MURTOA’S Fergus Schier will follow in the footsteps of some of the region’s best volleyball talent when he plays for Victoria Blue’s under-17 men’s team at the Australian Junior Volleyball Championships.
Schier was elevated to the blue squad late last week and will play against the top volleyball players at the championships in Canberra next month.
The Victoria Blue teams are the top squads of junior players in each age group, meaning Schier is considered one of the best 10 under-17 players in the state.
Schier is one of four Wimmera players who will pull on a Victorian uniform at the championships.
Fellow Murtoa College students Aaron Evans and Tom Petering are in the under-17 Victoria West development squad, while Kaylee Schmidt is in the girls under-17 Victoria West squad.
Schier will become the third Wimmera volleyballer in recent years to play in a Victoria Blue team.
“I was very rapt and excited when I got the call.”
Lachie Robinson qualified for the under-16 boys blue team in 2006 and Jess Radford was in the girls under-19 blue squad last year.
They were the first Wimmera players to qualify since David Abud, Darren Franks and Michael Brack in the 1980s, making a total of only six Wimmera players to achieve the feat including Schier.
Schier was initially selected in the Victoria West squad, but was promoted to the blue team.
He said it was a thrill to be elevated to the top level of competition.
“I was very rapt and excited when I got the call,” he said.
“Ever since I made the Victoria West team for the first time last year, I was hoping to qualify for the blue team.”
Schier, a middle blocker who stands at 195 centimetres at age 15, said he expected to develop his game even further under the guidance of his new state coaches and team-mates.
It has been a rapid rise through the volleyball ranks for Schier, who started playing the sport just two years ago.
Volleyball Horsham president David Berry said he deserved his call-up to the blue team.
“The beauty about this is it’s a classic case of hard work and perseverance paying off,” he said.
“It’s not easy to get into the blue team, and Ferg has continued to work hard after making the Vic West team last year – and it has paid off.”
A volleyball program is offered as an elective at Murtoa College.
“The beauty about this is it’s a classic case of hard work and perseverance paying off.''
College physical education teacher Shannon Argall said Schier’s commitment was evident every day.
“He’s a tall fella, but he’s a leader and he’s got natural athletic ability,” he said.
“It’s great to see guys like him representing at this level and I’d love to see him continue it on and go to under-19 level.”
Berry said Schier’s selection would raise his profile in the volleyball world.
“Now he’s in the blue team, he’s going to be recognised, and anything is going to be possible now that he’s in the spotlight,” he said.
“If he has a good week away in Canberra, then there are opportunities for him to go further with it.”