Lethbridge College Kodiaks nab another LCI Rams volleyball player
By Garrett Simmons
Lethbridge School District No. 51
Maxwell Baceda is the latest Lethbridge Collegiate Institute Rams volleyball player to sign with Lethbridge College.
Baceda made it official Monday, when he signed on the dotted line to join the Kodiaks for next season.
The Southern Alberta High School Volleyball League most valuable player for the 2017 season will bring a unique skillset to the college, according to Kodiaks coach Greg Gibos.
“The biggest thing with Max is his athletic ability,” said the coach. “He has all the physical skills. He jumps well and he checks off all those boxes about what makes a player successful at the college level.”
Baceda was also a success at the high school level. A league all-star is his Grade 10 and Grade 11 years, as he patrolled the middle for the Rams, Baceda switched to the right-side position for his senior season, and rewarded LCI with a MVP season.
“It was a big change of pace, but I really wanted to try something different, and expand my skills for the next level,” said Baceda about the position switch.
He’s now going to have to make another adjustment to the college game, and added adapting to the speed of the post-secondary game, where things happen “10-fold faster” than they do in high school, will be key.
But Baceda is coming from a strong LCI program, led by coach Jessica St. Goddard, a program which earned a provincial bronze medal last season.
“Jess was my coach for my Grade 9, 10, 11 and 12 years,” said Baceda. “She’s a hell of a coach, and she’s one of the most dedicated coaches I have ever had.”
St. Goddard fostered a sense of family surrounding the Rams volleyball team, according to Baceda, which will serve the LCI teammates well, as a number of them are committed to playing for the Kodiaks in 2018.
“I really like the environment they have there, and I really like the coaching there,” said Baceda of the college.
For Gibos, he is hoping Baceda’s skills translate to the college level, where the coach sees the high school league MVP developing into an elite finisher at the net. Gibos added recruiting a player of Baceda’s stature is very important to the Kodiaks going forward.
“Traditionally, the league MVPs haven’t stuck around Lethbridge,” said Gibos. “We’re trying to grow the game here, and recruit at the local level. We now have 11 of our 13 guys who are from southern Alberta. We’re the only team in southern Alberta, other than Olds, that doesn’t have any international athletes.”
Baceda will be taking general studies at the college to start next season.
Date posted: Feb. 12, 2018