Coronavirus impacts college exposure for local student-athletes

Top athletes throughout the country have attended private camps to showcase their skills to college scouts, but the coronavirus is adding another hurdle to lives of many, including those in our region.

Posted: Aug 6, 2020 9:33 PM
Updated: Aug 7, 2020 5:12 PM

CHICO, Calif. -- Many student-athletes, especially throughout our region, gain exposure by going to camps and showcasing skills in front of college scouts.

Yet, because of the coronavirus, trouble is on the horizon for some student-athletes here at home.

All day, every day. You'll hear the sound of baseballs launching at the Hamman household.

Chico High School's Jake Hamman keeps his swing in check with a stellar setup. His own personal batting cage, located right in the backyard.

“I'm back here at least once or twice a day and just getting in work as best I can,” said Hamman.

This senior baseball and football player wants a chance to play at the next level, but the coronavirus is making life even harder.

Hamman says, “Coming into senior year, this summer's probably the biggest year for recruiting for me.”

He added, “I had a bunch of camps both baseball and football coming up. Big time camps with colleges and all that, but now they're all cancelled.”

Hamman’s experiencing a hurdle many NCAA hopefuls wish they can quickly overcome.

Resiliency is key, at least according to Chico's Head Football Coach, and new Athletic Director Jason Alvistur.

“There are few things that bother him. If they do, he doesn't show it. He is so even keeled. He deals with adversity very well and I think he's the kind of kid that could take this and maneuver through this to benefit himself and make himself successful,” said Alvistur.

Strong praise for the Panthers starting quarterback.

Hamman's coming off earning First Team Northern Section in football last year.

Despite things being out of his control, Hamman's staying hungry at practice, but stuffed at the dinner table.

He’s packed on 25 pounds of muscle this offseason alone. All in preparation for what should be a great senior football season.

“I don't think there's anything I can do about it, but just keep working, but hopefully there's going to be an opportunity that comes up soon. I'll be ready for it.”

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