The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Athlete of the month: Alexandre Tchokokam

WCHS senior and boys volleyball player Alexandre Tchokokam blocks the ball from being hit over the net during an intense game of volleyball.
Photo courtesy of Alexandre Tchokokam
WCHS senior and boys volleyball player Alexandre Tchokokam blocks the ball from being hit over the net during an intense game of volleyball.

While boys volleyball is a sport that piques the interests of a few, it always brings in a very diverse group of players. Those drawn to it know the thrill of being on the court and how it feels to spike the ball down onto the opponent’s side. For WCHS volleyball player Alexandre “Alex” Tchokokam, the sport provides an opportunity to make connections and have fun.

“Boys volleyball is the only indoor MCPS spring sport and has a different culture than the other sports,” Tchokokam said. “The team is very connected and a tight-knit community.”

Without the assistance of his friend, Tchokokam would have never been introduced to the WCHS volleyball community. Beginning in his sophomore year, Tchokokam played on the school’s co-ed team and was later promoted to playing on the boys volleyball team.

“My friend asked me if I wanted to play volleyball with him after school and I ended up liking it, which is what drew me to trying out for co-ed volleyball and later playing for the boys team for my junior and senior years,” Tchokokam said.

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For many athletes, it is difficult to get into playing a new sport. This act takes courage and allows students to immerse themselves in new positions. However, for Tchokokam, adjusting to his new sport allowed him the ability to unlock his new potential.

“I play the middle position,” Tchokokam said. “Newcomers often come into the middle position because it’s easy to adapt to. To improve as a middle, I had to get my timing right and practice outside of [team] practices [by attending] open gyms and swinging a ball at home.”

A close-knit team allows the boys to bond on and off the court. Together, the team makes memories and history that the whole WCHS community can cherish forever. This year has been one to remember as for the first time in the last 26 years, the team won their first divisional title against Wootton. Being a part of that experience allowed Tchokokam and his teammates to feel a sense of true Bulldog pride.

“This Wednesday, the boys Volleyball team won counties and it felt so good,” Tchokokam said. “WCHS hasn’t won a title in decades so it was an emotional experience for all of us, especially the coaches.”

With three volleyball teams, WCHS volleyball players can show respect to each other at games and during practices. For WCHS junior and boys volleyball player Brooke Roberts, acknowledging the successes of Tchokokam and his teammates allows for good sportsmanship and interrelationships between the different teams.

“I think the boys volleyball team has been doing well and despite some vital seniors leaving the team this year, they have plenty of good and young players ready to step in,” Roberts said. “Tchokokam has done a great job this season. As a fellow middle, he has proven that the position takes power to succeed in.”

As his WCHS volleyball career comes to an end, Tchokokam has had time to reflect on his volleyball career and enjoy his final days at WCHS. Tchokokam will be attending Brown University in the fall and will be playing club volleyball.

“It feels bittersweet, I didn’t realize that my last practice was two days ago and my last game was the day after,” Tchokokam said. “I feel that now that it’s all over, I don’t have much to look forward to.”

 

 

 

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Isabella Ngwana
Isabella Ngwana, Assistant Online Editor
Isabella Ngwana is a sophomore and one of the Internal Communications Managers. In her spare time, Isabella enjoys spending time with those she loves, reading a great book, listening to music, or spending time watching her favorite tv shows.

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