With Foothill’s sports program still finding its way out of the early stages, many of its teams have an unusual dynamic. Lucky for Foothill boys’ volleyball, unusual does not mean unsuccessful. The team played in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division three playoffs led by their sole senior: Ian Overton ‘17.
Overton joined the volleyball team three years ago, when the program started, and has been playing a key role ever since.
As libero, Overton’s defensive role is “a crucial one for the team,” according to head coach Janine Cobian.
Over the years, Overton has risen to the challenge of being libero, to say the least. He’s had over 600 total digs, averaging 4.4 per set, which is no surprise, considering Overton says digging is his biggest strong suit.
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When a “slammer” comes on Foothill’s side, “I’m there with the fast reflexes and stuff and I’m really quick on my feet, too,” he said.
Cobian believes Overton’s biggest strengths are his “quickness and court sense,” which make getting digs a whole lot easier.
When playing, Overton is known to be a powerful defensive force, but that’s not all he’s known for. Just as noticeable as the plays he makes is his big smile while competing.
He is so positive that Cobian says his greatest weakness is his “inability to get tough with his team” because “he is such a nice guy.”
She called him a “fantastic teammate” because “he is always positive and loves to get the boys hyped for games.”
Overton even recognizes this in himself.
“I’m really loud and rambunctious,” he said. “I’m out there smiling and having fun and I’m enjoying it a lot.”
Overton serves as one of three captains of the team, alongside Kyle Cobian ‘18 and Dylan More ‘18. Being captain gives him the perfect opportunity to be his loud self.
In addition, Overton believes being the only senior captain helps him to be more of an authoritative figure, which wasn’t true in prior years.
“When we first started playing I was a sophomore and I might as well have just been a freshman with the rest of them because I knew just as much about volleyball as they did and had just as much experience,” he said.
Now that he’s a senior, he passes down his tokens of wisdom more often. Sometimes this has to do with volleyball, defense in particular, but usually it has to do with school.
“I feel like that’s where I’m more of an older figure,” or even as “a big brother,” he said.
Coach Cobian believes this is what makes Overton not just a standout player or teammate, but a standout person.
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“He gets along with all the boys and is very patient with the younger guys,” she said. “He is a great mentor.”
With his inclusive personality, coach Cobian has high hopes for Overton in his post high school volleyball career.
In the future, “I see Ian playing in college and being successful in whatever he plans on pursuing,” she said.
Overton will attend and play volleyball for Santa Barbara City College next year.
“[I want to] take time and get my general out of the way and then really process what I want to do,” he said.
As Overton looks towards his future, there is no doubt that his impact on the boys’ volleyball program will stay for a long time.