Spring Update - Kenny James

When you call Kenny James nowadays, he's awfully relaxed. It's clear the 5-10, 200-pound running back from Dos Palos, California sees the light at the end of the proverbial high school tunnel and is enjoying life. And what's not to enjoy? He's doing well in school, has overcome his biggest qualifying obstacle and has a few home runs to boot for the Dos Palos baseball team.

"Nothing much, just going to school and playing baseball," Kenny told Dawgman.com tonight when asked what he's been up to lately.

Baseball is more than just a way for James to stay in shape. "I take it pretty seriously," he said. "I've been playing since I was 5 or 6. I started out in T-ball first. I've been playing baseball longer than football, but football is still my favorite sport."

It should not come as a surprise that James wins on the diamond too. "My sophomore year, we won it all, and last year we lost in the second round of the playoffs," said James. "We want to win the whole thing again this year."

Just like his buddy Dave Henderson, Kenny plays center field and is batting .380 through 16 games with 3 home runs, 2 doubles and 3 triples.

The other big news considering James is in regards to his standardized test score. He had been driving to Palo Alto on his weekends to take a class specifically designed to help students pass the SAT. "I finished with those classes a couple of months ago," he said. "I just took the test (SAT) again. My sister called up the service to see if I qualified and I did. I don't know what my exact score is yet, though."

When James got the good news, he was quick to spread it around. One of his first calls was to Washington running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Chuck Heater. "He was pretty happy," said James. "Ever since the first time I tried to take the test in January, he was always encouraging me. That meant a lot."

And the burden has been lifted. "I just feel really good about it. It was something that was hanging over me. I was taking classes for that and going to school at the same time. Now I can just finish up school."

And just to hammer home the point, James has been finishing his academic career at Dos Palos in style, earning a 3.29 last quarter.

And his plans? "Once baseball is over I'm going to hit the weights, work towards getting faster and stronger," he said. "I just want to keep my body healthy."

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