For Tree, it’s only the beginning |

For Tree, it’s only the beginning

The answer is an Aspen, which is a good response, given that her older sister, Aspen, was Lara “Tree’ Bossow’s first volleyball coach in middle school at the Vail Mountain School. At the time, soccer was Tree’s first sport and she was a goalie, no less.

Happily for VMS, she opted for volleyball come high school. Team and individual success has followed. VMS volleyball has gone from 0-14 the season before Tree’s freshman campaign to two state berths and a combined 48-8 record for the last two autumns.

Tree’s been all-league from the Mountain Conference the last three seasons, as well as earning the de-facto conference player-of-the-year award by earning the most votes from opposing coaches in 2002. She made the state-tournament team last year, was CHSAA all-state and took home the VMS Scholar-Athlete Award. Last weekend, she earned all-state honors from the Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports Association.

And things just seem to be beginning for the VMS senior. She’s off in the fall to CU, where she’s earned a scholarship.

So without further ado, the Vail Daily sat down with Bossow Wednesday to talk over her VMS career and her future at CU:

Date of birth: Sept. 21, 1985

Parents: Gary Bossow; Tim and Mara Garton

Siblings: Aspen Bossow, step-sisters Madison, Bentley and Shannon Garton.

What’s it like to be the youngest?: “At first, I thought it was the worst thing in the whole, wide world because everybody else got to do things and I didn’t because I was young. But I actually really enjoy it. I kind of get spoiled.”

When did you start playing volleyball?: “Actually, my sister, Aspen, was my first coach in eighth grade. We started the middle-school program here and that’s the first time I ever played.”

What was you sister like as a coach?: “Aspen’s more chill than anybody else. She just tells you what to do and you do it. She wasn’t a Bobby Knight.”

At what point did you realize that you were a good volleyball player?: “I was actually pretty short until ninth or 10th grade and then everybody stopped growing and I continued. I started to really like the sport when Aspen was coaching me. I decided to start club (volleyball), but soccer was my No. 1 priority still. Soccer started going away and I started choosing volleyball over that.”

How do you think soccer would have turned out?: “I think it would have turned out well. However, volleyball turned out better.”

What was freshman year like?: “It was more fun than anything. I still played soccer at that point. Everybody was there to have fun and learn volleyball and we all came in there with more background (in volleyball) than anybody else, which was a good feeling. We knew that four years down the road that we’d be a lot stronger.”

Any idea that it would have been like the last two years?: “No. No idea whatsoever.”

What did you envision?: “I envisioned making it further than any other VMS team had. But I never envisioned the state tournament or anything like that. It was so far away. So I never even thought about it.”

When did you start to see this team’s potential?: “My sophomore year, we started to think that we wanted to get through districts and do the best we can. We heard that the teams that come out of our district usually go to state. We got pretty close my sophomore year. So junior year came along and we were making it though districts, regionals and we had to make it to state.”

How much of an accomplishment is it to make state two years in a row?: “It’s a really good feeling to be the first team to ever make state, let alone be competitive there. I guess it never really set in until we wanted to win state, as opposed to just making the semifinals. Obviously, that didn’t happen, but we played well while we were there and we were all happy with the outcome.”

Even with disappointment at state, are you able to realize what a good season you had?: “Regardless, 25-2 is pretty good year. We were happy with that. Every game we played at state was three games. It was really close. It wasn’t that we just got blown out of the water.”

Random association – VMS coach Mike Garvey?: “Will Smith – It’s his ability to have fun. He always is making jokes or having fun. There’s never a dull moment with Mr. Garvey.”

What the volleyball Class of 2003 like?: “We’ve gone through a lot. We’ve gone through fights and times where we’re on top of the world. It’s been a roller coaster, but it ended up on top.”

What’s the future of the program like?: “They’re going to be good. The future of the program is definitely bright. Everybody’s playing from kindergarten-up and we’re just happy we could make an impact on the school that way because no other team had before.”

How much will it help the current freshmen to get state experience in their first year?: “Very valuable. That team next year is going to be amazing and I can only imagine what they’re going to be like when they’re seniors.”

What’s next?: “I don’t have a break. I’m playing right now for Front Range Volleyball Club. But that’s with two girls who are already signed for CU also. I’m really excited for CU.”

What are going to be the challenges at CU?: “One difference is just fighting for a starting position. I’ve never really had to do that before and, now, I’m going to be the lone freshman coming in with little experience. It’ll be hard, but it will be fun.”

Do you expect to play next year or is it a sit-and-learn year?: “A little bit of both. I see myself playing a little bit, but not starting. But I’m doing this club season so that possibly I will start. I hope I will.”

Where do you hope to go with volleyball?: “I would ideally like to join the Professional Beach Volleyball Association. That would be so much fun. But I don’t know. I hope to take it as far as a can.”

Favorite volleyball player?: Logan Tom

Possible majors: Science, economics or political science

What’s it like to be a senior at VMS?: “I don’t even feel like a senior, for some reason. I feel too young. I always looked up to seniors and now there’s no one for me to look up to above. It’s a nice feeling.”

What’s fun outside volleyball?: “Just hanging out with friends.”

Favorite TV shows: Friends, Will and Grace

Your favorite “Friend” is?: Joey or Rachel

Favorite movie: Top Gun

Favorite movies stars: Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise

What do you put on your pizza?: “Cheese or pepperoni or everything.”

Favorite book: The Old Man and the Sea

Favorite sports teams: Broncos and Green Bay Packers

Will the Broncos be OK without Brian Griese?: “They can live without Griese. They need him, but they can do it.”

Green Bay?: “I’ve just always liked them. I like Brett Favre a lot.”

Does VMS AD and noted-Vikings fan Jamie Farquhar know that?: “Shhhh.”

Favorite drink: Orange juice

Favorite type of cheese: Muenster

Favorite colors: Blue and orange

If you were ruler of the world for one day, what would you do?: “I’d play miniature golf all day. I love miniature golf.”

Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at

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