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Yavan Patel Gears Up to Lead Jefferson in Senior Season

By Josh Wilets, 03/17/23, 5:00PM EDT


After an impressive season for the Jefferson Falcons last spring, Falcon Nation has a lot to be excited for. 

After an impressive season for the Jefferson Falcons last spring, Falcon Nation has a lot to be excited for. Coach Thide will look to find replacements for Andrew DuHaime, Anthony Giampapa and Danny Pugliano. One player the Falcons can certainly lean on is senior outside-hitter Yavan Patel. We sat down with Yavan to get a look into what everyone can expect from Jefferson boys volleyball this spring.

Jefferson finished 17-5 last season (11-1 NJAC) and their season ended with a 0-2 defeat at the hands of the Fair Lawn Cutters in the North 1 Semifinals.

Yavan Patel has been playing volleyball since his freshman year, but has really taken off last season.

"I initially took up volleyball just for fun," Patel said, "A lot of my friends signed up and I also enjoyed it during gym class."

The impressive senior mostly can be seen as an outside-hitter, but sometimes as a middle. Yavan plays his club volleyball at Garden State Elite Volleyball Club and is a middle-hitter for that team.

"I play for 18 Premier at GSEVC and we are coached by Jordan Elam. My experience at club has been great and overall I have had a blast--I would not change a thing," Patel said.

Yavan stands 6'1" and owns a touch height of 10'7" and is one of the biggest threats on the Jefferson Falcons. "I play outside for Jefferson, it is just the coolest," Patel said.

The Jefferson Falcons have another talented group of seniors, as they did last season.

"Julian Lopez, Jeff Merkin, Ashton Karim and Justin Nwankwo will be returning this season, and will give us a solid chance at a states run," Yavan Patel said.

Discipline. That is the name of the game for the Jefferson Falcons this season.

Yavan added, "In addition to discipline, we will be looking for some of the younger players to step into the mix. Our sophomore setter, Jack Schild, is going to play a big role this season as our starting setter."

Other returning players for the Falcons consist of Joe Mijanovic, Kyle Keppler, Jacob Zujewski and Tyler Mohlenhoff.

Head Coach Jeremy Thide and Assistant Coach Geno Rose will be at the helm for the Falcons this season.

"Coach Thide and Coach Rose are great," the Falcon senior said, "I played my first few years with Coach Rose and he puts a lot into developing his players for the future. Coach Thide is awesome, as well. He helps us in all different kinds of ways and works with the team on all the little things that can make us a better team."

Yavan Patel has a strong support group, which includes his coaches, teammates and his family.

"My parents have been a big part of my volleyball journey. Constantly driving me to tournaments and watching me play," Yavan said.

If the Falcons are going to reach the promised land this season, Yavan Patel will look to lead on and off the court for Jefferson. It will be very interesting to see how the Falcons' lineup comes together over the next couple of weeks.