All in the family for Northeastern volleyball
In our Sunday News coverage of the Northeastern volleyball teams PIAA state championship victory, I wrote a column about just how big a role family has played in the Bobcats program.
Turns out, I was only scratching the surface. There were several family connections in the program that I either couldn't fit into the story or just found out about the last few days.
- Start with the coach. Matt Wilson's younger brother, Scott, was a member of both of Northeastern's former state championship teams in 1992 and 1993. Matt Wilson was an all-state player at Northeastern and graduated from the school in 1991 (talk about bad timing). Now in his 15th year as Northeastern's head coach, Matt Wilson finally got his first state championship on Saturday. Scott Wilson was at Penn State's Multi-Sport Facility to see it happen.
- Bobcats junior Alec Kessler's brother, Bryan Kessler, also played for those '92 and '93 championship teams. Bryan Kessler was named an all-state pick along with Scott Wilson in 1993. Alec was not even a year old when his brother won in Penn State's Rec Hall in 1993. Now the younger Kessler has his own state championship to brag about.
- There's one more connection with those 92-93 teams, too. Sophomore Tanner Sweitzer's father, Robert, was a member of both those championship teams, making Tanner and Robert the Bobcats' only father and son state championship combo. Tanner did not start this season, but did see some time in a few of Northeastern's earlier state and district games.
These sorts of stories typify the Northeastern program. We hear all the time about family connections in high school sports, but rarely to this extent.
Minutes after his championship-clinching kill, I asked junior Tyler Toomey out of curiosity if he had any brothers come through the program before him. He smiled.
"Not yet," he said.
Turns out Toomey has two younger brothers he hopes will someday follow in his footsteps. The cycle, it seems, goes on.