Village News Reporter
Bonsall High School has added boys volleyball as a CIF sport.
The Legionnaires will follow road matches March 20 at Mountain Empire and March 23 at Gompers with their home opener March 27 against Chula Vista Learning Community Charter. Jesse Stock is Bonsall’s first volleyball head coach.
“I’m just excited for the season,” Stock said.
Practice began in February, and 13 boys are on this year’s team. “It’s a great group of boys,” Stock said. “They’re great to work with.”
Only a couple of those boys have any previous organized volleyball experience. “Most of them are fresh or new. Almost all of them are freshmen or sophomores,” Stock said.
This will not be Stock’s first experience with a new team. Valley Center High School opened in 1998, and prior to that Valley Center students of high school age attended Orange Glen High School. Stock was an Orange Glen student as a freshman, although he did not play volleyball for the Patriots. He was in the first group of students to attend Valley Center High School and was on the Jaguars’ junior varsity volleyball team as a sophomore.
When diving into the ocean, Stock broke his neck, and his recovery along with the lack of medical clearance ended his high school volleyball career but not his involvement in the sport. “I’ve always played volleyball throughout the years,” he said.
In February 2022, Stock became a bus driver for the Bonsall Unified School District. He had previously driven a bus for the Valley Center Pauma Unified School District. During his eight years with the Valley Center district, he returned to high school volleyball as a coach. “They had a need for a coach for the JV,” Stock said.
“My experience really is on a JV level,” Stock said. “Varsity for the first time for me is a big deal.”
Coaches at new high schools with no seniors have referred to their first-year program as a glorified junior varsity team, and the first year Bonsall players may require basic instruction, often more prevalent at the junior varsity level.
Stock has the support of Bonsall parents, which for more established programs can be an issue for a varsity team. “The level they require is much more,” he said. “JV is more forgiving.”
Stock has a daughter who attends elementary school in Oceanside, so the Bonsall area was about midway between his daughter and his Valley Center job. “I wanted to move to this area,” he said.
He moved to Bonsall four years ago and eventually obtained the Bonsall district position. Stock informed Bonsall High School athletic director Andrea Breuninger of his volleyball coaching experience and expressed interest if Bonsall added boys volleyball.
Breuninger took advantage of Stock’s interest as well as the interest of enough Bonsall High School boys to have a volleyball team. “Andrea said after talking with me that she really wanted me to coach,” Stock said.
Athletics and bus transportation for students are both after school hours, but the school district worked with Stock to allow him to be Bonsall’s volleyball coach. “The school made it happen,” he said.