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At 12 years old, Nick Streumpf was introduced to the biggest stage.
His team was playing in the Little League World Series regionals. He was pitching in front of a national television audience on ESPN.
In that moment, Struempf saw how much he loved the competition and knew it was a feeling he wanted to continue having.
“It was really cool,” Struempf said. “I think I should have appreciated it more when I was there. I didn’t realize how big of a stage it was because I was more focused on we need to win and get to the next level, but it was an amazing experience. It was put on so well. And I was playing with a ton of my best friends. It was awesome.”
So was born an athlete who is now a star at Monte Vista, making varsity as a sophomore on the Mustangs’ baseball squad along with being a force to be reckoned with along the offensive line for the Monte Vista varsity football team.
Monte Vista, a program filled with excellence over the decades and one that has won a section crown as recently as 2016, made Struempf a member of the highest level of the program his sophomore campaign – just like the baseball squad – and he delivered right away.
With Struempf in the fold, the Mustangs compiled a 7-3 regular season record – along with an 8-4 record overall after making it to the North Coast Section Division I semifinals – and a third place finish in a mighty East Bay Athletic League Mountain Division that includes the likes of 2019 CIF Open Division state championship runner-up De La Salle.
“(Head) coach (Matt) Russi and (assistant head coach and offensive line/linebackers coach) coach John Revells took the time to bring me up to speed,” Struempf said. “I feel like they focused one me because they saw that I had the potential, and then when I started getting into games I realized I could compete. It was probably then that I realized I could do something with it.”
Since that campaign came to a close, Struempf has only made more endless strides as an athlete.
HIs improvements in all areas – particularly strength and agility – were noticed in a dominant showing at the Xclusive Speed Bay Area Top 100 Showcase in July, where he was named the Offensive Line MVP.
“I wasn’t the biggest there, so it boosted my confidence because I was able to compete with these great defensive lineman,” Struempf said. “They were incredible.. I was really honored to be awarded with that.”
All of this success has already lended Struempf interest to continue his playing career at the next level.
On Sept. 1 – the first day the recruiting process officially begins for rising juniors – Struempf already heard from a strong crop of college programs. Struempf said numerous Big Sky and Mountain West schools reached out.
When the football season does roll around and begin in January, Struempf and his Mustang teammates are putting it whatever it takes to build on what they have already accomplished. After going 7-3 in the regular season and being NCS semifinalists, they hope even more is in store.
And maybe Struempf puts his name out there even more, earns all-league recognition and sees scholarship opportunities come his way in the near future.
“It would mean everything to me,” Struempf said. “Playing at a D1 school, that’s been a lifelong goal of mine to get into a college, set me up for the future and then compete there, and then hopefully get good playing time. That would all be a dream come true.”
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