COLORADO SPRINGS — To put it simply, Caleb Stockton just loves to compete. It doesn't matter what kind of playing venue he's on, if there is competition involved he wants to be in the middle of it.
And he's usually one of the athletes that stands out when competing.
Stockton has been competing on behalf of Colorado Springs Christian School since he walked in the door. Even with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he took every chance he was given to suit up with his school mates and head to battle. This year provided a bit of a different twist as boys volleyball became a sanctioned sport for the first time in the state's history.
The Lions had enough kids to fill out a team so they became a part of the inaugural season. Naturally, Stockton signed right up and he's looked solid for the team this year.
"This is only my second year (of playing organized volleyball)," Stockton said. "I love the opportunity to play anything, but especially with volleyball right now."
For any new program at any school, getting traction can be difficult at times. But the Lions (10-2 overall, 7-1 Pikes Peak League) saw a lot of enthusiasm for the boys volleyball team. That alone was big, but seeing one of the best athletes in the school, a kid who was all-state honorable mention in boys basketball, join the squad was a huge emotional boost for the team and for the school.
"It's huge," CSCS coach Brent Windebank said. "A lot of the kids in the school look up to him and it helps build a program as well as bring a lot of energy around the team. He's an all-around athletic and plays multiple sports here."
This year alone, Stockton played golf, football and basketball. CSCS boys soccer coach and athletic director Jason Rollins was quick to point out that he could've become a rare five-sport athlete had he decided to go out for soccer in Season C.
But at his core, Stockton appreciates the work and effort that goes into earning a spot on the field. There were players that had been working to earn a spot on the Lions' soccer team all year. There was little doubt in Rollins' mind that he could've found a spot for Stockton on the field, but the senior didn't feel right about potentially costing a deserving player either a roster spot or playing time.
He opted to rest up for the volleyball season. And it turned out to be a good choice. The Lions lost their season opener to James Irwin but have won 10 of their 11 games since.
Stockton has been an offensive force as he leads the team with 90 kills and 17 service aces.
One can't look at those numbers and not think that his multi-spot background has helped him become the player he is in just his second year of organized competition.
"It's different for every sport," Stockton said. "I would say athleticism helps for all sports, but here on the volleyball court, jumping and quickness in getting to the ball. For my serves, jumping and hitting the ball at its highest point is what gets the best result, so that's what I try to do."
It's paid off so far and if the Lions can continue the success they've had this season, they should be a tough team to face come regionals.