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A volleyball legacy

Posted: April 12, 2008 2:41 a.m.
Updated: June 13, 2008 5:03 a.m.

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Caio Schmitd's first memories of volleyball began when he was a young boy cheering his father on at matches in Brazil.

"I would sit on the bench and during every water break my dad and I would go on the court and pass balls back and forth," says Schmitd, an outside hitter for West Ranch . "I knew I wanted to be just like him."

The Wildcats senior got his love for the game of volleyball from his father Cesar Schmitd.

Cesar still resides in Brazil and was a player on the Minas Gerais state volleyball team there.   He also played in a few matches for the Brazilian national team.

Caio moved to the Santa Clarita Valley with his mother and two siblings when he was 12 years old.

After his parents separated, his mother moved the family to America to allow her children a better opportunity to pursue a higher education.

His mother was also an influence on his love for volleyball as she too was an avid player, having played as a young girl growing up in Brazil.

While in the seventh grade at Placerita Junior High, Schmitd played volleyball at the SCV Sports Complex in hopes of improving his skills for the high school team he would one day tryout for.

Schmitd attended Hart High School in ninth grade and was a part of the freshman team, which  went undefeated that year.

When his sophomore year rolled around Schmidt transferred to West Ranch and joined the junior varsity volleyball  team.

Today Schmitd is an integral part of the varsity volleyball team.

The senior has taken the work ethic that his father instilled in him and brought it to the burgeoning Wildcats squad.

"Caio is the hardest working person on our team," says West Ranch head coach Nate Sparks. "His hard work definitely rubs off on everyone else."

Schmitd credits the hard work he puts in between practices and games for his on-court success.

"I want to work harder than anyone else at my level," he says.

Schmitd spent most of his spring break in the gym, between team practices, working on improving his volleyball skills.

The 6-foot-6 senior is already one of the strongest hitters and servers on the team, but continues to put in the hard work to become better.

Schmitd is credited as one of the leaders on the Wildcats squad and looks to make his team better by setting the example.

"It's important that we continue to work as a team," Schmitd says. "

We don't ever want to point fingers and place blame."

Schmitd along with the rest of the West Ranch team is looking to remain competitive in the Foothill League and he understands that preparation is key.

"We are definitely shooting for first place in league this season and going to the finals," he says.  "In order to accomplish that we have to practice like we are a No. 1 team."

Schmitd attributes his successes on the court to the vast support from his family members.

Cesar Schmitd is already getting the wheels spinning on his son's volleyball career in Brazil, contacting old cohorts of his from the state team he was once a part of.

Along with the support of his family, Schmitd also has the support of the West Ranch coaches.

Sparks believes that Schmitd can be just as successful at the college level because of his work ethic.

"Caio's strength is he's  hardworking and he has the ability to get that much better," Sparks says. "That hard work helps out any athlete looking to compete at a higher level."

After this season, Schmitd plans on attending the trials for the Minas Gerais state volleyball team but his ultimate goal is to play volleyball on a college team.

"I really want to play for a college team," Schmitd says. "Hopefully an opportunity will come along for me."

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