Oftentimes, when coaches send out ballot papers in all counties, they will have to exaggerate a bit to build up their players.
so when Jungle boys volleyball Coach Jason Wigginton wrote that he expects to see his 6-foot-8 star off batting Clijstan Lawrence compete in the 2024 Olympics, and he naturally got a double shot.
It turns out Wiington wasn’t exaggerating at all.
A member of Team USA’s U-19, Lawrence is already in early discussion who will likely be on the list for the Paris Games. But, Star-Banner’s inaugural volleyball player of the year said he still has a lot of work to do.
“That’s a goal,” Lawrence said. “If I level up and play well in the next few years, I hope it will.”
For now, though, he can reflect on the impact he’s having on the sport domestically before heading to Long Beach State, NCAA champions in 2018 and 19, in August.
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The 2021 season was the first in which teams from Marion County were eligible to compete in the FHSAA State Series. Lawrence and his feral cats have made quite an impression.
She finished FHS 16-1, and advanced all the way to Quarter 4 at Archbishop McCarthy High School in Broward County. There, the heartbroken Wildcats lost 25-18, 25-16, 19-25, 24-26, 15-9 to the final state runner-up southwest of Miami.
“It was really tough the first two sets,” Lawrence, a top 5 inductee nationally said, finished his first season with 238 kills, 127 holes, 97 service points, and 43 pieces on his way to becoming Mr. Ball The plane for dairy farmers in Florida. Final. “The team started to give up. But I told them ‘we can never give up’, and we played with a little more hope in third, and then winning fourth brought the team confidence.
“In the last set we started a bit slow, but we didn’t play with fear. I was happy with the comeback we made, even if we didn’t win.”
Clastan Lawrence learned from his father, a Cuban player and Puerto Rican coach
Lawrence spent the first ten years of his life in Cuba and then the next few years in Puerto Rico before moving to the United States. He did not start playing competitively until he was 14, but his training began when he was about 12 years old.
There, his father, Ramon Lawrence, a 6-foot-7 former Cuban national team member and one-time national coach in Puerto Rico, worked with Klistan, a naturally gifted athlete with tremendous speed and a 40-inch vertical jump (first dipping a basketball in seventh grade). ).
“It taught me a lot,” said Lawrence, who chose LBSU over UCLA and Pepperdine. “I am very lucky.”
Lawrence will now spend the majority of his next few years in California in college and at Team USA’s training complex. But he said he would look back at a prep career that began in Bellevue and ended in Forest with passion.
“It was one of the best seasons I’ve ever had,” Lawrence said. “My teammates, the experience in the state, are having an almost perfect season – it’s been fantastic.”
Boys of all counties volleyball
Jungle: Kristen Lawrence, Sebastian Rivera-Perez, Stephen Dixon, Ryan Hamilton, Tyler Hamilton, Nick Iman, Ryan Inderica
Lake Wear: Carlos Burton
West port: Leroy Rodriguez, Kenneth Rodriguez, Diego van Flatoren, Dylan Locke, Angel Bonilla, Chaz Sidal, Victor Bonilla
The Ocala Star-Banner was selected as an all-district and boys’ volleyball player by John Patton with the help of staff writer Josh Kimball and district coaches. If a team or player is not represented, it is because the coach has not responded to frequent emails sent to the school asking for information. Some of the players listed have been nominated by competing coaches.