They’re not the first, won’t be the last … but they could be the first in their sport.
Ponderosa High’s spring volleyball team contains a rarity. Four Charron brothers: Tanner, Taylor and twins Kyle (older by four minutes) and Kristian are all varsity players, all on the same team and all from the same family in Shingle Springs.
Not very common. In fact when Tanner, a senior, moves on to college next year — on scholarship to Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri, the three remaining Charrons on one roster … a trio of siblings … is still atypical although the three Covington sisters: Kyle, Hannah and Molly swim for El Dorado.
While the freshman Charron twins are new to varsity, Tanner and Taylor, a junior, have helped elevate the Bruins’ program in their three prep seasons together. The 2014 spring team could be one of the best ever.
“I think we have a strong possibility to go undefeated in league, take it to playoffs and take sections,” Tanner said. “This team is so well-rounded at every position, we trust each other and have great communication.”
A lot of the latter exists between Tanner, an outside power hitter, and Taylor, the setter. On the court, the chemistry between the two is unmistakable.
“It’s really nice (playing) with Taylor — he and I can read the other team. We’ll talk during the match and adjust … we’re just comfortable with one another,” said Tanner of Taylor who was All League as a sophomore. “It’s also nice in that I can talk to him in a way I might be hesitant to with another teammate — to ensure we have that perfect set every time.”
Ponderosa’s recent three-set sweep of Jesuit in Carmichael was a huge momentum boost to the Bruins. The way the team came out and played in that one is what Ponderosa (13-5, 3-0) wants to capture going forward.
“We were on-key all night and almost overwhelmed them,” Tanner recalls. “Our passing (Taylor) was perfect — on every set we put the ball down — and the blocking was outrageous. It’s on YouTube — the whole match. The rematch is on Senior Night and I’m confident we’ll take it at home.”
The Charron’s parents, Dave and Jami, have multi-sport backgrounds. Though the four have tried them all, volleyball, which Jami played in high school, has made a big impact.
“I remember since the age of 10 playing (volleyball) around the house,” said Tanner who began playing his “organized” career at Camerado Middle School. “It (volleyball) felt natural — even when I was younger — the timing came natural to me. One of things I’m most proud about is that you can give me any set and I can time it. Just one of the things I was graced with and have built on.”
Playing around the Charron house stuck. Sitting in the backyard, away from the pool area, is a regulation size sand volleyball court with a four-foot retaining wall that gets a workout during the summer months as friends flock over for numerous doubles tournaments. Before this season, Tanner hosted the team to knock off some of the rust.
Tanner was a freshman varsity callup for the playoffs and started against Rocklin. He played alongside Griffin O’Camb who went on to play in college.
“I used Griffin as an example to set myself by and it’s been also nice to have him as a coach,” Tanner said.
Playing alongside O’Camb as a sophomore, Tanner, with Taylor setting, had the Bruins’ fourth highest number of kills. As a junior, Tanner was named Co-Player of the Year and he’s worked hard to become a more efficient and powerful player for his senior campaign: more kills/less errors and more service aces.
The four Charrons together this season wasn’t a given … after all there’s still the tryout process.
“One of the things I was looking forward too (this season) is that I’d heard two brothers were coming in (to the program) so it was wait and see as I didn’t know I’d get them or that they’d be ready,” Ponderosa head coach Amy Stockett said. “But they’re all naturally good and work really well together. I’ll have Tanner for three and a half years and he’s been by far one of my favorite kids to coach. Of course he’s our star player that everyone knows who we go against.”
At home, the two-on-twos in the backyard are strictly for fun and there’s never competitive animosity as the brothers frequently change up the teams.
“We play a lot of volleyball together but it’s interesting that we don’t fight, it’s just for fun,” Tanner said. “It’s become a family affair — we ride together, practice together, stretch together. As a senior it’s been a nice experience to have my three brothers with me — it’s made it so much better.”