Cohen Chaulk is shown in this September 2012 file photo.
— Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram
Cohen Chaulk will still spend lots of time on the beach court this summer, but it’s time to take a breather from the hectic pace of indoor training that comes with being a Sea-Hawk.
“I’ve spent the past six summers playing, not home, so I talked it through with my coach and we both think it’s best to take the summer off and take a break from the indoor court,” Chaulk said earlier this week.
Chaulk, a 19-year-old Corner Brook native, is fresh off his rookie season with the Memorial Sea-Hawks men’s vollleyball team that competes in the Atlantic University Sport.
Chaulk plans on getting in his fair share of digs in at the Corner Brook beach volleyball courts for the next couple of months, but he’s also going to busy working a student job at Deer Lake Power doing maintenance and labour work.
It’s going to be a summer at a slower pace than usual, but that’s what he feels is necessary for him to be prepared for his sophomore season in September.
“It’s been a long haul with school and I haven’t been home for a long time with volleyball so the break is nice,” he said. “I’m mostly home because I’m making money for school. I’m trying to help out my parents.”
The music major experienced a roller-coaster ride in his rookie season as the Sea-Hawks finished the campaign with 17-straight losses for an 0-17 record. To make matters even more challenging, a 17-man roster was quickly decimated to 12 after the Christmas break when players quit because they either couldn’t balance academics with athletics or simply because they found the program too difficult.
Chaulk opted to stay the course as bodies dropped like flies and he was rewarded with some floor time. The last three weekends of the season, including two road trips, saw Chaulk get a chance to show what he can on the hardcourt and he was very pleased with how he fared.
“I had a lot of success with it actually,” he said. “As a rooke you got to go in and do what the coach (Luke Harris) says and that’s what I did. I think I’m in a good position going into next season.”
Oh yes, a sophomore season only around the corner, one has to wonder why Chaulk is looking at the bright side of things. The most determined of athletes can be forgiven if they get discouraged over losing game after game.
Such is not the case in the Sea-Hawks world, according to the 19-year-old who turned down the option of working at the beach volleyball court because he was eager to make some decent money to help pay his way through school.
“I think we’ve all kind of got a taste of failure in our mouths at this point and we don’t like it,” he said. “We all got a fire under our ass at this point to go back and work harder to be better.”
While he was pleased with how he played when he got a chance, a more important lesson learned in his rookie season is the importance of time management. He endured long days and coffee became his best friend in his first year as he juggled his volleyball schedule with his piano exploits.
“It’s hard to be focused on both at all times and excel at both at all times, but I think now that I have a year under my belt it’s going to be a lot easier for sure,” he said.
So a summer schedule of making bucks to help parents Todd and Libby and regular trips to the beach is how he plans on spending his break from the gymnasium.