Volume 91, Issue 22

Friday, October 3, 1997

Sock it to the loo


Western knows how to Peckham

By John Intini
Gazette Staff

Geoff Robins/Gazette
IF YOU CAN'T BEAT HIM, GET PECKHAM. Scott Peckham (no. 2) lends some helping hands to teammate Travis Sintjes, simply because he is a member of Scott's Mustang family.

A quick glance at the Peckham family tree makes it fairly easy to understand why Western volleyball star Scott Peckham is such a great player – it's in the genes.

When Peckham, the six-foot-one starting setter for the Mustangs, chose to come to Western, he decided to follow in some pretty big footsteps set by his parents. Both Jane and Vaughn Peckham graduated from Western in 1969 and played important roles in the Mustang sport scene when they donned the purple and white on a number of varsity teams.

"Both of my parents played on the Western volleyball teams in the late sixties," Scott said. "My mom was actually the graduating Athlete of the Year."

Jane, Scott's mother, was a member of the volleyball, basketball, track and tennis teams and helped to lead the Mustangs to the women's provincial volleyball championships in 1966. She was named Western's top graduating athlete in 1969.

"I played a number of varsity sports during university which greatly enriched my post-secondary experience," Jane said. "The friendships that I made through sports and the camroderie that comes with team events was very important to my growth as a person. However, it was volleyball that I excelled at and most enjoyed."

Vaughan, who helped the Mustangs win the Ontario University Athletics Association championship in 1969, also coached Western between 1978-83.

"Volleyball has always been a huge part of our lives," Vaughan said, "Sports is something we have always encouraged our children to take part in but never something that we forced them into. Scott's decision to come to Western was completely his choice and was not the cause of any pressure from us."

This enjoyment of volleyball has also led both Western alumni to remain in the game at a number of different levels. The athletic couple are coaches in the Four City Volleyball League and both teach physical education at Scott's former London high school, Oakridge. Moreover, it is the same school their two younger children currently attend and to no surprise, all of them have an deep interest in volleyball.

Ironically Vaughan, who has coached all his children while they were in high school, as well as a number of players currently on the Mustangs including head coach Dave Preston.

"Dave has done wonders for the Western program with brilliant recruiting," he said. "The team and system in place is the best it has ever been and is a testament to Dave's effort."

Vaughan commented on the Homecoming experience as one that arouses Western's school spirit.

"The student body at Western has consistently been known as a school with a very high sense of school spirit and I think this Homecoming will show that in fact little has changed," he said. "Sports seem to have this chemistry about it that brings people together."

The proud parents of this volleyball family, say there will be no pressure this year when their daughter Allison, who has been looked at admirably by Western, to keep up the Peckham-Mustang volleyball connection. They say the same is true when it comes to their youngest son Mark who is presently in grade 11, when it comes time for him to make up his mind on which university to attend.

Initially, it appeared that Scott would be the first to break the link when he was recruited heavily by Dalhousie and a number of other schools, but he decided on Western for a few reasons.

"Western has an incredible volleyball program with Dave Preston as the head coach," he said. "I had played for and knew Dave before in the Four City [League] and thought he was a great coach. I do have to admit though, that having both parents as ex-mustangs played a small role in helping me make my decision."

Scott, enrolled in Western's honours in business administration program and says he finds it tough to juggle both the volleyball schedule and his heavy academic workload.

"Time management is the key for me right now," Peckham said. "It's tough to fit everything in, but I love volleyball too much to give it up. It's become a part of me."

To Contact The Sports Department: gazsport@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997