June 19th, 2024

Kodiaks volleyball signs Coaldale players


By Lethbridge Herald on December 22, 2022.

SUBMITTED BY LETHBRIDGE COLLEGE ATHLETICS

The Lethbridge College Kodiaks men’s volleyball team signed two Coaldale products for next season.

Ben  Dyck joins the Kodiaks after leading the Kate Andrews Pride to silver medals in both the Southern Alberta High School Volleyball League and 2A provincial championships. The 6-foot-3 outside hitter has an impressive 11-foot-3 spike approach, which helped him deliver an eye-popping 635 kills and 135 aces in his senior season with the Pride. He was named a first team league all-star while helping Kate Andrews to a 50-5 overall record. 

Head Coach Greg Gibos is excited to add another top local athlete.

“Ben is not just one of the best athletes in southern Alberta, but I believe he is one of the best outsides in the province,” says Gibos. “The physical numbers and his ability on court are clear, but what Ben possesses is something incredibly rare. His best feature is that he truly loves volleyball and trying to become the best version of himself.”

From the interactions he’s had with Dyck during the recruiting process, Gibos knows he is adding a highly motivated student-athlete.

“He is going to bring an infectious drive and positivity that will continue to push his teammates to become better,” says Gibos. “I know he had a lot of interest from other post-secondary institutes. We could not be happier that he has decided to stay in Lethbridge and inspire the next generation of volleyball players in southern Alberta.”

Dyck credits his parents for helping him navigate the road to post-secondary.

“My parents always taught me that it was more important to be a good person through sport as well as providing an unwavering belief in me,” says Dyck. 

Being a student of the game, he also attributes his abilities to Canada National Team player Eric Leoppky.

“I would watch footage of his matches on YouTube and his highlight videos, and it taught me what it took to be excellent and helped me fall in love with the game.”

Ben will join a Kodiaks program that has been ranked top 10 nationally for 42 of the last 50 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) national polls. He says the Kodiaks’ culture of success was one of the driving factors in his decision to sign with Lethbridge College.

“I love the Kodiaks logo and I know it represents excellence in the classroom, community, and conference. I want to be part of this program and contribute to building a contender each year,” says Dyck. “I am so excited that I get to play in front of my friends, family and old teammates, which is going to be an incredible experience. The culture of this program is really what draws people in, and I look forward to enhancing it during my time as a Kodiak.”

Prior to joining Lethbridge College, Dyck will compete for the Lethbridge Volleyball Club (LVC) Junior Kodiaks for his U18 club season.

Gibos also signed Coaldale’s Karl Petker.

A 6-foot-6 middle blocker from Coaldale, Petker was a member of the highly successful Kate Andrews Pride high school program, which went 50-5 this fall. He was named a SAHSVL first-team all-star while helping the Pride claim silver medals in both the Southern Alberta High School Volleyball League (SAHSVL) and at 2A provincials.

Petker is also a product of Lethbridge Volleyball club (LVC) and will be suiting up for the LVC Junior Kodiaks in the upcoming U18 club season.

Gibos describes Petker as a high-flying, hard-hitting middle blocker who dominated in his senior season.

“I’m so excited that Karl has decided to join us here in Lethbridge. I think he’s one of the hidden gems in the 2023 recruiting class,” says Gibos. “I have Karl as one of the top five middle blockers in the province and I know he is going to turn some heads as a post-secondary athlete.”

After watching him throughout the recruiting process, Gibos identified Petker as an intelligent athlete who already closes blocks at a post-secondary level. 

“He’s a physical force at the net, as he has a measured spike approach touch upwards of 11-foot-5. I think he has some unmatched potential when it comes to volleyball and excelling at the post-secondary level,” said Gibos.

His new head coach is also impressed by Petker’s attributes off the court.

“Karl is someone who I know is dedicated in the weight room and who thrives in a team environment,” Gibos added. “Watching Karl be part of the group that transformed Kate Andrews volleyball was incredible. You can tell he truly loves his teammates.”

Petker is excited for the opportunity to stay close to home and play in front of friends and family.

“The Kodiaks men’s volleyball team has done such a great job of building culture and community, and that is something I want to be part of. Being able to look in the crowd and see my parents and other club athletes in the crowd is something I truly want to experience and enhance during my time here. It is a dream come true to represent this program and continue to inspire the next generation of volleyball players in southern Alberta.” 

Petker will enroll in Lethbridge College’s General Arts and Science program. He plans to take courses that will help him towards a Bachelor of Kinesiology as his end goal is to become a physiotherapist.

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