Student News for Horizon Honors Secondary School

The Horizon Sun

Student News for Horizon Honors Secondary School

The Horizon Sun

Student News for Horizon Honors Secondary School

The Horizon Sun

COVID vaccine before being administered.
COVID Vaccine Found to Have Three Links to Cardiac and Neurological Conditions
Jameson Kowalski, Columnist • February 27, 2024

A new vaccine safety study has uncovered new side effects to many COVID vaccines. The effects, which...

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Forecast Shows Falling Satellite
Erin McGinty, Columnist • February 27, 2024

According to NPR, European Remote Sensing 2, (ERS-2), a European satellite launched in 1995, was recently...

The fossil was determined to be a fraud.
Famous Fossil or Art Project?
Joey Miller, Columnist • February 27, 2024

According to CNN, researchers say that a famous fossil has caused a scandal. The fossil was discovered...

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“Avatar: The Last Airbender” Live Action Debut
Jet Taft, Columnist • February 27, 2024

The Nickelodeon original “Avatar: The Last Airbender” (ATLA), which ran from 2005 to 2008, has finally...

Hind Rajab is one of many children killed in the war between Israel and Hamas.
Five-Year-Old Palestinian Girl Found Dead After Being Trapped Under Israeli Fire
Joey Miller, Columnist • February 16, 2024

Hind Rajab, a five-year-old girl, was found dead under a car in Gaza. On Jan. 29, 2024, Rajab and her...

Maison Des Champs climbing Sphere.
Man Scales Sphere
Erin McGinty, Columnist • February 16, 2024

On Feb. 7, a man by the name of Maison Des Champs, who uses the online name 'Pro-Life Spider-Man,' was...

Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show.
Jon Stewart Returns to “The Daily Show”
Suhani Singla, Columnist • February 16, 2024

CNN states that after eight years of absence, Jon Stewart has returned to “The Daily Show,” a comedic...

Weather Data Source: 30 tage Phoenix wetter

Story of Local Coach and His Coachee

The Horizon Sun hears from famed coach David Klecka.
David Klecka, Brock Purdy, and Jen Chellino, Kleckas wife.
David Klecka
David Klecka, Brock Purdy, and Jen Chellino, Klecka’s wife.

David Klecka knew he wanted to coach since high school. In the late 80’s, during his sophomore year, he needed to serve community hours due to some bad decisions he made. The court gave him a list of places to do those hours and on a whim he picked the first thing on the list, which was spending time with kids and hanging out with them during the day while their parents were away. “I really enjoyed playing with the kids,” Klecka reflected.

Klecka wound up getting his “degree in special education and became a high school teacher” at Mountain Pointe High School. While there, he coached football and track, (the sports he played in high school), as well as wrestling and badminton. “I coached at Mountain Pointe for 10 years,” he explained. While coaching, they won five state championships between these sports. He coached numerous athletes, such as Nicole Powell, who was the second pick in the WNBA draft in 2004, who played for the Sacramento Monarchs. He then “became the assistant principal at Tempe High. [I] did it for half a year and completely hated it.” He left education for 13 years, but missed the kids, so he started coaching at Perry High School as the quarterback coach for three years, where he met Brock Purdy.

By the time Klecka joined Perry, Purdy was in his sophomore year. Klecka explained “his freshman year… he had a really good freshman season in football and also in baseball. And when you see him… you’d be like ‘this guy?’” At first glance, one would never have guessed he was a star athlete.

Purdy shared the starting quarterback position with a senior that year. “But every time he [Purdy] went in it, it was nothing but a positive,” Klecka said. Purdy was also very “creative” with his plays, Klecka expressed. He was able to make quick decisions when it came to last-second plays. “Stuff that you really can’t coach people, like instincts.” Klecka noted that Purdy’s maturity set him apart from his teammates. His junior year, he was the man of the team, but a case of mono delayed his season. He was later able to come back and “made stuff happen.” Klecka had no idea Purdy would be this good when they first met. He was very impressed.

“I was actually at his house when he got drafted,” Klecka said. The NFL Draft took place across four days, with the first round on day one, rounds two and three on day two, rounds four and five on day three, and rounds six and seven on day four. “He knew he wouldn’t get drafted on day one,” but he was hoping to get drafted on day two, “and he didn’t, and it killed him… then, on the last day of the draft, he got a phone call from the 49ers and they said ‘if you’re the last pick, we’re taking you.’ He got excited but he didn’t tell anybody.” Klecka explained. He was the last pick of the NFL Draft. He was titled “Mr. Irrelevant” and everyone celebrated. He joined the practice squad, the players the 49ers practiced with, and they expressed how impressed they were with his ability. He took the place of the second backup quarterback. As part of the practice squad, he didn’t dress out for games unless the first backup was out.

“Then, the starting quarterback [of the 49ers] got hurt,” so Purdy dressed for the games and the 49ers found a backup player for Purdy. Then the backup quarterback got hurt. Purdy was in. “We were at the grocery store and had people calling us like ‘oh my God he’s in’ so we left and he ended up winning that game… He took them all the way to the NFC championship game until he got hurt” Klecka said. Nobody could tell his throwing arm tendon was torn. “But he said his throwing arm was asleep,” Klecka described. They put the next backup quarterback in, but he didn’t perform.. So they put Purdy back in and just told him to “hand it off.”

His injury was later discovered to be a tear in his UCL, and it would be a relatively easy fix. Following his surgery and extensive recovery, he once again became the 49ers starting quarterback for the new season.

Despite all his success, Klecka expresses strongly how “mature he is… [and how] he’s a really good kid and what a good human being he is” Klecka says they are still in touch and he texts him every week, congratulating him, and gets a reply pretty quickly.

Klecka was an athletic director at Desert Vista for numerous years. Today he is the athletic director at Mesa High School.

On Sunday, it will be Brock’s one year anniversary since his injury, as he once again plays in the NFC Championship for another shot at the Super Bowl. Klecka will surely be watching.

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