Video Spotlight - Jarrod Offereins

LANGLEY British Columbia - There’s no doubting that Trinity Western libero Jarrod Offereins is a good player.

In fact, amongst Canada West liberos, the 6-foot-4, Calgary, Alta. native is third in the conference with an impressive 3.12 digs per set and is making a vaild case this season for being amongst the very best in the country at his position.

“Jarrod is an amazing serve receive player,” said Spartans coach Ben Josephson. “His touch on the ball has gotten better and better each year and he’s the quarterback of our defence and the quarterback of our serve receive. We believe so heavily in scoring points off of our attack that he becomes a really vital part of the way we try to score, even though he’s not a scoring player.”

But the thing about Offereins is as good of a player as he is, it’s his personality, both on and off the court, which has the greatest impact on the Spartans.

While Offereins certainly takes his sport of choice seriously – one would have to in order to play at the level he plays – volleyball is by no means his end all and be all. On the court, he’s loose and keeps the guys light and off the court he’s pretty much the exact same guy.

“Volleyball for me, at this point, is a good way to connect with people,” said Offereins, who is studying communications and would love to become a sports writer after graduating. “I still love it and I love competing but Trinity has brought a different aspect to it. It’s become a lot more relationally grounded and I have had a good time meeting people that way and connecting with the team. Volleyball is more of a means to an end to connect with people and sharing something I love and I have been blessed to be good at.”

And that attitude is what has kept him enjoying the game and kept his team enjoying him being around just as much. See the Twitter account @whatjarrod for a reference point.

Between setter Ben Ball, essentially the quarterback of the Spartans offence, and himself, the tandem has created a fun-loving and consistent culture that has permeated throughout the rest of the team. When players are down, it’s Offereins and Ball who pick them up and when they are up, it’s Offereins and Ball who keep encouraging them.

“They’re always happy,” Josehpson said. “They’re always pleasant. They’re always fired up. But there also a very calming influence. The two of them are the bass line of our emotion.

“The mentality to play those positions (libero and setter), you have to be such a support and servant for your teammates. Jarrod is the epitome of what a servant libero type of player is and everyone feels better about themselves when he’s on the court.”

Offereins added: “I think my role is to keep the guys light. Ben and I like to have fun and joke around. I think I can bring a light and fun mood to practices and games. I want to keep them focused but allow them to have fun and enjoy the sport.”

And for Jarrod that attitude is largely derived from his faith, something that has flourished since coming to Trinity Western. Over the past four years Offereins’ faith in Jesus Christ has deepened in ways he didn’t even imagine. While he went to Calgary Christian School and grew up in a Christian home, when he arrived in Langley, things changed for him.

Playing volleyball with Calgary Christian – where he very much looked up to one-year-older former Spartan and Calgary Christian volleyball icon Paul Lindemulder – “I was always trying to be like him,” Offereins said – and the Elite West Bam volleyball club, Offereins’ life was volleyball.

From when he started with the Cal-Air volleyball club playing up a year with the 14 and under team, alongside Lindemulder, and winning the Western Canadian Championships, Offereins became volleyball-centric.

“Starting off with success like that helps to build your love for the sport,” Offereins said. “All I could think about was volleyball and from Grade 7 to Grade 12 that’s all I wanted to do. I can remember not falling asleep before tournaments. I was so excited.”

 But upon joining Trinity Western’s men’s volleyball program, as Offereins says, “God changed it.”

“I’m still excited but it’s just a different feel,” he said. “I think my heart changed through what God has done through me at Trinity Western. I got my priorities straight and realized that volleyball is a big part of my life but there are so many other things I can do with it.

“I don’t think I completely lived my faith throughout high school but Trinity Western has definitely challenged me and brought me to the point where I know that my purpose in life is to live for God and see his kingdom grow.”

While on the court, he’s been as dominant as ever this year – in one game earlier this season against UBC Okanagan, Offereins had 20 digs in only two sets, which broke the Spartans three-set record, which was previously held by former Spartans libero Andrew Hawkes, tied the four-set record and was only four shy of the overall record of 24, which Offereins also shares – he understands that there’s more to life than digging balls.

“Volleyball is something he loves to do but it’s not who he is or what he most cares about anymore and that’s a dream come true as a coach of this program,” Josephson said. “He is really kind, caring, loving, fun guy. Everybody loves Jarrod. He says some crazy things sometimes but he’s such an honest, genuinely nice guy.  He’s awesome to have on the team.”

But as Offereins returned to the floor Friday night after missing the Spartans weekend against Alberta due to injury, don’t think for a moment he’s not focused on winning and winning it all. It’s just that if it doesn’t happen, there’s a much bigger picture.

“We are working towards a championship. There’s no doubt,” Offereins said. “But it’s more to just be better men of God.”

Last Updated: 2012-02-20
Author: Mark Janzen