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updated: 3/23/2013 7:45 PM

Lakes' Solbrig makes sweet music on court, in classroom

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  • Senior Mason Solbrig has been a key contributor and team leader for Lakes the past two seasons.

       Senior Mason Solbrig has been a key contributor and team leader for Lakes the past two seasons.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent

If Mason Solbrig's long-range plans work out, he might be too busy to chat.

That's because those cardiologists are busy.

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Now he can find to talk since he's "only" playing the trumpet and playing some volleyball for his Lakes team.

He's a pretty fair trumpet player, but his considerable volleyball skills are also getting noticed. Next year, the three-year varsity player will help Dominican University in River Forest inaugurate its first men's volleyball squad.

At 6-feet-6, the middle blocker will give that new program a strong player around which to build.

"Mason has been an impact offensive player for us for the last two seasons," said Lakes coach Wayne Schultz. "He has worked hard on improving his entire game and has become a very good defensive player. Mason is now an all-around great player."

Of course his own coach would be proud of him. But how about a coach from rival Antioch? What does Jamie Atkinson think of Lakes' middle blocker?

"Mason is a presence on the court," Atkinson said. "Beyond his talent, the court changes when he is in the game. Over the years he has gotten stronger and quicker."

With his great height comes the question: Why no basketball?

"I used to play basketball," Solbrig said. "But my dad was playing 6-on-6 beach volleyball. So I started going to volleyball camps in fourth or fifth grade. I was always the tallest kid in my class beginning in the second grade."

And in fourth grade, he picked up the trumpet.

"I've always enjoyed that," Solbrig said. "Some of my closest friends are in the band. I like how the high notes of the trumpet are always heard."

Solbrig is looking forward to this volleyball season because he believes his final Lakes squad will be the strongest.

Teammate Alex VerHagen is glad Solbrig is back.

"He is a leader who helps keep the team's energy level high and ready to go on every point," VerHagen said. "Along with that, his knowledge of the game is impeccable and stands out from the rest."

Solbrig is ready to lead the Eagles this spring.

"We have a lot of returning players," Solbrig said. "They are driven players. It should be our best season."

Solbrig has two brothers, Dalton and Brodie. Dalton has joined Mason on the volleyball squad.

When not pounding the volleyball on the court, Solbrig is doing the work in the classroom.

"I'm a couple of B-pluses shy of straight A's," he said.

And he's not taking volleyball for credit. His five AP courses include chemistry, literature, government, calculus and German.

Before deciding to play volleyball at Dominican, Solbrig studied the school's course list.

"I'd like to study biochemistry and pre-med," he said. "And I'm thinking of going into cardiology."

And before that plan comes to fruition, he'll go back to the volleyball court.

"When we played Lakes last year, we had to make changes to our lineup to try and slow him down," Atkinson said.

Schultz knows he has a special player this spring.

"He is a leader for us on and off the court," Schultz said. "Mason's game has steadily gotten better, and I believe he is now one of the top players in the area. He is also a very competitive player and wants our program to succeed at all times."

And this versatile student-athlete is appreciated at Lakes.

"He is always aware of what to do on any given situation," VerHagen said. "I appreciate having a player like him as a teammate."

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