Ben (left) welcoming home his older brother from his mission
Benjamin Ivins’ Player Spotlight
For this player spotlight, we focus on one of our top high school spikeballers we have in Utah - Ben Ivins. Ben is from Taylorsville, where he has grown up his whole life. He has grown up in a very athletic family, with his dad playing collegiate soccer and his mom playing volleyball and basketball as well. He was born to be an athlete, and has not let anyone down. Aside from roundnet, Ben excels at playing soccer at a highly competitive level, playing for one of the top club teams in Utah and being the captain of the Taylorsville High School soccer team.
One of the most fascinating things about all this, is that Ben skipped the 2nd grade and thus is a year younger than everyone else in his grade and also has always chosen to play up one or two age groups in sports as well. He looks at it as a challenge, and not an excuse, saying “I would never let anyone beat me simply because they were older. If someone beat me, it would be because they have put in more effort and dedication into it.”
Along with being the captain of the high school soccer team, Ben has other extra-curriculars such as being a student body officer at Taylorsville High, and of course he started and is the current president of the Spikeball Club there as well.
Getting to Spikeball, Ben was introduced to the game 2 and half years ago in the Summer of 2016 when he went to the Boy Scout National Jamboree in Virginia. At this camp there were all sorts of activities ranging from shooting, zip-lining, mountain biking, and of course roundnet. Over the 2-week camp, he and the rest of his troop learned and were quickly hooked on the sport, winning 8 of the 9 daily tournaments hosted by Spikeball’s own, Skyler Boles. By winning the first tournament he was awarded a Spikeball™ set that he brought up and played with his friends for the rest of the Summer.
The next step became starting the Spikeball club at his school where he gathered over 120 members to sign up! He’s sustained the club to get between 15-30 people consistently at their meet-ups as well. As is typical, some ballers decide to take it a little more seriously and want to improve their game. Ben and his friend, Daniel, started playing with the very talented club we have in Provo led by the one and only, Taylor Church. Learning a few things from those more experienced than him, he took his skills to our tournament at Utah State in September 2018 and took 2nd place, losing to his mentors Church and Spencer Schmidt, making up the 16th ranked team in the world, Spikers Anonymous.
Before Ben graduates high school he hopes to earn a top spot in the 2019 Utah High School Spikeball Season, and then after high school plans to attend BYU where he can play roundnet consistently with the best of the best in Provo, and hopefully attain his goal of qualifying to be a Premier player. His time will be short as he plans to serve an LDS mission after a year at BYU, and hopefully can teach a few companions to stay fresh while he’s away.