Several Western Wayne boys will be competing at the AAU level this winter in volleyball. Coach Tim Snyder was instrumental in establishing the team, which also features players from other Lackawanna League schools. Competition for the "Wildcat Volleyball Club" begins December 20th.

Local volleyball enthusiasts have been clamoring for an AAU club for several years now, but it took the efforts of Tim Snyder to transform the dream into reality.

Western Wayne’s boys varsity coach conceived the idea a few years ago. He even went so far as to organize fundraisers, open a checking account and christen the “Wildcat Volleyball Club.”

Sadly, Coach Snyder simply couldn’t generate enough interest from players, many of whom were active in winter sports and just couldn’t find the time in their busy schedules.

A full year passed before Tim broached the subject again.

A New Approach
This time, though, he brought a new wrinkle to the plan: instead of recruiting only Western Wayne kids for the team, why not open it up to players from all over the Lackawanna League?

“I?approached other coaches at one of our meetings,”?Tim told TWI Sports. “I?asked if they’d be interested in an All-League AAU team. Many of them were, so I?took the next step...”

That next step was a call to former University of Scranton Coach Jud Holdredge. Through the grapevine, Tim had heard Holdredge was retiring from the “U.” He wondered if the veteran collegiate skipper might be interested in coaching local AAU level kids.

He certainly was.

“We are very fortunate that Jud is is willing to help,” Snyder said. “With his years of experience (high school, college, AAU and USA Volleyball) Jud was a huge help in getting everything off to a good start.”

Jud Holdredge coached many district championship teams at Tunkhannock, then went on to build a powerhouse collegiate squad in the Electric City.

Coach Holdredge directed the Lady Royals to an overall record of 141-76 (.650 winning percentage)?in six years. He also led the program to a pair of Freedom Conference titles and two NCAA invitations.

The Wildcat Volleyball Club also boasts a talented staff of assistant coaches, including: Jan Price (Mountain View), Dora Andrews (Forest City), Todd Cundey (Susquehanna), Darren Thorpe & Tim Snyder (Western Wayne).

On the Court
This particular AAU?team will play exclusively in tournaments.

Action for the local lads will begin December 20th with a berth in the Lancaster Bible College event. The “season”?will conclude in late February with a road trip to Albright College.

“One of the best things about this team is the level of competition the boys will see,”?Snyder said. “We’re going to be playing against some very, very good teams and players. In the long run, that’s should help us.”

Current team members include Western Wayne’s Damon Jaggars, Joe Keen, Zak Bauserman, Anthony Kovaleski and CJ Bayly.

Under the direction of Coach Snyder, Western Wayne’s boys team posted an outstanding 9-3 record last spring. The Wildcats finished tied for second in the overall standings, trailing only Mountain View (11-1) and Trail (9-3) when the play-off pairings were announced.

In addition, there are Lackawanna League players Taylor Cundey, David Vales, Alex Czopek, Justin Shaw, Mike Harvey, Nick Lowery, Andrew Salvi, Chad Paulin & Mike Romano.

The Wildcat Volleyball Club practices every Sunday night at the Mountain View Elementary School gym.

Over &?Out
Tim Snyder also hopes to see a girls AAU?team emerge in the very near future.

Practices for this squad will commence in December with tournament action running from January through April.

Should any local high school players be interested in trying out for the team, a website has been established for Wildcat AAU?Volleyball. Visit it at wikispaces@nepa