Sage Creek High School

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A Dugout Gem

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Sean Cooke

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Stephen Klenske

Klenske+winding+up+for+one+of+his+signature+slugs
Klenske winding up for one of his signature slugs

Klenske winding up for one of his signature slugs

Photo by MaKenna Manti

Photo by MaKenna Manti

Klenske winding up for one of his signature slugs

Meeting someone that talks about their life as if they are reading from a book is not an everyday experience. Sophomore Stephen Klenske (otherwise known as Stephen Campbell) is a character on campus that provides chapters worth of stories, accolades, and wisdom to share.

Klenske is a big addition to Sage Creek’s campus. Literally, he is a tall, stocky teenager that can always be found wearing a baseball cap and sporty attire around campus.

His life started out in Arkansas where he lived with his grandmother and sisters. He lived there for the majority of his childhood without even touching the sport that would engulf his nearing teen years. When he moved to California to live with his aunt and uncle, he became obsessed with sports. At Aviara middle school, he played baseball, basketball, and football up until the eighth grade. It was at this part of his life where he decided to remain on the diamond and pitch.

Photo by MaKenna Manti
Stephen Klenske sharing his novel like lifestory.

Klenske’s new found passion for baseball soon took over his life when he started competing in bigger events. Not only has he played on the Sage Creek varsity team since he was a freshman, but he is on the eighth best team in the country and will be representing team USA this summer. Baseball is truly everything for Klenske.

“Baseball is four hours a day whether in the gym working out or coming [to Sage Creek] and playing with kids a couple years older than me,” Klenske said.

  Klenske is primarily motivated by one of his teammates, senior Sam Wezniak. Specifically, he is particularly impressed by how Wezniak carries himself all day and on the field. Klenske believes that Wezniak having a bad game looks like he just hit four home runs, and Klenske would love to be on that level one day.

Wezniak definitely appreciates having Klenske around as well. To Wezniak, Klenske is a reliable player and friend. The senior is also very humbled by the fact that Klenske idolizes him, and has expressed that he would like to resemble Klenske when it comes to his work ethic.

Photo by MaKenna Manti
Klenske steps up to the plate to bat

“I think he is gonna be a big addition on the mound this year,” Wezniak predicts.

Wezniak is very excited to see Klenske return from his injury last year and watch him turn into a real baseball player.

Aside from Wezniak, Klenske has also made great impressions with the coaching staff he has worked with. Varsity coach Ryan Madsen believes that Klenske will provide some great innings on the mound this year. On the offseason, Madsen saw great power in Klenske’s play at the plate and consistency from the pitching role while Klenske played for his club team. Madsen also recognizes that a sophomore playing up with older players can be hard, but Klenske has done a great job “gelling with the older guys.” Madsen has the same expectation for Klenske as all of the other players and is sure that he will provide some great play for Sage Creek’s team this year.

“My prediction for all my players is to be extremely successful, so it’s no different for [Klenske],” Madsen assured.

  A piece of advice Klenske has for everyone: don’t give up on anything. Personally, Klenske loves when people doubt him because it makes him want to work harder and to him there is no better feeling than proving doubters wrong.

This constant thrive to improve and work hard has given Klenske the confidence to reach for the stars in terms of his aspirations. He dreams of going to USC and later becoming the number one overall draft pick or first-round draft pick.

 However, “anything that can get [Klenske] to the next level athletically,” will suffice.

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A Dugout Gem