Coach Spencer Kirksey is a traditional baseball man who loves the game. He loves the opportunities and challenges he faces at Crossroads High School, a school located in the heart of Santa Monica and is best known for its academics. Coach Kirksey is intent on bringing that same reputation to its baseball program.
In his first year as head coach for the Crossroads Varsity Baseball team, Kirksey is preparing a long term plan to build and establish a dominance that is paralleled with schools like Harvard Westlake, Chaminade and Crespi High Schools. He feels he has many talented players that have been under-coached. He wants to change that.
“Crossroads is a College Preparatory school and that shouldn’t be any different for its baseball
Kirksey said part of his responsibility to his players is to prepare them to play at the next level.
“College coaches don’t always follow the small private schools,” Kirksey said, “so it’s up to me to be just short of obnoxious in making them aware of the players on my team who I believe are talented enough to play at the next level.”
Coach Kirksey knows what it takes, going back to the days when he was just Spencer. He played High School baseball at Pacific Palisades, went on to play College Baseball at Pierce College in the San Fernando Valley and then at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri. He played first base and designated hitter for the Wildcats and received second team HAAC honors in his final year.
He has made senior Andres Leyva a primary project. Leyva is a quick, sure handed shortstop, who Coach Kirksey says has a great work ethic and the talent to play college baseball. He also has two other seniors who are continuing their playing careers; seniors Jake Rosenblatt, who has signed to play at Willamette University and Holden Miller, who is considering several colleges that have offered him scholarships to play baseball.
Coach Kirksey started coaching baseball at Pacific Palisades High three years ago and then moved to Windward High School to become their hitting coach. He says he owes the opportunity to become the varsity coach at Crossroads to his good friend and mentor at Windward, Coach Tyrone Powell.
“He believed in me enough to help me get an interview for the head coaching job at Crossroads,” Kirksey said. “It was a long process, but I believe that Chuck Ice, our Athletic Director at Crossroads, who is a big baseball guy, liked what I had to say about bringing a gritty – fundamental style of baseball to Crossroads and I got the job.”
The biggest surprise about his new job has been the great support he has received from the
administration, faculty and team parents, which he says has been very gratifying.
“I want to be here at Crossroads for years and years to come.”