April 30, 2004

Alarcon’s Leadership Essential at Eastlake

By John Philip Wyllie

When Eastlake High School’s Elias Alarcon entered high school four years ago, he considered himself primarily a basketball player.

“I had no clue about volleyball in my freshman year,” recalled the Titans 6’2” senior middle blocker. As a sophomore, I decided to give volleyball a try thinking it would improve my basketball skills.” It did a lot more than that. Alarcon, who garnered all-league and all CIF honors last year in volleyball, may give up basketball all together next year in order to pursue a career in collegiate volleyball.

“During high school, my number one sport was basketball, but after I graduate (in June) I think it will be volleyball. I’ve talked to the Gross-mont volleyball coach and he wants me to play there, so I am debating whether to go there or to Southwestern,” Alarcon said.

At present, he is more concerned with leading the Titans to a league and possibly a CIF championship. The Titans took a big step in that direction Tuesday night when they edged long-time nemesis Bonita Vista 16-25, 25-22, 25-27, 25-16 and 16-1 4 in a Mesa League thriller.

“Bonita is our biggest rival and it was back and forth today. We came out and proved we are the better team,” Alarcon said.

“Eli” is a Dennis Rodman type of player,” his coach said. “He is going to fight the entire time and often he is the reason that we win. Today his leadership almost single-handedly brought this team back into winning position. He is very steady and definitely our leader.”

Undefeated in league play and 15-4 overall, the Titans’ losses have come most-ly against the county’s elite teams. Alarcon believes that East-lake has a legitimate shot at beating them and claiming a coveted CIF title.

“I honestly think we can win it all this year. We have a lot of heart and a lot of talent. We go for everything,” he said.

Ultimately, Alarcon would like to one day become a veterinarian. He is strong not only on the volleyball court, but also in the classroom as well. Athletics is just a vehicle to help him achieve his more long-term goals.

“I plan to attend a junior college for two years and then transfer to Colorado State,” Alarcon said. “It is very competitive getting into a veterinary school. It is supposed to be even more competitive than getting into medical school. I’ll have to do everything I can to get in.” Alarcon will have one thing going for him as he struggles to meet that challenge. Having succeeded first on the basketball court and now as volleyball player, he knows all about tough competition.

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