WRIGHT TWP. – Consider Nick Banos a student of the game.
He understood the situation coming into the 2013 season.
“We were going to be an extremely young team,” the Crestwood senior middle hitter said.
His love of the sport is unmatchable, and his willingness to improve in every facet was clearly evident to those around him.
Banos started training in the offseason, and carried that into the most important role: Leadership.
The reality was simple. He needed to be the cog that drove Crestwood boys’ volleyball in every aspect – on and off the court.
“Leadership, it’s so important,” said Banos, who was selected as Most Valuable Player of the Times Leader Boys’ Volleyball All-Star team. “We had some quiet kids on the team, and that’s OK. Everyone is different. I knew that I would have to be a vocal leader, and keep everyone’s spirits up as much as possible. You knew that games with Redeemer and North Pocono were going to be tough. They are both really good teams.”
Banos did his part on the court.
He was second in the Wyoming Valley Conference in kills (157) behind Dallas’ Bryce Mattson. He led the league in aces with 39 and was fifth in digs with 116.
More importantly, he kept the Comets around the .500 mark in the WVC.
“We were young. We had a lot of kids with little or no varsity experience,” Banos said. “I think I was the only one with varsity experience. For being a young squad, I think we did pretty well as a team. As a player, I was pleased. I had a good understanding of my role heading into this season. I talked with coach (Mike Williams) a lot, and we talked about what I would need to do.”
That’s why he turned to his friends and siblings.
One, in particular, was sister Chrissy – a now-junior volleyball player at DeSales University.
“She showed me some of their offseason workouts, and some of the drills that they use,” he said. “It’s nice to get some pointers on what I can improve, and what I need to work on. It’s great to have someone that you can ask those types of questions to.”
The biggest surprise came at the end of the season when he was named the conference’s Most Valuable Player.
“It was amazing. I never expected it because there are so many great players in this league,” he said. “I was so surprised. I told coach to let me know when he heard something. And he told me I was selected. I went on the web myself, and I was shocked when I saw it. It’s an amazing honor.”
With Crestwood days now behind him, all eyes turn to the future.
He’ll attend Penn State University where he plays to try out for the club team.
And who knows, maybe even the Division I team.
“It would be great to get that opportunity, but we’ll see,” Banos said. “It’s going to be a big change because there are so many great players out there. It’s going to be a challenge, there’s no doubt, but I’m ready for it. I’m up for the challenge, and I’ll work hard and do my best to achieve my goals.”