January 23, 2020 – By NJP
Freddy Gamarra exudes passion. About his family, his academics, his school, his Coaches, and about Volleyball. But the passion he has about “his future” is also commendable as evidenced by this interview.
Hackensack will bring a new look this season after losing 7 seniors including their top 2 hitters and setters. Statistically, NJP expects a downturn from their 14-10 2019 season. But what statistics don’t reflect is a new dynamic that can position the Comets to compete with most NJ high school squads. This season, they will bring 6 players on their roster at 6’3″ or taller. If their back row passing and defense can come together with new personnel, they can certainly surpass the pre-season rank of #68.
Gamarra had a solid junior campaign for the Comets. He recorded 87 kills and 21 blocks. We expect those numbers to jump dramatically as the 4 year starter moves into his senior year as a leader.
Freddy will be striving this season to go beyond the stats and bring his teammates together as one unit with a focused goal. When this happens, the Comets will be tough to beat.
Here is our interview with Freddy…
Tell us a bit about yourself? (What school do you attend, what town do you live? What year are you graduating?, family?, etc…)
My name is Freddy Gamarra II. I attend Hackensack High School and I’m part of the class of 2020. I currently live with my Mom in Hackensack.
How long have you played volleyball?
I’ve played volleyball since my freshman year of High School. I am about to complete 4 years of playing.
What inspired you to take up volleyball initially?
Genuinely my inspiration to take up volleyball came from my captain during my freshman year, Nicholas Esposito. His passion and love for the game brought a whole new perspective and work ethic for me. The way he would talk about the game and the hustle he had on the court inspired me to bring a new legacy to Hackensack Volleyball.
What are your metrics/details? Height, vertical, position, club team, etc…
6’4, 76 inch wing-span, 210 lbs., 24 inch standing vertical, 28 inch approach and I play for the North Jersey Volleyball Club.
Who is your support group?
My one and only SUPPORT person is definitely my Mom. Although she does not make it to all my games, she most definitely supports by making sure I eat the proper food. Before I had my licence, she was the key to all my transportation to games and practice. She is a big support.
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?
In the 2020 high school volleyball season, I know Hackensack Volleyball will be successful in league and county action. We have two returning players to our lineup and the height added to our team cannot go unnoticed with returning junior Beco Kioenovic (6’6) , returning senior Freddy Gamarra II (6’4) alongside Horacio Honoret (6’4), Sam Lugo (6’3) , Jalen Allen (6’3), and Joseph Torres (6’5). One major key to our success this year will definitely be passing and defense in which we will rely on our junior libero Jerry Chabley. One of my most important goals this year will be the establishment of a brotherhood in Hackensack. Of course, Hackensack has been successful throughout the years. But, I feel like one piece that has been missing is the sense of companionship where we cheer and celebrate all as one family. More like a college volleyball team.
Tell us about your school?
Hackensack is a school with a very diverse population. Our slogan is “strength in diversity”. And that is something that is very apparent in everything we do. Our school is far more than just sports like basketball, football and volleyball. Our school is made up of achievers and students striving to succeed. This diversity brings furthered strength in our school.
Tell us about your high school coach? Club Coach?
I am coached by two very iconic people here in Hackensack. Coach Beebe holds the school record for the most kills in a season (600). Coach Beebe has always tried to positively influence me and lead by example. I’ve bet him 3 years in a row that I want to break his record. This year I am up for the challenge. Coach Bollerman, our head coach, has an amazing legacy that cannot be understated. The gym and many parts of our school are named after his father Howard H. Bollerman. Coach Bollerman is a very “old school” coach. He is a strong believer that becoming a responsible young adult is a priority alongside our academic success followed by our volleyball achievements. My freshman year, Coach Bollerman and my emotions did not get along very well. I realized that his firm personality and style of coaching has been fundamental for my volleyball success. He is a coach that really pushes us to succeed and that is perfect for a thriving player.
Which player last season was the toughest competitor that you faced and why?
Last season was filled with dynamic competitors. George Gonzales from Eastside and Dylan Anderson from Bergen Catholic were great. But the toughest competitor is definitely Mark Berry from Fair Lawn. He is really an offensive juggernaut and the match-up against him and Fair Lawn will be very exciting this season.
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?)
Playing at the next level is my goal. I currently hold one offer from Missouri Baptist University and have been in contact with Division III schools like Pratt, Colby-Sawyer, NJCU, and others. I have interest in Rutgers-Newark, Kean, and Ramapo College.
Which schools are your biggest rivals?
The Hackensack vs. Teaneck rivalry is very famous in North Jersey and Bergen County. It’s one match-up I am really looking forward to. We have a new team now and are ready to face off against Teaneck. Fair Lawn is also a big rival for Hackensack Volleyball. The County championship streak is a spark and motivation to get a win over the Cutters. Don Bosco is also a rival due to their Head Coach Harris Brkovic being a former teacher of most of our roster and Hackensack Volleyball alumni.
What do you do during the offseason to stay in shape and prepare for next year?
Preparing for the next season is always a priority in my mind. My days start at roughly 5 AM with a workout in our Hackensack High School gym with the freshman Volleyball Coach Lynrick Rhymer. We have workouts Monday- Friday. I want to give a big shout out to Coach Rhymer for his contribution to getting players in shape!
What is your favorite part of the NJP website?
The NJP site is amazing. I feel like the interviews are good for the exposure of high school volleyball players in New Jersey and getting new perspective of NJ athletes.
Is there a teacher or coach who really helped you along the way?
Coach Eddy Hodge. Prior to playing volleyball for Hackensack, I played basketball for the comets and Coach Hodge really showed me what it is to be a stud and a hard worker. We won the Freshman Basketball Championship and ever since then I have always considered myself as a competitor and a hard worker. The lessons I learned from that team have guided me for various aspects of life including volleyball.
What else would you like us to know about you?
I have aspirations of being a future educator and coach for Hackensack. Wherever I go, I want to come back to my home town.
Freddy’s Highlight reel link thru Hudl: