Though Wendell Baker is an avid tuba player as a senior at Stephenville High School, one thing was made clear during an interview with the E-T - he has a true passion for physics.

Baker has been playing tuba since the third grade, which is a lot earlier than a lot of band members who begin their school band career in middle school.

“It’s just something that helped me bond with my uncle,” Baker said. “He passed away five years ago and playing helps me keep his memory alive.”

Baker plans to attend either San Angelo State University or Texas A&M University where he will study physics.

“For a career I will do something involving physics,” he said. “I’ve had a passion for it since I started the class with Mr. (Brian) Salge. He made me realize I wanted to do that after high school.”

Before graduation Baker has made it his goal to strive for excellence in Salge’s physics class along with band.

“I want to make my physics teacher proud. He’s a really good person,” Baker said. “And then also making a one in our tuba ensemble competition would be cool.”

Salge has definitely made an impact on Baker who credits him as someone who has inspired him.

“We connected over physics and he inspired me to work harder and to push myself further than I have before,” Baker said. “He knew I was capable of more and knew I could get more done.”

Baker did not grow up in Stephenville and has only been at the high school since last year, but said he will miss it.

“At this point I’ve made a lot of friends here. I just moved here last year and everyone was really accepting, which I wasn’t use to,” he said. “Coming from a school with 2,700 student to one with under 1,000 definitely puts things in perspective and just knowing everyone I went to school with is something that I’ll miss the most.”