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News for the Carlsbad High School Community

The Lancer Link

News for the Carlsbad High School Community

The Lancer Link

News for the Carlsbad High School Community

The Lancer Link

Beauty is Payne

CHS junior represents Carlsbad at international volleyball competition
Courtesy of Roman Payne

Junior Roman Payne’s accomplishments in volleyball are nothing short of extraordinary. Payne is a dedicated player with a strong love for his sport. He is committed to the University of Hawaii and earned a place on the US Volleyball Team.

After gaining six years of expertise, Payne looks back on his volleyball career and discloses that his family played a big role in his initial exposure to the sport.

“I got into [volleyball] by my family, and I ended up finding a passion for it and pursuing it throughout high school,” Payne said.

Payne has viewed volleyball as an important part of his life and wants to keep going to get better. The experience he has had so far has motivated him to continue playing.

“My whole family grew up playing beach volleyball and indoor volleyball, and my brother and sister both play at a collegiate level, and I’m trying to follow in their footsteps,” Payne said. “So probably in my first or second year of playing volleyball, I realized I was pretty good and taller than everybody, so I decided to pursue it.”

Roman aims to play at a collegiate level and before picking Hawaii, he had explored a lot of other possibilities. At the University of Hawaii, he plans to major in business.

“I went on six official visits and two unofficial visits, so there were a lot of colleges interested in me,” Payne said. “But once I flew out to Hawaii, I just fell in love with the campus, the atmosphere and the fans, making it a super fun time when I was out there.”

Payne hopes to pursue a career in volleyball after college as well. He has spent so much of his life gaining skills and preparing to play at the collegiate level.

“I want to be one of the best middle blockers in college and hopefully go on to maybe the Olympics or maybe just play at a very high level,” Payne said. “Also [I’d like to] go pro and go play in Europe or overseas.”

Recently, Payne represented Carlsbad by competing with the USA team. Being invited to this team took a lot of preparation.

“Leading up to getting invited, I’ve been participating in the USA volleyball national team development program, which is camps located in Florida, Colorado Springs, and Anaheim,” Payne said. “They pick twenty athletes from those camps to participate in the U-19 national team and 12 of them will make it and travel to Puerto Rico.”

Making this team and being invited to play was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Not only did he get to go to Puerto Rico, but Payne had the opportunity to meet many other players and also receive a few extras.

“We get some pretty cool gear when making the team, but other than that, it’s a very good team bonding opportunity where I get to play with amazing athletes and an amazing group of guys,” Payne said. “It’s a great opportunity to meet new coaches, play against different countries, and see how they adapt to their playing style, possibly incorporating that into my playing style.”

Overall this experience of being a part of the USA team has many benefits you can experience in different countries. However, being an athlete also comes with struggles with balancing school.

“I try to work my hardest in school but right after I have practice every day so after practice I usually just grind out my homework and then repeat it every day,” Payne said.

School is very important to him and he tries his best to balance both while having fun with his friends and volleyball. Senior Parker Tomkinson plays on the CHS boy’s volleyball team with Payne, and they have been friends for about three years ever since their sisters played together.

“Roman as a teammate on the court brings a very loud and energetic vibe to him, and Roman off the court is the same thing but goofier,” Tomkinson said.

The mindset while playing a sport is crucially important and can help you to learn many important life lessons and skills as it did for Payne. Roman focuses greatly on his strategy during games and pays attention to his opponents which helps him in the long run.

“A life lesson I’ve learned from playing volleyball is not to be selfish, and also be a team player and to focus on your teammates rather than yourself making sure never to underestimate them,” Payne said.

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About the Contributor
Arianna Seltser
Arianna Seltser, Reporter
Arianna Seltser is a junior and it's her first year participating on The Lancer Link. In her free time, she is part of the Carlsbad High School cheer team and is so excited to be on the team this year.

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  • H

    Heather PayneMay 24, 2024 at 6:16 am

    Go Roman! So proud of you and all your hard work and dedication to this sport! Keep it up!