The Poly Spotlight

NOVELTY: New coaches Mike Cardey and James Burnham bring pristine coaching techniques to Poly boys’ volleyball program.

By Kelsey Chamberlain, Staff Writer

As the 2017-2018 school year continues to unfold, Poly High School’s boys’ volleyball team is renewing itself for its fourth upcoming season. The Bears enjoyed a successful 2016-2017 season, with a roster of twelve players and an overall record of 23-3. As they prepare for the new season, the Bears welcome two new coaches onto their team. James Burnham and Mike Cardey will coach and assist the volleyball team to success in 2018.

Both Burnham and Cardey have rigorous past coaching experience. Burnham has been a coach for King High School’s junior varsity and freshman volleyball teams, Temescal Canyon High School’s girls’ volleyball team, and an assistant volleyball coach for San Bernardino Valley College. Burnham also coached a club volleyball team for a total of eight years, helping children aged eight to twelve learn the sport. Cardey has not coached or professionally played volleyball but has been the head water polo coach for both Poly’s girls and boys teams for 8 years, as well as 3 years at Chino Hills High School. He has also coached at both SoCal Waterpolo Club and Riverside Water Polo Club, and has some experience playing volleyball due to pickup games at the beach and Reid Park.

The Bears are excited to fulfill the high expectations for this upcoming season. After they made it to CIF finals in their 2017 season, the Bears see plenty of hope that they can mirror and even exceed their past success this year. Burnham sees heavy skill and commitment in his new players, as he says, “The volleyball players at this school are amazing. They are eager to learn a new system and work hard every day to the best players that they can be. This is one of the most focused and cohesive teams I have ever coached.” He also discusses the possibility of making it back to CIF, stating, “This year, I expect our team to compete for a league championship and have a legitimate chance for success in the CIF tournament.” Cardey has similar aspirations, especially after his past success with girls water polo making it to CIF finals for the past 8 out of 10 years in a row, claiming four CIF titles. “I’m excited to get the Boys Volleyball team into the weight room and start conditioning for our season in the spring. The boys went to CIF semi’s last year and graduated some of the starters. I expect to get and win one more game in the season[…] we need more player[s] to come out and be committed to the team. We are in the weight room now and soon to be in the gym to see how to put our team together,” Cardey said. With both coaches already motivated to begin training and preparation, CIF could be an easier reach than ever before. Cardey continued, “My goals for the team is to be respected and be respectful[…] to be the best conditioned team, and play together like a team. I want to win league and CIF. I will work my best on getting player into the next level at [college],”

Both coaches foresee success for these new teams.The new season will certainly be exciting under the new coaching staff. Burnham sums it all up, stating, “There [is] such a rich sports history at Poly. I can’t help but think of the amazing athletes who have played in our gym. I am proud to become a part of that tradition. I have coached against Poly in the past and remember vividly the electric atmosphere and how amazing those crowds were. The fan support and the competitive nature of those Poly players best represent Poly PRIDE to me. I can’t wait to experience that again as a coach for the home team!” Best of luck to the bears this season!

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