Millikan coach Curtis Boyer is technically entering his second season as the Rams’ coach, after being hired mid-pandemic in December of 2020 and then coaching the abbreviated Spring season. But because of the hasty preparation for last year and a frustrating season for Millikan that saw the Rams finish in fifth place at 3-9, Boyer said he’s treating this like his debut season.
“Absolutely, yes, it’s feeling like year one,” he said with a laugh. “Last year we were doing beach workouts and outdoor practices, we only got seven indoor practices before we launched the season. This year we’ve had 12 weeks of conditioning, practice, everything–a full year of prep. It’s been refreshing.”
The Rams return a pair of all-league leaders in seniors Kamaury Washington and Eric Bonales, who will also be the team’s co-captains.
“They’re both looking good, and it’s good to have some leadership and some talent back with those two guys,” said Boyer.
The Rams will likely start a freshman in Jackson Cryst, a 6-8 frontcourt player who’s the son of Long Beach State volleyball stud Jeff Cryst.
“He changes the dynamic for us, he’s got a long way to grow both in height and in physicality, but he’s a game-changer,” said Boyer.
Andrew Argyros is a senior starter who the Rams will have to open the season without due to a sprained wrist. In the meantime they’ll lean on Donovan Desha and Rueben Anglo to fill the gap.
Boyer has his Rams in three tournaments and with a few nonleague games to make sure they hit the maximum number of allowable games with 28 contests. His goal is for his team to make the playoffs with a league finish in the top four.
“Our buy in, our confidence is a lot different this year,” Boyer said. “Last year we were teaching on the fly. This year everyone is going to see a different Millikan team.”