Terry Denesha

To know Terry Denesha, you know you are around one of the most enthusiastic people you’ve ever met. Not sure this guy ever had a bad day, always smiling, always happy to see you. And it carried over into his athletic career at North High.

He made his mark on the baseball field as a shortstop not only at North but also Bakersfield College. He also played basketball as a freshman and football as a freshman and a sophomore at North. He could have made the golf team any of those years but elected to play baseball and played all four years. He played on the Frosh/Soph baseball team as a freshman and won the SYL Championship in Tony Silver’s first year of coaching baseball at North.

He gave up basketball and football after his sophomore season to concentrate on baseball and that turned out to be a very wise decision. Moving up to varsity in 1975 as a soph, North tied for the SYL Championship under the legendary coach Sam Barton. Then in 1976 he was part of the Stars team that not only won the SYL title but also their first ever Valley Championship. And again as a senior, North was again SYL Champs.

From North High he attended Bakersfield College and in 1978 he hit safely in all 20 Metropolitan game, was named All-Conference SS and in addition was named BC’s Freshman Athlete of the Year. As a soph at BC he continued the hitting streak to 25 games, a record at that time, and set a record for triples. All this resulted in a scholarship to UC Santa Barbara. As a freshman he was able to play against Bakersfield buddies Jim Thomas and Steve Sakowski at UCLA.

His baseball career ended at the end of that season after suffering a dislocation of his left shoulder. Not to be deterred, he went out and made the golf team at UCSB, shooting even par while getting a tryout from the golf coach. In 1987, Terry won the very prestigious Kern County Amateur, shooting 2 under par 140, but had to make an eagle 3 on the first hole at Kern River to win a playoff. His older brother Doug had won the title in 1976, with Terry caddying for him. Ironically, Doug was caddying for Terry when he won. They were the first set of brothers to ever win the KC Am.

He later got involved in coaching youth baseball since his three young sons were active and in 1999 took a Northwest team all the way to Mattoon, Illinois for the World Series. He helped coach Highland from 2006 to 2009 and then in 2011 was on the Frontier staff that won the CIF Valley Championship. He also got involved in coaching a girl’s softball Club team.

He’s been active helping youth for many years and in 2008 he was named “Man of the Year” for the annual BC Baseball Hot Stove Dinner.

He and his wife Debbie (also a North High grad) have been married 30 years. They have three boys Tony, Chris and Scott and all were athletes and all attended Stockdale High. His oldest son Tony actually made all-SYL in golf and baseball in the same year.