By Jeremy Balan
When watching Urban School’s Evan Chang playing for the Blues on the volleyball court, you can’t help but notice his talent, but something seems off.
Undoubtedly the best player in the program’s five-year history, Chang regularly plays out of position for the Blues, but is actually one of the best high school liberos in the Bay Area.
Chang was rewarded for that talent with a recent verbal commitment to Brigham Young University, a three-time national champion and consistently one of the best Division I volleyball teams in the nation.
“I didn’t know much about BYU before I started playing volleyball,” Chang said. “They contacted me in the summer of my junior year and they took me on an official visit last month, and I fell in love with the program and the school.”
Also a four-year starting midfielder for the Urban soccer team, Chang spent many days going to school, practicing for soccer, then traveling down to Sunnyvale to practice with his club team, Mountain View Volleyball Club, at night in the fall season.
“This speaks volumes about Evan and his work ethic,” said Urban athletic director Greg Angilly. “I’m thrilled for him, because it shows everyone in the Bay Area that this is possible at a [small] school. You don’t have to sacrifice some of the great things about our school to accomplish big things athletically.”
Chang was also getting interest from other Division I programs such as Hawaii, Harvard and Princeton.
“I don’t want to be the face of Urban volleyball, but I’m happy Urban is on the map for volleyball now,” Chang said. “For me, it was an outlet for me to play with my friends.”
International’s Leshne signs with University of Chicago
Urban wasn’t the only small-school program to make a splash in recruiting recently, as International High School boys soccer player Kai Leshne committed to Division III University of Chicago over the weekend.
The standout senior forward had walk-on offers from Division I programs Ohio State and Northwestern, but chose the Maroons after an official campus visit last week.
“I really liked how they played and all of their starters have Division-I talent,” Leshne said. “It has a reputation for being nerdy and really academic, but all the guys on the team are really friendly and I really feel it’s a good fit for me.”
Chicago is 9-6-2 this season with one game remaining, and International head coach Carlos Bover had high praise for the four-year starter, who was often double and triple-teamed by opposing defenses this season.
“He’s the best player in the history of the school,” Bover said. “He did really well with the pressure this year, but he’s going to have to get ready for a new role [in college].”
St. Ignatius hires new softball coach
The Wildcats filled their coaching vacancy this week with Paul Webb, a former assistant coach at Burlingame and Aragon high schools.
Webb has also coached several traveling club teams on the Peninsula and will take over a varsity team that had an overall record of 10-15 and finished fifth in the West Catholic Athletic League with a 4-8 record.
“We are extremely excited to have Paul Webb as our new softball coach,” said St. Ignatius athletic director John Mulkerrins. “He brings a great deal of knowledge and experience to St. Ignatius and I feel the program is in very capable hands.”