Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Kinnelon's Star Sidekicks

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Kinnelon's Star Sidekicks

Article excerpt

ROCKAWAY -- There hasn't been much separation between Ida DiClemente and Julia Kleczkowski for the past decade, almost to the point of it becoming comical.

"Sometimes if I'm alone and a teacher sees me in school without her, they'll just go, 'Oh, where's your sidekick?'" Kleczkowski said with a laugh. "And they do the same with her. We're a package deal. It's never just one of us."

The Kinnelon soccer star seniors are best friends, and have been since second grade. They take the same classes. Have the same interests.

They've developed an unbreakable bond and sister-like relationship that now helps fuel their unmistakable on-field chemistry.

Together, they have blossomed into one of the most prolific 1-2 scoring punches in New Jersey, with the pair of Division I-bound forwards leading the reigning Group 1 champion Colts (17-7-1) into today's state semifinal showdown against Glen Ridge.

"I just think our friendship helps so much with that," DiClemente said. "We're extremely close and spend almost every minute of every day together. I feel like when we're on the field, I know I can look up and just know where Julia is and vice-versa.

"I know the kind of player she is, I know the runs she's going to make and that makes it easier. Everyone on this team meshes very well."

The meshing has produced some impressive results.

DiClemente, the fiery 5-foot-9, Villanova-bound forward, has produced a team-best 32 goals to pair with 11 assists. Kleczkowski, a 5-foot-4 fireball of energy and bound for Fairfield, has added 23 goals with a team-best 26 assists while linked with DiClemente on the front line.

This particular "package deal" is one that just keeps on delivering.

Part of the success of this dynamic duo is pure skill. DiClemente -- equipped with as powerful a shot as any in North Jersey -- has the ability to score from virtually anywhere across midfield.

And no one's going to outwork Kleczkowski, described by assistant coach and Kinnelon athletic director Scott Rosenberg as the "heart and soul" of the Colts. …

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