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Draper Journal

Former collegiate All-Americans heading up Corner Canyon’s boys volleyball program

Apr 08, 2024 03:50PM ● By Catherine Garrett

The inaugural sanctioned boys volleyball team from Corner Canyon is currently ranked fourth in the state in 6A with a 6-2 record. (Photo courtesy Taylor Maughan, Taylor Shae Media)

New Corner Canyon High boys volleyball coach Michael Burke—who was an All-American middle blocker on the 1994 national championship BYU squad—brought former Cougar teammates, and fellow All-Americans Fernando Pessoa and Jonathan Alleman to help head up the newly-sanctioned program this spring.

Between the new coaching staff, which also includes Nigel Wood, Zane Minnick and Kylee Finch, Burke has been busy organizing the structure of the program with CCHS girls volleyball coach Mindy Ricks and Athletic Director Pat Thurman. 

“It has been a somewhat chaotic rush to get things put together and functioning,” Burke said. “There is a lot that goes into scheduling, staffing, equipping and organizing a totally new program, but Mindy and Patrick have been very helpful and assisting in this process and also have other experienced coaches who are carrying a lot of the burden.”

Burke, who has been coaching club volleyball for 15 years and assisted the Lone Peak girls program in winning four state titles, wanted to get involved in his Draper community and be a part of building the Corner Canyon program.

“We should be competitive over time but will just start the building process this year,” he said. “Our goal for this year is to simply establish long-term systems and processes to develop our players. We obviously want to win as many matches as possible, but we are taking the long approach. We feel confident that this will differentiate us from our competition over time.”

To begin the season, the Chargers were ranked fifth among the 18 6A teams and expected to be led by junior outside hitter Cooper Varner and sophomore setter Archer Burke. “They have a lot of high-level experience and have been steady and valuable,” said coach Burke, while also noting the addition of freshman Phillip Mayer who “has a lot of potential and is progressing quickly.”

Also on the CCHS squad are seniors Hudson Hoopes, Bryce Hyer, Scott Larsen, Vincent Navratil, Aidan Wankier, Nik Winans and Logan Young; juniors Tenuun Amgalanbayar, Porter Curtis, Aidan Featherstone, Jackson Jensen, Jack Knab, Robert Muse, Mason Story and Vinicius Tenorio-Cavalcante; sophomores Atticus Candell, Christian Dayton, Nicholas Heilig, Laired Larkin and Cooper Young; and freshmen Vance Alleman, Carson Burnett, Braxton Crawford, Miles Free, Alex Knab and Max Lloyd.

“Most of the players need a lot of technical training and we saw some good progress in the offseason, but there is a lot of work still to do,” said coach Burke.

So far this season, the Chargers, who are currently ranked fourth in 6A with a 9-6 record, have defeated Lone Peak 3-1, Lehi 3-0, Timpanogos 2-1, Logan, 3-0, Alta 3-0, Riverton 3-1, Olympus 2-0, Viewmont 2-1 and Skyline 2-1 while losing to Riverton 3-0, Pleasant Grove 3-0, Herriman 3-2, Skyridge 2-0, Wasatch 2-1 and Mountain View 2-1.

Corner Canyon is also scheduled to face American Fork and Brighton before Region 2 home-and-away matches against Copper Hills, Bingham, Mountain Ridge and Riverton. λ