Batavia rising senior Zach Saegesser has shown persistence in his goal of boys volleyball eventually becoming a varsity sport at Batavia. That doesn’t appear to be on the immediate horizon, but Saegesser is glad that at least a potential step was taken in that direction when the school recently approved a boys volleyball club for next year. Saegesser, whose younger brother, Josh, also is a volleyball enthusiast, spoke with Chronicle sports editor Jay Schwab for this week’s Weekend Chit-chat. The following is an edited transcript:
What got you started with volleyball?
I started at [Naperville Volleyball Club]. I guess I played a little bit in middle school but not much, and just decided to start it. It’s fun.
Were you bummed when you found out that unlike a lot of schools around here, Batavia doesn’t have [boys volleyball]?
Yeah, a little bit. I moved to Batavia in middle of eighth grade, and when we were at orientation they said they were planning on making a men’s team but that never happened.
Have you and your family stayed in touch with the administration a little bit?
More recently I have been. I think it was early this year I submitted a club request for the first time and they turned that down and before that they said to start a team it would have to start as a club, so then I submitted a club request
So they turned down the first request, and then what happened?
… I turned in another one with a petition of around 180 signatures, I don’t remember the exact number, with more kids I talked to that would want to participate. … I went straight to the principal about it [this time], and that’s when it got approved.
What kind of structure do you envision for the club?
I’m still talking with the sponsor [Kirk Tanka] about that but the initial outline we’re thinking is an all-year round thing all school year where kids in other sports could participate, so if a football player wants to play they can play in the winter and spring season and a basketball player can play in the fall and spring season since it’s just a club and not an IHSA sport yet.
What’s your guess on the level of participation that there might be next year?
I would guess quite a few people. Most people I’ve talked to either would love to see it or love to play it. It would be a brand new sport and not many people in school have had the experience playing so we could take as many people as we wanted and start training people to have a team. Even if it became a sport this year, the team itself wouldn’t be very good. I mean, it’s a first-year team.
So it’s going to be your senior year next year but do you look at it like better late than never?
Yeah, that’s one way to look at it. My goal would be to have so many kids in the fall and winter that they couldn’t ignore making it a team for the spring, but we’ll see what happens.