Connor Muff, right, sets up a play as a representative of last year’s Badger Region High Performance team. Muff expects to represent the team again at a national tournament in Fort Lauderdale this month. He is an eventual senior at Westosha Central High School (Submitted/The Report)

Central senior heading to Florida tourney

By Jason Arndt
Editor

For eventual Westosha Central High School senior Connor Muff, he was one of nearly 700 Wisconsin boys volleyball players vying for a spot on the Badger Region High Performance team earlier this year, but he came through to earn one of 10 spots on the squad.

Muff, of Bristol, was announced as a representative of the team by the Badger Region Volleyball Association, the state’s governing body of club volleyball, according to a press release.

The selection, according to Badger Region program director Brian Sharkey, puts Muff in an elite class of players born in 1999 or later.

“To be chosen for the Badger Region HP team is a very prestigious honor and gives these athletes exposure to be seen by colleges and universities from around the country,” Sharkey states in a news release.

Sharkey is the co-founder of Southport Volleyball Club, a Kenosha club team Muff has been involved with for about five years.

Muff’s exposure comes July 18-23 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he plans to showcase his skills at the National High Performance Championships, which pits his team against other regional all-star teams.

Muff, a setter, is fortunate for the opportunity to compete among the country’s best athletes and learn more about the game.

“I felt delighted and thankful. Being able to compete with some of the best talents and being able to learn from some of the best coaches in the state is an honor,” he said.

Muff is not alone, however, as four of his Southport Volleyball Club teammates expect to join him on the squad.

Additionally, he has played against his other HP teammates while a member of Southport.

“We are all pretty close. Having played with and against all of the guys on the team, the chemistry is already there,” Muff said. “In fact, four of the players on my Southport 17s team also made the High Performance team.”

To receive the honor, Muff acknowledged there was little room for error at the 3-4 day tryout, noting stiff competition.

“The competition for the High Performance team was extremely tough,” he said. “To have all of the best players in the region giving their all for their spot on the roster, you have player your very best.”

Muff, however, said the honor would not have been possible without the encouragement of his family, coaches and teammates.

Started young
Muff, born in Waukegan, but moved to Pleasant Prairie shortly after, started his playing career eight years ago as a student attending Prairie Lane Elementary School before enrolling at St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy.

After a stint at St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy, he went to Trevor-Wilmot Consolidated School for 7th- and 8th-grade.

“I open enrolled to Central while still living in the Wilmot High School District, and then in the winter of my freshman year I moved in (the Central district) to Bristol,” he said.

Despite the move, he still continued to play volleyball, including the last five years with Southport Volleyball Club in Kenosha.

“The thing that really attracted me to Southport was the personalities and work ethic of the guys throughout the entire club,” Muff said. “They also had a few guys who went to Central, one of which was George Capelli, who I played with my first year with the club.”

Muff, who credits several people, said his family was instrumental in introducing him to the game.

His family includes mother, Becky, a volleyball coach with more than two decades of experience, father, Mike, and sister Kennedy, who is an eventual junior of the Falcon girls volleyball squad.

“My family have always been very helpful and knowledgable about the game of volleyball, especially my mom who has been a volleyball coach for over 20 years,” he said. “I don’t think I’d even be playing this sport if it weren’t for them.”

Additionally, outside the family, Muff is thankful for the Westosha Central coaching staff, led by head varsity coach Wayne Schultz, and Sharkey.

“Coach Wayne Schultz and the rest of the coaching staff at Central gave me an opportunity to play at the varsity level as a freshman and has since taught me valuable lessons not only on the court, but off the court as well,” Muff said. “Brian has helped me through most of my club career and I’m thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to play for him and his coaches.”

 
 

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