Thomas Kensinger of Venice is a star on several fronts
There is nothing more deceptive than seeing 6-foot-4, 230-pound Thomas Kensinger walking the halls of Venice High and assuming he fits the stereotype of a Californian surfer because of his long blonde hair. .
Rather, he’s a hiker and scout with a GPA of 4.27. He knows how to use a bow and arrow, can hit a target with a .22 caliber rifle, is fluent in Russian and some German, can hit a baseball, sack a quarterback and perform a cartwheel or a pear tree thanks to his days as a gymnast.
“He’s always been able to take in what the coaches tell him,” said his father, Cliff, a former football player at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Kensinger, a senior, took over ACT last Saturday in hopes of scoring a 32 or 33 as one of his college options is MIT. If only the top schools could see its potential in football.
He didn’t start playing tackle football until eighth grade. He was quarterback in his first year, then moved on to defense. He now plays defensive end, tight end and long snapper.
âI realized it’s a lot more fun hitting the quarterback than being punched as a quarterback,â he said.
He is the best tackler in Venice. He also debuts for the baseball team at first base. He played right field last spring when he came out late because football was being played at the same time.
He started at the age of 4 in gymnastics and competed until elementary school. Her mother, Irina, was born in Russia, where gymnastics is very popular. But her husband reminded her, âDon’t put any more money in there. He’s gonna be a big kid.
Thomas is also a twin. Her sister, Daniella, is a senior star of the Venice women’s volleyball team which inflicted Palisades their first league loss since the 2010 season and is seeded No.1 in the City Section Open playoffs. She is the main candidate for the post of promotion major in Venice. There is also a 14-year-old brother Lawrence, who is already 6 feet tall and will arrive in Venice in the fall as a defensive aspirant.
This is a family that lives within walking distance of Venice and enjoys the school’s Magnet programs so much that they believe in the public school experience.
âI love the diversity,â said Thomas Kensinger. âYou meet new people every day. There are so many interesting people.
Kensinger was on the cusp of becoming an Eagle Scout but had to pass due to time constraints with baseball, football, schoolwork, and college applications all clashing together. He settled for Life Scout and Senior Patrol Leader.
In football, he received a 90-yard touchdown last week against Hamilton, fleeing the defensive backs after catching a short pass.
âI was flying,â he said.
He loves to hike in the mountains, be it Mount Baldy, Angeles National Forest or Emerald Bay State Park. He knows how to light a fire with stones. It can identify plants and birds. He’s never been surfing but wants to study molecular biology.
He shaved his hair when campus education shut down due to COVID-19 in March 2020 and has not had a haircut since. Her blonde locks are now nine inches long. He plans to donate the hair when it is 10 inches. He could star in a reality TV show with his many interests.
The NFL, the SAG or the CIA could be in his future.
This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.