TWIN FALLS — The opportunity to play volleyball for a defending NJCAA national champion would be enticing for anyone. The chance to play volleyball just a few minutes from home weighs heavily into that decision, too.
Luckily, for Canyon Ridge High School senior Brooklyn Weston, she can do both.
On Friday, Weston signed with the College of Southern Idaho’s volleyball program, The opportunity to play at the high level offered by the Golden Eagles, while doing so in a location that allows for family and friends to see her play often, ended up being a no-brainer.
“They are an amazing program,” Weston said. “They’ve won national championships. Also, location [factored in]. I live here, I can still be involved in my family’s lives.”
Along the benefits that come from heading to CSI and playing close to home, the family ties involved in the situation go a bit deeper than just that.
Weston’s mother played for CSI and won a national championship with the Golden Eagles, providing yet another reason for her daughter to pursue a future in volleyball at the school.
There were a few opportunities outside the state of Idaho, Weston said, but they didn’t stand out to her as much as one in particular.
“As soon as I heard CSI, I kinda just went for it,” Weston said.
In joining the Golden Eagles, Weston will be attempting to compete on a team that just locked down its 12th national title. The third-team all-Great Basin Conference honoree is looking forward to see what awaits her in terms of competition.
Weston said it’s exciting to be put in those circumstances, challenge herself and see what she can accomplish there. Canyon Ridge head volleyball coach Heather Webb believes Weston has the tools to excel at the next level.
“She’s a great athlete,” Webb said. “She was a great role model for our younger kids and I think she’s going to do great things for CSI.”
Weston said she plans on studying to go into the dental hygiene field after her two years at CSI.
While Golden Eagles head coach Jim Cartisser said the goal is to get the best out of Weston while she’s at CSI and move her on, the player herself hasn’t quite decided how she’ll approach the decision that will come two years down the road. She’d certainly like to continue to play volleyball, but nothing is set in stone yet.
“It really depends on life,” Weston said. “If I could, I’d really like to move on to a bigger school.”
Webb noted that what set Weston apart during her time at Canyon Ridge was a high degree of coachability and work ethic, things that can rub off on her teammates and benefit the program down the road, which Webb is looking forward to, considering Weston is the first signing from the program since the coach took over.
On the flip-side, Weston is grateful for the opportunities provided to her during her time as a Riverhawk, and believes that playing volleyball at Canyon Ridge has played a big role in helping her become a Golden Eagle.
“I came in not really knowing what volleyball really was,” Weston said. “They just helped build me into the player I am and helped build a love for the sport that has gotten me to where I am today.”