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Our Story

Founded in 2002

High Flyers Volleyball Club was born out of a vision shared by Nancy and Greg MacLean, who were determined to create an organization that fostered excellence in volleyball and provided exceptional opportunities for young athletes. The club initially focused on both boys and girls, with a particular emphasis on the girls' side in its early years. The MacLeans wanted to ensure their children, Jack and Madi, along with other local youth, had access to top-tier volleyball training and competition, but under a structure focused on value for the families, not the benefit of the Club alone.

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In its formative years, High Flyers quickly rose to prominence as a premier club for girls' volleyball. At a time when club volleyball was just starting to gain traction, and before the major consolidation of clubs on the girls' side, High Flyers stood out by producing as many as 20 girls' teams in a single season. This period marked an era of significant growth and development for both the sport and our club.

Rising to Prominence: The Early Success of High Flyers

High Flyers played a crucial role in the athletic journeys of dozens of young women, many of whom went on to earn college scholarships and compete at the collegiate level. These achievements not only highlighted the talent within our club but also reinforced our reputation as a nurturing ground for aspiring volleyball players.

The legacy of our early success with girls' volleyball laid a strong foundation for the club's future endeavors. It exemplified our ability to foster talent, create opportunities, and achieve excellence—values that continue to drive High Flyers as we expand our impact and reach new heights in boys' volleyball today.

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Trailblazing in Boys' Volleyball

In 2007, as their son Jack grew older and showed a strong interest in volleyball, Nancy and Greg began to shift their focus towards boys' volleyball. This pivot accelerated the High Flyers' trailblazing efforts in the sport. The club's first boys' team started competing in national qualifiers, becoming the sole representative from Nebraska at these prestigious tournaments. The team quickly made a name for itself, achieving top 10 finishes at major qualifying events.

In 2008, the High Flyers 14U team finished 2nd at the AAU National Championships in Orlando Florida with only six players on the roster. Then, in 2009, the High Flyers 15U team (also with only six players on the roster) made history by securing the first “OPEN Bid” to the USAV Boys’ Junior National Championships for a boys' team from Nebraska. With very limited opportunities to train and compete, and limited numbers, this achievement was not only a testament to the dedication and skill of the players and coaches but also to the club's tenacious commitment to goals that to some would seem inaccessible to a club under these circumstances. The team continued to excel, and in 2012, they were ranked first in the nation and finished 5th overall at the USAV Boys’ National Championships during Jack’s senior season.

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Three members of that standout 2012 team went on to continue their volleyball careers at the collegiate level, demonstrating the long-term impact of their training and commitment at High Flyers. Two of these athletes earned spots on NCAA Division I/II teams, further showcasing their exceptional talent and dedication. The third member of the team pursued opportunities at the Division III level and also competed overseas, broadening their athletic and cultural experiences.

These accomplishments underscore the success of High Flyers in preparing athletes for higher levels of competition and highlight the club's role in fostering both athletic and personal growth. The legacy of this team's achievements continues to inspire future generations of High Flyers athletes, embodying the club's ethos of perseverance, excellence, and unwavering commitment to reaching seemingly unattainable goals.

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5th Place Finish at USAV Junior National Championships
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First High Flyer and boy from Nebraska to earn USAV All-Tournament Honors (Jack Maclean, #13)

A New Focus 

After Jack's graduation, Nancy and Greg decided to concentrate their efforts entirely on boys' volleyball. They recognized a unique opportunity to fill a void in the state, as the market for girls' volleyball was already saturated and perhaps over-served. Their dedication to providing opportunities for boys to play volleyball at a high level became the club's primary mission.

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Since securing their first bid to the USAV Junior National Championships in 2008, High Flyers has sent a team to this prestigious event nearly every year. Except for one year, the club has maintained a consistent presence at the National Qualifier and Championship levels, demonstrating their ongoing commitment to excellence and their significant impact on boys' volleyball in Nebraska. The Macleans’ unwavering dedication and vision have established High Flyers as a beacon of opportunity and success for young male athletes in the region.

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Consistent Excellent

Since 2019, High Flyers has experienced significant growth. The club has consistently fielded more teams across various age groups, reaching a new record of five teams in a single season.  No other clubs in the state have come close to this. This expansion has allowed High Flyers to extend its reach, offering more young athletes the opportunity to engage in high-level volleyball training and competition.

