DeFrenza a leading man

Senior pitcher, who is also an actor in Estancia's drama program, helped lead Eagles to their first league title since 1991.

May 21, 2010|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza

Marc DeFrenza said he hasn't felt nervous since he joined the drama club at Estancia High. Performing in front of people is what he lives to do.

"I'm just kind of used to everybody having their eyes on me," said DeFrenza, who is in his third year acting at the school.

DeFrenza is one act you don't want to miss on stage or on the mound.

He'll make you laugh in a sketch comedy. Even when the senior doesn't have to be in character, he can still turn in a great performance in spikes.


The next show for DeFrenza is a debut for him and a long-awaited one for Estancia. The Eagles (17-10) today play their first CIF Southern Section baseball playoff game in 16 years.

DeFrenza is going to start against Colony of Ontario in a Division IV first-round game at 3:15 p.m. Is there a better pitcher to get the nod for Estancia than one with the nickname "Drama?"

Coach Matt Sorensen gave DeFrenza the name. He has experienced plenty of DeFrenza's antics during his three seasons in charge.

It all began in Sorensen's first season. With a team coming off a last-place finish in the Orange Coast League, practice was a must in order to improve.

Somehow, a baseball practice got in the way of a different practice DeFrenza planned to attend that day two years ago.

The excuse DeFrenza gave to leave the diamond early was one Sorensen never heard a player use before. Sorensen has been around the game for some time, starring at Warren High in Downey in the mid 1990s and at Cal State Fullerton later that decade.

Sorensen was left stunned by DeFrenza's reason to take off.

"Hey, do you mind if I leave early?" DeFrenza asked Sorensen.

"What?" Sorensen responded.

"I have drama rehearsal," DeFrenza said.

That was the first time Sorensen heard of a drama kid involved in baseball.

"He was just a squirrelly sophomore at the time, so I told him, 'I'm not going to make anything mandatory. This is your life. This is your decision,' " said Sorensen, who saw DeFrenza walk away. "Kind of the situation here, it's a small school, and pretty much anybody who comes out for the baseball team makes the team."

It wasn't as easy for DeFrenza to just show up and play the next season.

He failed to get his act together in the classroom. Grades stopped him as a junior.

The only uniform DeFrenza wore was the one in school plays. With a grade-point average below 2.0, DeFrenza was academically ineligible to play.

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