Loyola High is known for turning out good student athletes, but few can compare to Patrick Klein.
The son of former USC and Los Angeles Rams tight end Bob Klein, Patrick Klein is a three-sport athlete finishing his high school career in his best sport--volleyball--for one of the area's top teams. But whichever way the ball bounces in Loyola's quest for a Southern Section title, Klein is a sure winner.
"I applied to nine schools and have been accepted to all of them," Klein said. He listed Stanford, USC, UCLA and Cal, and in the East, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Brown and Pennsylvania.
"When I took my recruiting trips, I chose to take an Ivy League tour to get a feel for the East Coast."
Attending a top academic school would be no problem for Klein: He carries a 4.6 grade point average with honors and scored 1360 on his Scholastic Assessment Test. And although he was impressed with the Ivy League campuses, Klein said he felt the West Coast schools offered him a better chance to excel in volleyball.
"As of right now, I've narrowed it to three schools: Stanford, which has offered me a partial athletic scholarship; USC, in which there is a pending full academic scholarship, and UCLA, which also has offered me a partial athletic scholarship."
Strong family ties may keep Klein close to home: His father was an All-American football player for USC's national championship team of 1967, before the Rams drafted him in the first round. Patrick, 6-foot-4, 213 pounds, started at safety and tight end for Loyola, but doesn't plan to play football beyond high school.
But Stanford has some pull, too: His brother, Jimmy, and sister, Kristin, both attended and excelled in academics and athletics. Kristin was a four-time volleyball All-American, and Pac-10 player of the year four times. She was named national player of the year in her senior year. She's a member of the U.S. women's national team.
Asked if he felt any pressure to succeed, Klein said, "The only pressure I feel is inspirational because my family is very supportive of everything that I've done and accomplished up to this point."
The latter played in Puerto Rico last summer, winning an international competition that pits the national teams from North and South America against each other. He has also been a member of the Junior Olympics national team for four years.
Loyola Coach Eric Wells said Klein is "a very smooth and strong player. He adds consistent and aggressive play, and . . . his hustle tends to rub off on the other players and add the spark the really gets the team going."
His skills came in handy Tuesday against Harvard-Westlake, one of Loyola's strongest opponents in Southern Section competition.
After winning the first game with relative ease, Loyola found itself down quickly, 7-0, in the second.
But Klein sparked the Cubs' comeback with key blocks and kills and Loyola eventually won the game, 15-13.
Back in control, Loyola proved too powerful for Westlake and swept the three-game set to keep its record perfect for the season. After a victory over Encino Crespi Thursday night, the Cubs improved to 7-0 (4-0 in league play).
Klein had 12 kills and four blocks in the match.
"The thing I like most about Patrick is that he has the ability to keep things in perspective and he knows how to stay focused," Wells said.