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This growth has been bolstered by the return of High Flyers alumni, who, after competing at the collegiate level, have come back to support the club that gave them so much in volleyball and in life. These former players, now coaches and mentors, are dedicated to giving back to their community and training the next generation of boys from their home state. Their firsthand experience and deep understanding of the sport provide invaluable guidance and inspiration to current athletes. The alumni's return has strengthened the club's coaching staff and enriched the overall experience for all members, fostering a sense of continuity and community within High Flyers.

Producing Collegiate Athletes

From 2004, when the first boys' team was formed under High Flyers, to 2012, the club sent 5 athletes to compete at the collegiate level. This was a remarkable accomplishment, which established the High Flyers as the leading provider of collegiate-level volleyball players among boys in Nebraska. From 2012 to 2018, High Flyers successfully helped 8 more athletes to college playing opportunities. Compared to a standard club offering this same service to young girls, these figures may seem small.  However, when considering the numerous barriers and national statistics this feat is nothing short of spectacular. 

 

National statistics indicate that about 7% or less of high school athletes go on to play a varsity sport in college, and less than 2% play at the NCAA Division I level. Looking at those same statistics for boys’ continuing in volleyball, it becomes even more abysmal: around 4.6% go on to play in college, and less than 1% at the DI level. In 20+ years of producing boys volleyball athletes, over 30% of graduating High Flyers seniors have gone on to play collegiately.  More incredibly, 100% of the athletes who had the desire to, were able to find programs to join. 

 

The High Flyers system for recruitment, training, mentoring, and above all instilling a love and passion for the game in their athletes, propelling them to the next level is unquestionably effective and undeniably impressive.

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Achieving New Milestones

High Flyers has continued to break barriers and achieve new milestones. From 2018 to the present, the club has:

  • Over 22 additional college scholarships have been awarded to High Flyer graduating athletes, enabling them to continue their education and earn scholarships as they pursue volleyball at the collegiate level.

  • Had the first boy from Nebraska selected to the AVCA Prep Players to Watch List.

  • Achieved a 1st place finish at the 2021 Winter Volleyball Championships Boys National Qualifier, making High Flyers the first boys' team from Nebraska to win a USAV National Qualifying (Bid) Tournament.

  • Secured a 2nd place finish at the 2022 Winter Volleyball Championships Boys National Qualifier.

  • Had first athlete from Nebraska to be selected for the USAV National Team Development Program.

  • Qualified two teams for the USAV Beach National Championships.

  • Won 1st place at the 2022 USAV Boys Junior National Championships, becoming the first boys' team from Nebraska to win a national title.

  • Received four All-Tournament Selections at the USAV Junior National Championships, including the MVP award, a first for a boy from Nebraska.

  • Had the first boys' volleyball player from Nebraska selected to the AVCA Fab 50 List (Class of 2024).

  • Achieved a 1st place finish at the USAV Mountain Classic Qualifying Tournament, marking the club's second first-place finish at a major USAV qualifying event.

  • Had a second player selected for the USAV National Team Development Program.

  • Qualified two teams for the 2024 USAV BJNC

  • Secured a 3rd place bronze finish at the 2024 USAV Boys Junior National Championships.

  • Now boasts seven All-Tournament Selections at the USAV Junior National Championships and one Tournament MVP Selection.

  • Became the first club from Nebraska to send more than one team to the National Tournament, with three teams (14s, 15s, and 18s) participating in 2024. The 15s team finished 3rd and had two All-Tournament selections.

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Looking Ahead: The Future of High Flyers

As we reflect on our journey from a passionate start in 2002 to achieving new milestones and unparalleled success, it is evident that High Flyers has become a beacon of excellence in boys' volleyball. Our story is one of dedication, resilience, and unwavering commitment to providing opportunities for young athletes to thrive both on and off the court.

Our past achievements serve as a solid foundation upon which we are building an even brighter future. We are committed to expanding our reach, enhancing our programs, and breaking new ground in youth sports. With a steadfast focus on inclusivity and accessibility, we aim to eliminate financial barriers and ensure that every aspiring athlete has the chance to soar.

High Flyers is more than a volleyball club; it is a community where dreams take flight, an

d lifelong friendships are forged. As we continue to grow and evolve, our mission remains clear: to foster a love for the game, cultivate talent, and empower the next generation of athletes to achieve greatness.

We invite you to join us on this exciting journey, as we set our sights on new horizons and continue to elevate the sport of volleyball in Nebraska and beyond. Together, we will reach new heights and create a legacy of excellence that will inspire future generations.

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