Athlete of the Week: CJ Kleckley | News
Right now, wrestlers in the area are getting ready to compete in region tournaments, each hoping for a shot at the individuals next month.
A Rutland senior has set the bar pretty high for himself on the mat and in the classroom.
His accomplishments and life lessons make him our Athlete of the Week.
Wrestler Clifford Kleckley, or CJ to his friends, is pretty satisfied with his performance on the mat this year.
"Right now, I think my record is 28-5, so I'm doing pretty good," Kleckley said with a smile.
He's doing well in everything.
Kleckley sits in the top three percent of a class that contains over two hundred kids.
He says it's all thanks to time management.
"You still kind of have to have fun, but you have to have that moxie and know how to do what you need to do as well," he said.
A kid that uses the term 'moxie,' which means courage, skill or know-how, probably doesn't stress too much about his report card or bringing that slip home to his parents.
"We do get report cards to take home and we're supposed to show our parents," Kleckley explained. "My dad expects it out of me, so it's not as big of a deal. When I show it to him, it's like I expect that, so let's keep it going, let's keep improving."
Kleckley speaks of his dad with great respect.
He moved in with him when he entered eighth grade.
And since then, the older generation showed his son that life can get difficult without an advanced degree.
"And just seeing his example, it's helped me because right out of high school, he didn't go to college, he didn't have a plan, and he's just taught me a lot, and I've seen what he's had to go through and how hard he's worked and he always tells me the same thing. He says like, 'Son, work smarter than me. Don't work as hard as me,' and that's just really motivating. "
Kleckley enjoys wrestling, but he says Mercer has recruited him to play football.
He likes that idea.
With his grades, he can also choose to go to pretty much any school he wants.
So right now besides training for the region, he just has to nail down his future.
"I want to stay with math-oriented classes," he said with confidence.
Kleckley has already earned three college credits by taking and passing advanced credit courses in high school.