Trio of Saanich players commit to Chargers

Camosun Chargers Volleyball players Lorenz Vogel of Claremont secondary, Markeith Thonger of Reynolds secondary and Dale MacDonell of Pacific Christian School are all joining the Camosun Chargers for the 2016-17 PacWest season. Camosun Chargers Photos

With four recruits, all six-foot-four or taller, the Camosun Chargers volleyball team is bringing in a high level of local talent for next season.

The team announced a quartet of new players this week including three from Saanich schools, part of the rebuild as the club gears up to host the 2018 Canadian Collegiate Athletics Association men’s volleyball championship.

“I really want to see what I am capable of achieving in this environment with so many talented teammates and such a great coaching and support staff,” said six-foot-five Lorenz Vogel, a Claremont grad who was born and spent most of his childhood in Germany. “It’s a real bonus to have this opportunity… After spending the last two-and-a-half years settling in Victoria and becoming grounded, I am very happy to be able to stay and play.”

Vogel is joined by Mack Mravnic of Winnipeg, Markeith Thonger of Reynolds secondary and Dale MacDonell of Pacific Christian School.

Head coach Charles Parkinson is assembling his 2017-18 squad following the program’s three-peat PACWEST gold medal season. The Chargers are also only one year removed from the 2016 men’s national title and only one month removed from a semifinal loss at this year’s nationals.

Vogel moved to Victoria, his mother’s hometown, in 2014 and started for Claremont as a Grade 10 student. But even before Vogel moved here, he was aware of Claremont coach Shon Ryan from the Big Dig Camps he had attended during his summer to Victoria.

“There is no school team sport system in Germany and playing on the school team really helped me integrate into Canadian school life,” Vogel said. “While the club team and grass leagues helped me meet people outside of school too and feel more and more at home in Victoria.”

Lorenz has excelled with Claremont under coach Ryan, moving from middle blocker to the left side, and on the local Victoria Volleyball Association club team under coach Ernest Friesen.

This year Lorenz was an All-Star at the Camosun’s Senior Boys Volleyball Invitational and named a First Team All-Star at the Vancouver Island Championships.

Markeith Thonger from Reynolds is another player who doubles with the Victoria Volleyball Association club system and is participating with the U18 team in the hope of winning and provincial title.

The six-foot-four middle was one of 26 high schoolers to play at UBC in the First Annual BC High School Volleyball All-Star Game this year.

Pacific Christian’s Dale MacDonell also comes to Camosun with four seasons of high school and club volleyball and is currently a member of VVA’s U18 Black team. He was a middle blocker for the Pacific Christian senior boys team that won the City and Island championships the past two years in a row.

At six-foot-six, the 17-year-old has played both middle and right side.

The Chargers went out of province for Mack Mravnic, a six-foot-six setter from Winnipeg who transfers to Camosun from the CIS Brandon Bobcats of U Sports. The Bobcats made the Canada West Final Four in the 2013-2015 seasons.

A prolific jumper, Mack touches 10-foot-7 on his block and 11-foot-3 on his spike approach.

Mravnic was twice named MVP for the Kelvin Clippers and played club, winning a 16U Tier 1 national championship.