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Local boys volleyball club sends two teams to nationals

Boys from Crow Creek Volleyball practice for nationals on Tuesday night in the gym at Idaho Falls High School. | Andrea Olson,
IDAHO FALLS — When Ryan Petrie moved from Utah to eastern Idaho in 2020 with his family, he noticed there was not much opportunity for his teenage son to play volleyball on a boy’s team.
“There’s a girls club and girls’ high school volleyball scene and program in this area,” Petrie said. “But there are not very many opportunities for boys, so when we moved here, I looked around for places for my son to play. We were looking for clinics and camps to get him involved in.”
His son, Ben, got involved with camps; however, it was with girls. The nets are a little higher when boys play, so it wasn’t quite the same.

Ryan Petrie at the Idaho Falls High School gym Tuesday night. | Andrea Olson,
Petrie himself had a similar situation growing up in Arizona. He played volleyball with friends, but there was no club system in place. He took a volleyball class every semester in college and has not stopped playing. He has coached volleyball for 10 years.
So Petrie started a boys club in 2021 called Crow Creek Volleyball for boys ages 12 through 18. Kids started joining the Idaho Falls-based nonprofit, and it has grown ever since.
“There were a few imports to the area like (my son) was who had had boys volleyball experiences in other places, and there were other people who had kind of pulled family and friends together and made a boys team,” said Petrie.
Crow Creek Volleyball has a board of five members, including Petrie. Petrie is the club director and a coach. He said that he has had four to six coaches for the teams, depending on the season. Some of the boys travel as far as Mackay, McCammon and Sugar City to play.
“At peak, (we have had) almost 50 boys. That was this last fall. Our peak season is the fall,” Petrie said.
He said the boys have traveled to Utah to participate in tournaments with the Utah Boys Volleyball Association.

Boys practice for nationals at the Idaho Falls High School gym this week. | Andrea Olson,
This year is especially exciting due to the fact that Crow Creek Volleyball will have two teams with nine players, each participating in the USA Volleyball Boys Junior National Championship. It will take place at the Salt Palace from July 2 to July 6.
The teams participating will be the Jackdaws and the Ravens.
“We have been practicing like crazy to go play at nationals,” Petrie said. “It’s a new experience for all of them and it’s great. There will be … courts just laid out, filling that whole convention center, and college coaches and recruiters and volleyball vendors. It’s a big deal.”
For 17-year-old Haden Weekes from Madison County, it’s an experience he’s never had before.
“I am so excited. It’s going to be so much fun, but I am nervous because it’s nationals, but it should be fun!” he said.
Weekes said he got involved in volleyball because his oldest sister played the sport a long time ago, then he started to play with his friend. He started a club in Rexburg called Teton Nation, but it’s no longer around he said, so he joined Crows Creek Volleyball.
“It’s fun to know people from different schools. I didn’t know people from different schools until recently when I joined this club,” Weekes said. “I like Ryan. He’s fun to work with, and he knows what he’s talking about.”

Haden Weekes plays on Crow Creek Volleyball and is headed to Nationals soon. | Andrea Olson,
He loves volleyball because it’s not only fun to watch, but it’s also full of action.
“There’s nonstop action when you are watching it and so when you are playing, it’s just the same,” he said. “(I like) getting amazing ups — like if the ball is clear on the other side of the gym, and then you do a sprawling dive to get it.”
Petrie said he is looking forward to going to nationals with the boys, and he enjoys coaching and watching the success of Crows Creek Volleyball.
“It’s fantastic. I really enjoy coaching and playing with the kids. I love the process of growing together while playing volleyball,” he said.
Petrie added that one of the boys on Crow Creek Volleyball is committed to playing collegiate volleyball in the fall, with others hoping for the the same opportunity.

Ryan Petrie talks to the group of boys headed to nationals during volleyball practice. | Andrea Olson,
You can get involved
Crow Creek has some activities coming soon. Beginning July 20, for ages 12 and up, including adults, Crow Creek will set up nets in the grass at Tautphaus Park in Idaho Falls, and all are welcome to play at no cost.
There will additionally be skills clinics for boys ages 12 through 18 on Aug. 15 and 17 at Taylor’s Crossing Charter School. Click here for more information.
Then, there will be fall season tryouts for Crow Creek Volleyball on Aug. 22 and Aug. 24.
“If you want to come to play and want to learn about volleyball or if you want to attend a clinic, come join us,” Petrie said.
As for Petrie’s son, who is now 18 and playing on Crow Creek Volleyball, he loves volleyball more than ever. He plans to play with the Utah State men’s club team next school year.
“I’m very glad I started the club, not just for his sake, but for all the boys who now have a love of the sport and feel the thrill of pushing themselves and improving as a result,” Petrie said.
The post Local boys volleyball club sends two teams to nationals appeared first on East Idaho News.

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