January 10, 2020 – By NJP
Wayne Valley Senior Anthony DePalma has an awesome problem? You see Anthony is an outstanding outside hitter for the Indians. But he is also an All-State wide receiver on a State Champion football team. Do I play Volleyball or Football in College is the question that needs to be resolved. But most NJ High School athletes would dream to be in that position.
When you spend some time with Anthony you see a very mature young man who obviously spends a chunk of time in the weight room. His intensity on the court can be overshadowed by his big smile and warm personality. Last season, Anthony had 244 kills and 46 aces, showing off the impact of his right arm. He is one of the most powerful hitters in NJ and it shows in the numbers. He was ranked 15th in NJ in kills and 10th in aces as a junior. His senior year will most likely see big increases in both categories. Anthony also had 159 digs for Wayne Valley.
The Indians had a great 2019 campaign. They finished 15-9, earned a Passaic County championship, and won both ends of their rivalry series with Wayne Hills. It was a good year. But 2020 expects to be even better. They return a load of starters from last season and have earned a preseason NJP rank of #9 in NJ. https://njpowerranking.com/wayne-valley-2020-psr/
The best is yet to come…
Here is our interview:
Tell us about yourself Anthony?
Class of 2020 at Wayne Valley High School. I live in Wayne. My two older brothers attended DePaul Catholic. Nick is 23 and wrestled Division 1 at Bloomsburg University and is now graduated. Vinny is 20 and plays Division 1 football at Boston College.
Who is your support group?
My biggest supporters are my Mom, Dad and my older two brothers. My boys always support me a lot in all the sports I play but in volleyball me and Justin Novoa are very tight when it comes to that.
When did you start playing volleyball?
I’ve played volleyball since freshman year.
What inspired you to take up volleyball initially?
I played lacrosse up until freshman year and I was not that interested anymore. My dad told me that Wayne Valley had a good volleyball team and thought I should give it a shot.
How will your high school team do in the upcoming season? Do you have a lot of returning players? What will be the key to success?
I believe our high school team can be very good this year. We have been upset in the first round of states 2 years in a row now on our home court and we aren’t okay with that. We return everybody from last year except our Libero and a DS. Two positions where if we can replace them we will be very successful. Experience will be our key to success. We have quite a few kids that started last year and some kids that have even started since their sophomore years. We will be very senior heavy.
Tell us about your school?
Wayne Valley is a big school that welcomes many different kids and I feel that everyone in the school has a very close bond through all the different programs and sports we provide.
Tell us about your high school coach?
Our coach is Jason Carcich. He definitely has history of being a very successful coach. He was just selected as NorthJersey.com’s boys volleyball coach of the decade. He is very experienced and helps us a lot. He wants to see us succeed this year in many different ways.
What does your high school team do that is different than the other teams out there to prepare you for the season?
Our high school team doesn’t have many players that consider volleyball as their only sport. Five kids on our team were starters on this years state championship football team. This trains us to be very good athletes all around which helps on the volleyball court when the season comes around.
NJP considers you as one of the top players in the state. Do you plan on playing in College? If so, which ones are you looking at?
I do plan on playing in college but I am also getting recruited for football. I am currently looking at Misericordia, Endicott and Kean in volleyball. For football I have been recruited by Pace (D2) LIU Post (D1AA) Shippensburg (D2) and many D3 schools.
Which player last season was the toughest competitor that you faced and why?
Our toughest competition last year was probably Alex Work from Fair Lawn. He dug nearly every ball that came to him and his float serve is more than effective.
Which schools are your biggest rivals?
Wayne Hills is our biggest rival in any sport. You name the sport; we want to beat hills in it. In volleyball we have had competitive friendly rivalries Passaic and Fair Lawn.
What is your favorite volleyball story?
My favorite volleyball story is winning the county championship over Passaic in front of a huge crowd at Clifton High School after losing to them in the regular season.
What do you do during the offseason to stay in shape and prepare for next year?
I play club volleyball for Sideout Sports (SOS). I also lift in the off season too which helps a lot. I attend local college games at Kean and Ramapo. I plan on going to NJIT games this year too.
What is your favorite part of the NJP website?
My favorite part of the NJP website is the commitment section where you can see where athletes across the state will continue their education and volleyball careers. I wouldn’t have known a lot of these commitments if it weren’t for NJP. The player ranking system is cool too.
Who is your favorite college or pro volleyball player and why?
My favorite college/pro volleyball player is Micah Ma’a. I love watching really good setters even though I’m an outside.
What else would you like us to know about you?
I was 3rd team All State NJ.com , 1st team All Group 4 and 1st team All Conference in football. In indoor track I am an All County athlete and plan/hope to win more County championships in different events this year. My ultimate goal is to go to the “Meet of Champions”.
Who is your favorite teammate and why?
I love all my teammates!