Cole Paxson made it back from Havana in time to collect a gold medal as his club team, Balboa Bay 17-1, took top honors in the USA Volleyball Junior Olympics in Dallas.
He joined five other Breakers with hardware from the annual volleyball event held June 29 through July 6.
Earlier on June 29, the USA Volleyball boys under 19 squad lost to Cuba 25-22, 21-25, 19-25, 25-23, 11-15 in the finals of the NORCECA championships, but still earned a bid to the World Championships next year.
The USA team defeated Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Mexico to reach the finals. Cole was singled out by the USA coach for his exceptional play.
How Laguna Beach HS players did at JO’s (Class year):
Boys (Dallas Texas)
18-Open: Barry Greenough (‘17), Manhattan Beach Surf 3rd Bronze
Tyler Alter (‘16), 949 18 Black 9th
Pete Obradovich (’17), Balboa Bay 18-White 25th
17-Open: Cole Paxson (‘17), Balboa Bay 17-Blue 1st Gold
16-Open: Sam Burgi (’18), 949 16 Black 1st Gold
15-Open George Knapp(’19), Balboa Bay 15-Blue 1st Gold
Ayrton Garcia (’19), Balboa Bay 15-Blue 1st Gold
Enzo Sadler (’19), 949 15 Black 5th
14-Open Bryce Dvorak(‘20), Balboa Bay 14-Blue 1st Gold
Girls (Indianapolis, IN)
18-Open: Sage Patchell (’16), T-Street 18 Shawn 10th
Jamie Robbins (’16), T-Street 18 Shawn 10th
18-USA: Aspen Rocha (’16), Prime 18 Asics 31st
18-American: Aleya Post (’18), T-Street 18 Randy 27th
16-Open: Lexi McKeown (’18), Laguna 16-1 9th
16-American: Chloe Edep (’18) A4 Volley 16-Purple 33rd
The 16-year-old boys in the 949 Volleyball team from San Juan Capistrano won gold at the Junior Olympic championships in Dallas last week, their second consecutive title.
“The kids and coaches are really close and the family support is amazing,” said Lori Kahn, mother of Laguna Beach native Sam Burgi, who plays for the club and the Laguna Beach High School varsity team. Justin DeBlasio and Brandon Taliaferro started the club in 2009.
USA Volleyball is the national governing body for the sport and recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee.