KELOWNA, BC - Caleb Funk, a 6'7" middle from Strathmore, Alberta has signed on to be a member of the 2017/18 Heat men's volleyball freshman class.
Funk comes to the Heat after playing three seasons each with the Strathmore High School Spartans and the Canuck Stuff Volleyball Club.
As a Spartan at Strathmore, where he also played hockey and baseball, Caleb was named his volleyball team's Rookie of the Year in 2014/15 and Most Valuable Player in 2016/17. His 2015/16 team were zone champions and went on to finish third at the 3A Provincial Tournament.
In his first season with CSVC in 2014/15, his team were champions in the Best of the West tournament, finished second in the provincial tournament, and were fifth at that year's national tournament. In 2015/16 he finished third in the provincial tournament, and second in Tier Two, Division One at the national tournament. 2016/17 was Funk's last season with CSVC, and he led them to second place in the Best of the West tournament and a gold medal at the provincial tournament.
In 2016 Caleb finished third at the National Team Challenge Cup as a member of Team Alberta, and was selected for the Youth National Development Program.
Asked why he chose to come to UBCO, Caleb says the decision was made with an eye to both athletics and academics. "I chose UBCO because of their developing men's volleyball program and I want to be part of the group of guys that turn Kelowna into one of the top programs in the country. I also chose UBCO because of the high level of academics they offer while still being in a smaller university."
As a student at UBCO, Funk plans to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree while majoring in International Relations, saying, "at this point my goals are just to explore the world of international relations."
As an athlete Caleb feels ready to take the step up to Canada West competition, stating, "I am extremely excited about this upcoming season and seeing what this team can do. I look forward to being a strong presence in the front row, and growing as a volleyball player."
Head coach Brad Hudson of the UBC Okanagan men's volleyball team was full of praise for the incoming freshman. "Caleb is a prototypical Canada West middle blocker. He is big, strong, and has a great motor. He is also a humble, tireless worker who I am certain will maximize his gifts. It's also quite clear he is a terrific teammate and will make every effort to better those around him."
After a strong first season in 2016-17 that saw first year coach Hudson, with an interim tag, set a record for wins in a Canada West season by the UBCO men's volleyball program with nine, has an impressive first recruiting class, and is bringing in seven players to compete for the UBC Okanagan Heat for the upcoming season.
Caleb Funk is one of two middles that have committed to UBCO, Shawn Zhao from Richmond's R.A McMath is the other one. The five others in the fold are: Zach Gotmy (5-10 L, Calgary-Western Canada High); Max Heppell (6-4 LS, Langley-Langley Fundamental); Morgan Nichols (6-2 S, Lake Country-George Elliot); Lucas Robertson (6-4 S, Edmonton-Strathcona Composite High, Grand Prairie Regional College); Tristan Simmonds (6-2 LS, Edmonton- Grand Prairie-Grand Prairie Composite High, Grand Prairie Regional College).
The upcoming season schedule for the Canada West volleyball team will be released on Wednesday, June 21st. Check for details at goheat.ca.