Ben Clark – An Important Part of Rebuilding Millis Volleyball

Christopher Tremblay
Despite being relatively new to volleyball, senior Ben Clark is an asset to the Millis team.
Issue Date: 
June, 2018
Article Body: 

During the fall and winter seasons, Ben Clark found himself playing soccer and basketball for the Millis High School. However, one year in, playing basketball was just not the thing for the then sophomore; he needed to find a new sport to fill the vacancy.
“I just wasn’t into basketball anymore, and I started looking for a new sport to take part in. A lot of my teammates on the soccer team were playing volleyball in the spring and told me to give it a try,” Clark said. “(The only other senior on this year’s volleyball team) Jason Parker was also someone who convinced me to look into the sport. It had always been in the back of my mind as it seemed interesting so I decided to go for it.”
As a sophomore taking on a sport for the very first time Clark knew absolutely nothing about his new interest, and his Coach understood that when he placed him on the junior varsity squad that first season.
“He had just started playing volleyball for the first time in his life and literally had no volleyball IQ whatsoever,” Millis Coach Jay Guinan said. “On the JV level he learned the game and eventually made his way to the varsity team. Ben’s an aggressive, highly motivated individual that learns quickly; he also has a huge vertical leap of about 30 inches and he’s a fun player to watch.”
While it has been about three years since his first regular season volleyball game for Millis, he remembers it like it was only yesterday.
“It was against Xaverian, and I was still all messed up with the way the rotations worked. I made a lot basic skills mistakes during the game; luckily we won,” he said. “The team really helped me along the way and I was thankful for that.”
Clark continued to study the game and by his junior year, he found himself improving on the court, but he believes his biggest improvement came when he showed up for this campaign as he had worked extremely hard to make himself a good volleyball player.
As Clark finds himself getting close to the top of his game, the Millis program finds itself in a rebuilding season.
“After losing the majority of our starters from last year, we find our self with only two seniors and a lot of sophomores entering this year,” the Millis Coach said. “Had this been normal year, he may not have found himself as a starter right away although he does bring a lot to the table. His learning curve is unusual; he’s a quick learn; he has played well for us, whether it be at middle or outside hitter.”
At 5-9 with his vertical leap Clark prefers playing the outside as he can get a running start before hitting the ball, but he still likes playing the middle as well in terms of blocking the opponent’s shots.
In addition to being one of only two seniors on this year’s squad, he is also one of three captains looking to guide this team into the future.
“I know that it’s as rebuilding year and at 1-9 it can be frustrating at times, but this year isn’t about winning, it’s about building a championship team for the future,” Clark said. “I just want to be a part of that rebuilding by helping the younger players. I’m focused on being a leader and helping them improve while using good technique.”
According to coach Guinan, most of his volleyball players begin playing the sport in the seventh grade where they can play and get accustomed to the sport while moving up the ladder. Clark’s situation was not of the normal.
“Looking back, I wish that I had started playing in the seventh grade with everyone else,” Clark said. Who knows what I could have done in the sport if I had.”
Following the season Clark will be saying goodbye to the sport he was recently introduced to as he heads off to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to continue his education without the benefit of participating in sports, like he did at Millis.