Hurricanes Veteran Catcher Talks Leadership, Team Goals

In a sense, the 2012 baseball season began for William Leskovec and his Kapolei teammates the moment their 2011 season ended. Indeed, gaining closure on their heart-wrenching loss last spring to Roosevelt in the OIA playoffs was their first priority.

“We were close we were one run away from (advancing to) the state tournament, but we got over it and we’ve been preparing ourselves to get past that point this year,” said Leskovec, the team’s starting catcher.

The Hurricanes have never been to the state tournament in their brief history, but may have the team to reach that goal this time thanks in part to veterans like Leskovec. He and Trey Kamachi and Joshua Simmons are the first four-year varsity players to pass through the program since Aaron Santiago in 2006.

“Leadership-wise and athletically, we’ve progressed a lot since I got here,” Leskovec said. “We’ve seen a lot of growth.”

On the eve of the season, Leskovec took some time away from school and baseball to visit with MidWeek‘s West Oahu Islander.

What is your earliest sports-related memory? When I was 12, I went to Cooperstown (New York) for a tournament over the Fourth of July, and I hit my first home run over the left field wall.

How would you assess Kapolei’s preseason? What’s the key the rest of the way to have the kind of finish you would like? We have to continue to bond and play together as a team every game. If we can limit our errors and hit the ball, we can have a very successful season.

What area of your game did you focus on in the off-season? I focused a lot on my hitting. Last year, I went into a slump at the end of the season. I also worked on hitting to the opposite field.

What’s it like being behind the plate when (major college/pro prospect) Trey Kamachi is on the mound? It’s exciting. You can feel the energy. Everyone wants to see him. A lot of scouts have been around with their radar guns on. It’s a lot of fun catching for him.

Who’s had the biggest impact on your life? I would say my parents (Mike and Young). They’ve influenced me a lot to keep me on track, especially with school so I can be successful.

What Internet site do you frequent the most? I go to Facebook pretty much like every other teenager, probably.

What is your least favorite household chore? Dusting the dust off of anything. I don’t enjoy it. The dust always comes back again.

What movie could you watch over and over? Rookie of the Year. I like that he was such a young kid playing in the major leagues. What are the odds of that really happening?

Who is Kapolei’s best “practice player”? Robbie Oliveros. He’s a freshman. He reminds me of myself and Trey. He’s always trying to get better. He always wants to do more.

What’s in your iPod?

I have a lot of games in my iPod. I play a lot of Temple Run.

Do you play video games? What systems do you have? I have a lot of sports games, but my favorite would be Call of Duty for my Xbox360.

Are you a neat freak or messy? I’m more on the neat side. I’m more organized than neat. I like to know where my things are.

If you could have your pick, what celebrity would you choose as your prom date? Do you want a description of her height and weight and all that? She should be athletic with a nice personality and not too mean or anything.

You’re stuck on Kahoolawe and you can have an endless supply of one food. What would it be? I’ll go with the kalbi from my mother’s kitchen on that one. I can’t go wrong with that.