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Despite the unusual times and the long delay of the football season, Campolindo junior offensive/defensive lineman Elijah Klock never skipped a beat.
Early during the pandemic, Klock set up weights in his backyard, where he’s been lifting nearly every day. He’s been working a lot on his pass blocking and technique. There’s been his progress on the defensive end while working with D-Line Vids.
Never skipping a beat only led to more progress for Klock, an all-league selection as a sophomore when the Cougars were a North Coast Section Division II runner-up, who said he’s really incorporated his mind into the game more.
“I really spent this time to focus on my weak points, like I would always get little tweaks here and there,” Klock said. “I really took that time to pinpoint those weaknesses and really strengthen them up.”
From Monday through Friday, Klock is lifting weights and gets workouts with his trainer. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays he’s working on on offense in the afternoons. On Wednesdays there’s this work along the defensive line in the mornings. On Saturdays, he’s working on the center position, like snapping.
Klock attests this work ethic to his family.
“I think it came from my parents,” Klock said. “My dad always instilled hard work in me, and we would always, even when COVID hit, me and my dad would go up to the field almost every day and we would work on my footwork and we would work on my speed and we would work on my strength.”
And growing up, Klock always envisioned and dreamed of playing in the National Football League someday.
Along the offensive line, Klock looks up to Quenton Nelson, who was the No. 6 overall pick to the Indianapolis Colts in the 2018 NFL Draft and is now a three-time Pro Bowl selection. Klock also loves Bruce Smith on the defensive side, who wore No. 78 like Klock and is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“That’s my dream, and I’ll work every day until I get there,” Klock said.
Along with being an all-league honoree, Klock’s success on the football grid has only amplified during this elongated offseason.
Klock was part of Cal Strength’s dominant squad in the Winner Circle Athletics Champions League. Cal Strength went 5-1 and rolled its way to numerous large wins, with Klock and company paving the way to being one of the best teams during six weeks in Southern California.
Where Klock is also excelling is in the classroom, finishing the first semester of his junior year with a 4.0 GPA and boasting a 3.75 GPA overall in high school.
“The thing that has motivated me in the classroom is really my parents because they always told me, ‘Go to college to get your education, then go and play football,’” Klock said. “Education is the highest thing you have to have.”
Schools have expressed interest in Klock, posting about a recent Junior Day with Amherst College and other interest from Ivy League schools in Harvard and Yale.
Division III schools, along with FCS and FBS, have reached out to Klock, he said.
An opportunity would be a dream come true for Klock.
“It would mean the world to me, and I would just see it as another opportunity to get better, take coaching, get stronger and really propel me to the next level and really to achieve my dream,” Klock said.
At Campolindo, with the recent news in California indicating outdoor high-contact sports like football can resume if counties meet a certain threshold of 14 cases per 100,000 residents, Klock wants something special for the seniors and also for head coach Kevin Macy, who is in his 25th year of coaching and has achieved greatness at the school.
Macy’s resume at Campolindo features more than 100 wins, three North Coast Section and two state titles.
“As a team, we all came together, actually (Sunday) and we discussed how we want to make this year for coach Macy the best year ever because this is his 25th year of coaching,” Klock said. “That quarter century we really want to show him that we’re ready to play football and we’re ready to go play hard-nosed Campolindo football.”
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