The St. Joe's Rams' power hitter earns the award following a season
when the team advanced to the District senior final
January 21, 2022
By Rob. J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - Owen Waterhouse has capped off his high school volleyball career with the league's top award.
The fifth year hitter for the St. Joseph's Rams has been selected London District Association's Mr. Volleyball for the 2021 season.
"I'm very honoured to receive the Mr. Volleyball award for LDA," Waterhouse said. "Volleyball (specifically with the Rams) means a lot to me and has really made an impact on my life as an athlete and a person. It helped me gain leadership experience and has definitely veiled some memorable experiences."
The Rams reached the District senior final this past season in November and in 2019, when Waterhouse was in Grade 11.
In Grade nine, Waterhouse helped the Rams advance to the Western Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association (WOSSAA) junior tournament.
"Owen has been an outstanding volleyball player since his junior days," Rams' coach Kevin Paiva said. "He has continued to develop. Anyone who watches Owen play can really see that he cares about the game of volleyball, and how hard he works on his craft. He was undoubtedly one of the top players in the LDA this year and has been a pleasure to watch and coach."
Paiva describes Waterhouse as a coach's dream and a player who puts the team first and always had the respect of his coaches, teammates, and opponents.
"Owen is a quiet leader who leads by example, is vocal when he needs to be," Paiva said. "He never missed a practice, never spoke back to his coach. He went on the court and played the game the right way. He has had a huge impact on the volleyball program, helping the program develop immensely over the last five years, and he will be greatly missed."
Waterhouse believes he was selected for the award because of his ability to create big plays in key moments, that would fire up the team, giving the Rams energy and momentum to win games.
"I always put the team in front and do everything that I can to help us succeed and always give it 100 per cent," Waterhouse said.
His fifth year was a special one.
"Our season was amazing, I could not be prouder of the boys. We went through the regular season red hot, not dropping a single set, even though the quarter and semi-finals," Waterhouse said. "Something about this season was different .The group of guys I had the honour of playing with was nothing short of amazing. We were always helping each other get better and it's crazy to see the progress some of the athletes made."
The District final stands out for Waterhouse, despite losing the back and forth thrilling match in five games, to London Gabriel Dumont.
"The atmosphere in the gym was awesome, and we were finally able to have fans which was really exciting," said Waterhouse. "Even though we didn't get the result we were hoping for, it was still one of the most intense, energetic, and fun games I've ever been a part of."
Waterhouse has been teammates with two players throughout his career at St. Joe's.
"I want to give a shout out to all the boys," said Waterhouse. "Specifically, Jordan Moore and I have played all four years on the team together and he has been an amazing teammate, always laser focused and ready to get a big block or kill in the middle.
"Big shout out to Niko Dennis. Niko is seriously the best teammate you can ask for. If you watch any of our games, you will definitely hear him yelling after every point and hyping us all up. After the first try-out (this past season), we were still missing a setter, and Niko with no setting experience stepped up and instantly fit the position. In games he referred to me as his “attack dog” and while stacking at the net, he told me exactly what set he was going to give me to score a point."
Waterhouse also credits the Rams' coaches.
"Big respect to coach Paiva and coach (Mike) Waterhouse for giving me this opportunity and staying so committed to the team."
Owen also played the past three years with the London Volleyball Club and five years of beach in the Ontario Volleyball Association.
Waterhouse remains undecided on the school, but
plans to attend university for commerce and hopes to