Sydney Klump, a senior member of the St. David High School volleyball team, believes that participating in athletics must be fun but that having a positive attitude is what always makes the difference.
Klump was raised in a family where both sides have participated in sports as far back as family members can remember. Her mother, Shaye Klump, played volleyball, basketball and ran track & field for Benson High before competing collegiately in volleyball and track & field at Pima Community College. Her father Stephen Klump competed in baseball at Willcox High before his college years playing on the club rugby team at the University of Arizona.
Sydney Klump’s first experience with sports came in elementary school when her parents enrolled her and her older sister Wren Klumpin gymnastics. Gymnastics helped them develop flexibility, coordination and strength – skills essential for all sports.
As her middle school years approached, her parents knew that a decision would need to be made between gymnastics and school sports. Eventually school sports won out and Sydney started her athletic career competing in volleyball, basketball and track & field.
“Being around athletics was a part of our kids growing up,” Shaye Klump said. “I was one of the Willcox High School volleyball coaches when Sydney started school. She would be at practice with me and would watch the high school players doing drills and in game situations.
“One day I heard some noise outside our house and when I went to investigate, I found Sydney bumping a volleyball against the house. That pretty much was the deciding factor for her to compete in school sports.”
Sydney Klump participated in three sports from her fifth grade year through the end of her sophomore year at Willcox High before transferring to St. David where she is also a three-sport athlete.
Sitting out the first half of each season of her junior at St. David due to state AIA transfer rules, Sydney Klump didn’t let the time she could not compete affect her attitude. Practicing and working hard with the Tigers’ volleyball team during her waiting period, she was soon able to make her way onto the court and into the starting lineup.
The Tigers showed their team strength last season, finishing as the 2019 1A state volleyball champions. Despite only playing for a fraction of her junior volleyball year, Sydney Klump was selected 1st team all-conference and 1st team 1A all-state.
This year the Tigers’ volleyball team is making the same positive strides as they did during their 2019 season. Currently 13-1 and No. 1 in the 1A state rankings, St. David will again be competing for the state title.
“Sydney is a true leader,” St. David varsity volleyball coach Tylene Miller said. “She is very humble and definitely leads by example. I know I can count on her to be a leader and a captain on and off the court.”
The senior is thankful for many things in her life but is always grateful to be able to look into the stands during athletic competitions to see many of her family members cheering her on. Even though COVID-19 often changes the number of spectators allowed, whenever her family can attend a game she knows they will be there no matter how far they have to travel.
The last three years the only one missing in those stands is her older sister Wren who graduated from Willcox High School in 2018 and is currently competing in cross country and track & field at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa.
“Wren is my role model,” Sydney Klump said. “She worked hard in all her high school sports and is now competing in college. She set goals for herself and achieved them.”
The sisters only competed together in basketball and track & field for one year before Wren graduated and went off to college.
“It was always fun to compete with Sydney in basketball and track & field,” Wren Klump said. “She pushed me to do better and, even if I didn’t say anything out loud, she always understood what I was thinking. If she did well I felt like I was also accomplishing something. In track & field we ran the 4x400 together, she started and I was the anchor. We were always close in times in track; if she did good I did good even if she beat me.”
Even though athletics are a big part of her life, Sydney Klump goes beyond her talents in sports to be an active member of her school, community, and church. She has been a member of the Future Farmers of America for four years and is the current vice president of the St. David chapter. Recently she won Grand Champion market goat at the Southeastern Arizona Livestock Expo in Willcox. She has been a member of the Young Women’s Organization the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, since she was 12 years old.
After high school Sydney Klump plans to attend college to study to be a dental hygienist and, if given the opportunity, would accept an athletic scholarship.