Skyler Varga’s exploits in volleyball have taken him across Canada and to different parts of the world. His summer’s stint with Team Canada at the Summer Games was one of the contributors to the Sask men's volleyball gold medal finish. Now, the Muenster product has been recognized as the top male athlete at the Canada Summer Games. Varga was announced the recipient of the coveted Roland Michener Award for the 2022 Canada Summer Games. The female recipient for the year was Nova Scotia kayak athlete Ava Carew.
Varga was nominated for the award by Team Sask’s head coach Joel Dyck, who also had the pleasure of giving Skyler the good news about his win.
“I had no idea that I was nominated for the award,” confessed Varga. “Just having Joel Dyck nominate me was such a great thing to do for me. It’s a prestigious award, so I’m super happy that he nominated me and happy that I won the award.”
It was only after reading the congratulatory email Coach Dyck sent that Varga truly understood the nature of the award - that he had been given the nod as the top male athlete at the games. Not only did it place him atop the volleyball participants, but at the pinnacle of achievement for athletes in all disciplines.
“After figuring out what it was all about, it just blew me away. Being the recipient of the award is pretty crazy.”
While Varga is grateful for the support of his coach and teammates, he confesses that the strongest influences leading to his achievements were his parents and his family. Varga’s siblings have gone on to volleyball acclaim in their own right.
“With my older siblings, it came from learning from them and going to their practices and picking everything up. With my brother Lyndon, who’s seven years older than me, I’d put on some shoes and he and my dad and I would play the team. Being involved in that kind of environment was really beneficial to my development.”
Through their association with high school and club volleyball in Muenster, Skyler’s parents have given rise to many accomplished players and instilled a love of the sport in each one. In Skyler’s case, it has led to his heading stateside to take up a spot in the roster with an NCAA Tier 1 team at California State University, Long Beach. This follows his tenure with the U of S Huskies.
“I talked to the Canadian national team coach who thought that the NCAA would be a good option. So he got me in touch with Long Beach State coach Alan Knight, and we got on a call. It all happened super late in the season, in August. You don’t usually hear of people signing to NCAA school that late, so it was a lucky process that I reached out just in time before they stopped accepting people.”
Varga was actually playing in the Gold Medal match at the Niagara Games on the same day as his new term started in Long Beach. Following a flurry of preparations and a hasty departure, Varga took up his new residence in California.
“I left home Tuesday night, got into Long Beach at about 1:00 am and was in classes by 8:00 that morning.”
Varga’s reputation and performance certainly served as strong motivators to bring in the Saskatchewan sophomore. Varga quickly joined training and gelled with his new squad. The volleyball phenom from Muenster continues to make waves in Canadian national circles - now he’ll pit himself against the best that college sport south of the border has to offer.