Coaldale’s Petker Joins the Kodiaks Men’s Volleyball Program

Karl Petker has committed to Head Coach Greg Gibos and the Lethbridge College Men’s Volleyball program for the 2023-24 season. (Photos submitted to Lethbridge College Athletics)

From Lethbridge College Athletics

LETHBRIDGE — Lethbridge College Kodiaks men’s volleyball head coach Greg Gibos has crossed another big name off his holiday recruiting wish list, announcing the signing of local product Karl Petker.

A 6-foot-6 middle blocker from Coaldale, Alta., Petker was a member of the highly successful Kate Andrews Pride high school program, which went 50-5 this fall. He was named a SAHSVL first-team all-star while helping the Pride claim silver medals in both the Southern Alberta High School Volleyball League (SAHSVL) and at 2A provincials.

Petker is also a product of Lethbridge Volleyball club (LVC) and will be suiting up for the LVC Junior Kodiaks in the upcoming U18 club season.

Gibos describes Petker as a high-flying, hard-hitting middle blocker who dominated in his senior season.

“I’m so excited that Karl has decided to join us here in Lethbridge. I think he’s one of the hidden gems in the 2023 recruiting class,” says Gibos. “I have Karl as one of the top five middle blockers in the province and I know he is going to turn some heads as a post-secondary athlete.”

After watching him throughout the recruiting process, Gibos identified Petker as an intelligent athlete who already closes blocks at a post-secondary level.

“He’s a physical force at the net, as he has a measured spike approach touch upwards of 11-foot-5. I think he has some unmatched potential when it comes to volleyball and excelling at the post-secondary level,” said Gibos.

His new head coach is also impressed by Petker’s attributes off the court.

“Karl is someone who I know is dedicated in the weight room and who thrives in a team environment,” Gibos added. “Watching Karl be part of the group that transformed Kate Andrews volleyball was incredible. You can tell he truly loves his teammates.”

When speaking about his time at Kate Andrews, Petker was excited to give the school and his teammates credit for helping him become a post-secondary athlete.

“Playing volleyball [at Kate Andrews] with the same group of guys since the beginning has been an honour, and I would not be the player I am today without them,” says Petker. “From being a first-team league all-star this year to competing on one of the best Kate Andrews volleyball teams of all time, these accomplishments would not have been possible without incredible teammates and great coaches along the way.”

Petker also acknowledged the many supporters who helped him achieve his goal of playing post-secondary sports.

“I am very thankful for the influence my parents have had on my life, as well as past volleyball coaches. Specifically, I want to thank Clayton Ressler for having a huge impact on my game and showing me how to be a well-rounded athlete.”

Petker is excited for the opportunity to stay close to home and play in front of friends and family.

“The Kodiaks men’s volleyball team has done such a great job of building culture and community, and that is something I want to be part of. Being able to look in the crowd and see my parents and other club athletes in the crowd is something I truly want to experience and enhance during my time here. It is a dream come true to represent this program and continue to inspire the next generation of volleyball players in southern Alberta.”

Petker will enroll in Lethbridge College’s General Arts and Science program. He plans to take courses that will help him towards a Bachelor of Kinesiology as his end goal is to become a physiotherapist.

The Kodiaks currently enter the semester break with an 8-3 record, tied for first place in the ACAC south division. They will kick off winter semester action at home on Jan. 7 against the SAIT Trojans.

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