Locking in is Key

Humans of West: Lee Jensen



Lee Jensen’s announcement photo for the Kansas City showcase at the end of March. Jensen believed that the showcase would help boost his football career and get his name into the minds of college coaches. “It will help show some college coaches the talent that I have and show them how much better I’ve gotten,” Jensen said.

Alec Shipley, Reporter

Imagine one day there is a notification on your cell phone saying you have been invited to something that most high school athletes have been working towards for their entire life. The opportunity requires travel to another state to do something that you are extremely passionate about. This is the proving ground where some will fall and others will rise. For sophomore Lee Jensen, he is about to witness this first hand.

Jensen was invited to the Six Star Football Showcase which is scheduled for the end of March. He was among several players in the Midwest to receive an invite for the showcase for a chance to show off his football skills and prove himself as a dominant force on the gridiron. There has been a lot of build up and preparation for Jensen since he received the invite at the end of February.

“Physically, I’m working out a lot, either downstairs or at the YMCA, and I don’t just work on normal lifting, I also work on explosion and speed,” Jensen said.

Football, an extremely grueling sport, requires its athletes to be in top physical shape in order to compete, but they must be mentally strong. Jensen learned this throughout his time playing football, and it helped him overcome obstacles in his life.

“My mom has some things going on, but I know I just have to keep on battling through no matter what is going on in your life, if you really want something, go for it, and go for that goal,” Jensen said.

Through the ups and downs in Jensen’s life both on and off the field, he still found a way to stay focused and keep his composure to reach his goal of playing college football. The work that Jensen puts in does not go unnoticed, as his teammates have realized that he could be something special. Evan Bedeian, sophomore and teammate, has known Jensen since sixth grade, and has seen him blossom into what he is today.

“[Jensen] puts in one hundred percent even when nobody is watching, he has lost a bunch of weight and gained a lot of muscle, and he puts in a lot of hard work on and off the field,” Bedeian said.

Coaches also noticed the hard work that Jensen put in. Head sophomore football coach Mike Aleksiejczyk witnessed changes in Jensen throughout just the beginning of his high school career.

“When Lee sees himself getting better is when he can believe in himself a lot more, and I think from his freshman year to his sophomore year, he’s believing in himself a lot more,” Aleksiejczyk said.

“From his freshman year to his sophomore year, the weight he’s lost, the conditioning, the strength, the shape that he has gotten into has been great,” Aleksiejczyk said.

Along with football, Jensen also competes in wrestling and track at West, and this takes up most of his time. Although he is very busy with athletics, he still finds the time to go workout in the weight room.

“[Jensen] came downstairs when he was wrestling, when the entire weight room was empty, he would be in there working out. He didn’t ask us coaches to do anything, he just wanted to work out. So even when no one was looking, Lee would get a wrestling workout and then come workout in the weight room,” Aleksiejczyk said.

With the showcase coming up at the end of March, Jensen is continuing to work out to prepare himself. He already got the difficult part of getting invited out of the way, and now he has to go and show everyone what he is truly made of. 

“I have to keep on working on the grind process every day and never short myself of anything,” Jensen said.