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Brandon Connection Remains Strong for Blazers MVB

Brandon Connection Remains Strong for Blazers MVB

The CMU Men's Volleyball program is very pleased to announce the commitment of Xavier Folkerts for the 2024-25 MCAC season. The Vincent Massey Brandon and Brandon Volleyball Club product is the latest addition to the program coming out of Western Manitoba.

A star on his MHSAA "AA" Elton Collegiate squad in his grade ten year, Folkerts drew onto the varsity squad that year as well. As a captain of his junior varsity team he led the Sabres to the Provincial Championships, where he was named a tournament All-Star, while his varsity squad saw considerable success throughout the season, making three tournament finals and capturing one title en route to a Provincial Championship berth. For his true varsity seasons Folkerts played for Vincent Massey High School in Brandon, qualifying for "AAAA" provincials in his grade eleven season, and then following up with more big-game experience this past fall season, when his grade twelve squad qualified for provincials again after wins at the Husky Classic and Brandon University Invitational tournaments. Folkerts played the full range of attacking positions with his high school teams, but feels most at home on the left side. Aside from volleyball, Folkerts also competes at high jump with the Vikings, as he continues his vertical training off the court for the track and field season as well.

A member of Brandon Volleyball Club (BVC) Gold team since his 13U season, Folkerts has primarily played left side for the club throughout his career, where he has met some of the top competition from around Manitoba at provincial championships, as well as from across the country at Volleyball Canada Youth Nationals. His 17U squad were champions at last year's event in Calgary in Division 2, Tier 2, proving again that the bright lights will not phase the Blazers' latest signing. The Folkerts name is also familiar around CCAA volleyball circles, with former Camosun College Charger, and two-time CCAA National Champion (2022, 2023) Brendan Folkerts being Xavier's uncle, proving Xavier comes from high-calibre stock.

In a continuing theme for CMU signings this offseason, it was the Blazers Summer Sports Camps that first got Folkerts connected to CMU, first with former Blazer setter Timothy Juvonen, who encouraged Folkerts to continue working on his game and take the next step to college volleyball. With an eye to study Biblical and Theological Studies alongside a minor in music, CMU was the most logical landing spot for the incoming student-athlete. Folkerts is looking forward to further develeoping his skills under the tutelage of Blazers head coach Don Dulder, and is excited to see some of the great talent across the league. Dulder weighed in on his latest signing, stating "Xavier is a left side that has a strong desire to play at the next level. We love his desire to improve and be a part of our team; he is an intelligent player with a strong work ethic, and I feel that with hard work and exposure to college ball he can contribute to our team success on and off the court." Folkerts joins a legacy of Brandon-based student-athletes to suit up for the program, most notably with members of this past season's squad Brock Carmichael and Joshua Werbiski, not to mention Daniel Lysack paving the way before them. There will also be plenty of connections with former Elton, Massey, and BVC teammates across the MCAC, many with the Brandon-based Assiniboine Community College's squad this coming year.

Following a seventh-consecutive MCAC Finals appearance this February, the Blazers will once again look to make an appearance on the national stage next season when the CCAA Men's Volleyball Nationals are held here in Manitoba, hosted by the Providence Pilots. For the first time in CCAA history, two teams from Manitoba will make the championships in a bid to increase the middle province's visibility on the national stage and show why Manitoba is still a hot bed of top talent in the country. The CCAA is the national body for collegiate athletics in Canada, offering 10 national championships in seven sports. Now finished its third full year of participation, the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference joins five other established CCAA conferences; PacWest (BC), ACAC (Alberta-Sask), OCAA (Ontario), RSEQ (Quebec) and ACAA (Atlantic).

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