfield
• Landon Shorts, 6-3, sr. S/OH, Central York
FROM DISTRICT 1
• Ben Chinnici, 6-4, so., OH, Pennridge
• Mark Elias, 6-3, sr., S, North Penn
• Josh Hinton, 6-2, sr., OH, Council Rock North
• Jake Milnazik, 6-2, jr., OH, William Tennent
• Bradley Nase, 6-2, sr., S, Pennridge
• Devon Rice, 6-1, sr., OH, Pennridge
• Jason Yakimiv, 6-7, jr., MH, Council Rock North
FROM DISTRICT 7
• Ben DePellegrini, 6-1, sr., OH, Fox Chapel
• Max DePellegrini, 6-1, sr., S, Fox Chapel
• Jake Dixon, 6-6, jr., OH, Bethel Park
• Tyler Herrmann, 6-2, sr., OH, Seneca Valley
• Steve Jones, 5-9, sr., LIB, Seneca Valley
• Taylor Matthews, 6-4, sr., MH, Seneca Valley
• Andrew Tublin, 6-4, sr., OH, Fox Chapel
• Jaysen Zaleski, 6-3, sr., MH, Fox Chapel
FROM DISTRICT 11
• Pat Bryan, 6-5, sr., OH, Emmaus
• Jake Heyer, 6-6, jr., MH, Parkland
• Andrew Hillman, 6-2, sr., S/OPP, Parkland
• Sean Lewis, 6-2, sr., OH, Parkland
• Jared Silverstein, 5-8, jr., LIB, Parkland
• Kyle Stout, 6-6, jr., OH, Parkland
• Gabe Woffindin, 6-4, sr., OH, William Allen
CLASS AA ALL-STATE LIST
FROM DISTRICT 3
• Brandon Arentz, 6-2, jr., OH, Northeastern
• Reese Devilbiss, 6-3, jr., OH, Northeastern
• Chris Lee, 5-10, jr., LIB, Northeastern
• Frank Melvin, 6-6, sr., OH, Schuylkill Valley
• Jeff Reynolds, 6-3, jr., MH, Northeastern
• Jarred Sands, 6-4, sr., MH, Lancaster Mennonite
• Matt Schaeffer, 6-0, jr., S, Northeastern
• Mitch Stauffer, 6-4, sr., MH, Cocalico
• Philip White, 6-3, sr., OH, Northeastern
FROM DISTRICT 2
• John Carr, 6-8, jr., MH, Holy Redeemer
• Mike Conlon, 6-0, sr., S/OH, Holy Redeemer
• Mike Gatusky, 6-2, sr., OH, Holy Redeemer
FROM DISTRICT 7
• Anthony Baronio, 6-1, jr., OH, Ambridge
• Capen Brendle, 5-11, jr., S/OH, Ambridge
• Ray Cascio, 6-5, sr., MH, Obama Academy
• Connor Claussen, 6-4, jr., S, Obama Academy
• Nico Latta, 6-0, sr., OH, Derry
• Ian Malis, 6-2, sr., MH, Derry
FROM DISTRICT 10
• Alex Barclay, 6-4, sr., OH, Saegertown
• Brendon Barclay, 6-5, sr., OH, Saegertown
• Peter Mattocks, 6-2, jr., MH, Saegertown
• Walker Stone, 6-3, jr., S, Fort LeBoeuf