The mantra for the SAIT men’s volleyball squad is simple: Team before talent. With a season ending record of 16-4, the Trojans have the identity of a selfless team full of talent, and determination.
Those qualities are exemplified by team leader Scott Lesher, who is playing the final games of his scholastic career with his name attached to a record.
The star hitter has set the ACAC career kill record at 1,065, eclipsing the mark of 955 set by former Trojan Patrick Dunsmore in 2001.
Lesher does not brag about his placing his “footprint in the ACAC,” he thinks about the guys around him as he talks about his spot in the record books.
“My two setters helped me so much,” said Lesher, who according to his coach Andy Hayhar, is one of the most humble people he has ever coached.
“You couldn’t have that kind of record without two amazing setters. It definitely couldn’t happen without the team,” Lesher said in an interview.
James Dempsey knows what Hayhar was talking about.
The fifth year libero has been a teammate of Lesher’s for four seasons.
According to Dempsey, Lesher is a, “phenomenal teammate on, and off the court.”
Dempsey credits Lesher’s record to his creativity, and the velocity of his kills.
“Just shows you that through his five years, he has had an impact on the court,” said Dempsey.
Having one of his players a record would make any coach proud, and Hayhar is no different. The record is not special just because Lesher is, “a very gifted volleyball player.”
“[He] brings so much to the team offensively, and as a leader,” Hayhar said.
“Scott has a very high volleyball I.Q. He approaches the game with a very strong work ethic,” which is a strong endorsement for a player his coach calls, “one of the best players to ever play in the ACAC.”
For an athlete who thinks about helping his team win, and not padding his statistics, knowledge of an approaching record is not existent.
Before first year setter, and team statistics guru, Caleb Hickok told his coach Lesher had a shot at breaking the kill record, the former captain of Briercrest College’s volleyball team was unaware he was close to the mark.
“I knew what my stats were, but I really didn’t connect the two,” admitted Lesher who is not a player concerned about his playing time, or making his mark in the score sheet, at the expense of his team.
“ I’ve been in the league long enough to know cocky guys don’t really get far ahead.”
With an average of 213 kills per year, Lesher could have a selfish attitude, but as Hayhar notes, “It’s never ever about Scott Lesher, it is about the team.”
That team finished second in ACAC standings, and are considered a threat to win the ACAC crown, and go on to provincials, where they will take it ,”one game at a time.”
Although Lesher admits he wants to, “Keep the record a long time,” his historic career is linked to a great team.
“Being a successful team, and being a successful individual… they go together.”