Boys Volleyball: Richards’ Grevengoed tabbed Coach of Year
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media June 10, 2012 5:58PM
Richards’ Troy Grevengoed is the 2012 SouthtownStar Boys Volleyball Coach of the Year. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 12, 2012 6:04AM
Richards coach Troy Grevengoed is not — generally — a yeller or screamer.
So when he does scream, his team knows he means business.
With a share of the South Suburban title on the line in a match against Eisenhower in May, Grevengoed called a timeout and got after his team.
“I have a few of those every year, and they’re usually for a reason,” Grevengoed said. “That’s what they needed. It’s not my style normally so when I do it, they know it’s important.”
The Bulldogs regrouped, winning the match in two games to clinch at least a share of the conference title. A week later, Richards capped a perfect 16-0 run through the South Suburban, winning the program’s first conference championship since 1992. Richards posted a 25-7 record overall and had impressive runs at its own tournament and the Marist Invitational.
For leading the Bulldogs, Grevengoed is the 2012 SouthtownStar Boys Volleyball Coach of the Year.
“Coaching at the high school level for 10 years now, it’s a huge honor,” Grevengoed said. “There’s a ton of awesome coaches in the area and to be included with that elite group, I’m humbled by it.”
Grevengoed thanked his assistants Ray VanSyckle, Jim Westerberg and Kyle Agner.
Richards wasted little time establishing itself this season, beating host Marist in two games at its own Invitational in April.
“That was the moment we said as a team we can play with elite teams,” Grevengoed said. “We used to hope to play with them, but now we realized we can play and beat them. That was big for us.”
Having missed out on a conference title in 2011 by one game, Grevengoed had the Bulldogs humming along all season. Of the 16 conference wins, only five went to a third game. Richards capped the perfect run with a two-game win over Argo. No other team in the conference finished better than 11-5.
Hosting its own tournament in May, Richards won four matches to advance to the championship where the Bulldogs lost to eventual state champion Wheaton Warrenville South.
“As the tournament was progressing, we saw it all falling into place, and it was huge,” Grevengoed said. “To make it to that championship, I was very proud of how far we’ve come.”
Richards earned an eight seed at the Lincoln-Way East Sectional, beating Stagg in a semifinal before losing to top-seeded Lincoln-Way North in the title game. In his nine years coaching the boys team, Grevengoed had won 19 matches twice (2007, 2011) but never topped 20 wins until this season.
The success came with a thin bench as only nine players (including two seniors, Jeremy Norton and Ramiro Ledesma) were on the roster. Junior Nick Costa and Norton led the offense with Ledesma, juniors Ben Tocila and Jack Kendryna and sophomores Dan Krasich and Edvinas Karalius starting for the Bulldogs.
Where other teams had waves of replacements, Richards didn’t have that luxury.
“Without the depth of a large team, it’s scary,” Grevengoed said. “You lose one player and it affects the whole team. There’s no insurance policy, no backup plan. To have guys who stay healthy and stay academically eligible, I’m very fortuntate.”
Grevengoed is a 1994 Chicago Christian graduate and played club volleyball for Trinity Christian. He also coaches girls volleyball programs at Richards, where he is a physical education teacher.
Looking ahead to his 10th year manning the sidelines for the boys team, the 2012 season was a perfect building block.
“Every year we’ve progressed,” Grevengoed said. “This year made me realize this (success) is something we can keep going.”