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Around the SCV: Canyon hires new swim coach; Ensing named to prestigious v-ball team

Posted: May 29, 2013 10:37 p.m.
Updated: May 29, 2013 10:37 p.m.

The Canyon High swim team will have a new head coach next season, as the school hired Daniel Neswald to take over for the departed Steve Himes, co-athletic director Scott Arnold confirmed.

Neswald previously was an assistant coach at Golden Valley High School from 2010-2013 and is the head senior varsity coach at Canyons Aquatic Club.

“I’m super excited that they wanted to see where I can take the team,” Neswald said. “I do believe I can get the team back up to third place (right away) and start winning some league meets.”

Himes, who stepped down as head coach after eight years on the job, confirmed he is stepping down to spend more time with family and to focus on teaching.

He is a ceramics and art teacher at Canyon High School.

“I feel great. I feel like I made a pretty good impact on a lot of kids and a lot of parents and I had a great time,” Himes said of the last eight years. “And now I just need to focus a little bit on teaching and doing some more stuff for me.”

Under Himes, the program grew to a high of 98 total swimmers, and parent participation grew, as well.

“It’s gone up and it’s gone down. We’ve had our good seasons and bad seasons where the strengths were not so strong,” Himes said. “But overall the program as a whole, between students and parents has definitely increased. When I got there, there wasn’t a parent support system. I started a booster club and started getting the kids involved a little more on campus and making the kids more of a team.”

Neswald, a 2010 Golden Valley High graduate, will take over a program that finished fifth in the Foothill League in both boys and girls competition.

He already has his sights set high.

“I have a lot of Canyon swimmers on my club team so I already know a lot of them,” Neswald said. “I know there’s going to be about three (Canyons Aquatic) senior elite kids (on Canyon next year). I believe we’ll be pretty good.

Neswald is complimentary of the work Himes has done over the last eight years and believes the Cowboys’ program is in a good position as he takes over the job.

“The one biggest thing he did for the team was getting the booster club very involved,” he said. “That I could see with the swim team and at Golden Valley we did not have a booster club. It was all on the coaches.”

At just 20 years old, this is Neswald’s first high school head coaching job. But he feels his age will be an advantage.

“I think it’s an advantage. “I know how their minds work,” he said. “I wasn’t there too long ago. I think I can build off that more than if I was a little bit older and forgot how the minds work of a high school swimmer.”


Ensing placed on prestigious squad

Valencia High’s Kyle Ensing is the latest Santa Clarita Valley player to make a prestigious USA Volleyball Indoor High Performance roster.

Ensing, a junior-to-be at Valencia, is following suit with an invitation to one of the nation’s top junior volleyball lists.

Ensing made the roster for boys born in 1997 or 1998.

The High Performance teams are used by USA Volleyball as training programs for potential players on future USA National and Olympic teams.

In Ensing’s case, he is one of 55 players around the country selected for the A1 team, which will travel to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. to train with some of the nation’s top volleyball coaches between July 18-28.

Last year, West Ranch’s Haley Lind was selected to a similar High Performance girls team and another four Valencia High students participated in USA Junior Beach High Performance tryouts.

That included Ensing’s older brother, Eric Ensing, who now plays indoor volleyball at Long Beach State.

This year’s High Performance team will be led by head coach Ken Shibuya, who is an assistant coach for the men’s volleyball team at Stanford University.

Kyle Ensing played his first varsity season for Valencia this past year as a starting outside hitter. He was voted All-Foothill League first team.


Locals to compete at ECNL championship

Two Foothill League soccer veterans will step on a big stage later this month.

Hart High’s Hailey Jenkins and Saugus High’s Angie Weiner, both seniors last season, will compete with their Real So Cal club soccer team in the Elite Clubs National League national championships from June 21 through June 24 in Aurora, Colo.

Jenkins, a UC Davis commit, and Weiner, a Fresno State committ, were both All-Santa Clarita Valley first teamers this season.

Real So Cal advanced to the national championship by winning the Under 18 SoCal Conference with a 12-1-1 record — seven points clear of Slammers FC.

The top sixteen U18 teams from around the nation qualified for the tournament.


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