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Peninsula’s Clarke Godbold misses volleyball season, but hasn’t stopped his preparation for what’s next

Peninsula’s Clarke Godbold has his senior season ended prematurely due to Coronavirus shutdown, but he’s preparing for his new life at Long Beach St.

Clarke Godbold was a few weeks away from joining the Peninsula boys volleyball team for his senior season after injuring his right thumb during a club volleyball tournament in December.

One season removed from a CIF Southern Section Division 3 championship, Godbold felt it wouldn’t be easy to replicate the success of 2019, but was preparing for the challenge.

“We knew it would have been tough to even make it to CIF this year, but as a team, we were hoping we could make it work,” Godbold said.

Then came the bad news for Godbold as the Spring sport season was cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

“The hardest part of all this is not being able to play volleyball,” Godbold said. “This ‘stay-at-home’ call has really shown me how much I love volleyball, and how much my life revolves around playing volleyball.”

Godbold helped lead Peninsula to a CIF championship as a junior. That came after the Panthers failed to make the playoffs the previous season.

With the Coronavirus shutting down his senior season, Godbold reflected on how different his sophomore and senior years played out.

Peninsula finished its 2018 regular season beating rival Palos Verdes, and was ranked No. 2 in the CIF-SS Division 2. But its fourth-place finish in the Bay League made the Panthers the odd-man for the playoffs that year.

“Each of those situations were tough, but sophomore year definitely hurt a lot more,” Godbold said. “We had a couple of seniors (on the 2018 team) who went on to play in college and wanted a chance to win a ring.”

“I think I had a good athletic career at Peninsula, but felt almost cheated out of two years. It would have been nice to have won CIF my sophomore year.”

In November, Godbold made his commitment to play college volleyball at Long Beach State. On Monday, he was listed as the nation’s top-ranked recruit by VolleyballMag.com.

“It’s definitely great to hear, and I’ve worked super hard toward it and will continue to do so,” Godbold said. “It’s nice to have some results for the effort I’ve put in.”

He hasn’t let the quarantine stop him from training. At his home, he has a home gym, and his parents also helped set up a vertical testing bar. Still, Godbold admits it’s been tough not to get out and play volleyball.

“It’s been tough not being able to go to the beach and hit balls, or just play pepper.”