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California athletes missing out on scholarship opportunities amid pandemic

Football signing day is less than two days away, and with California athletes not able to participate in athletics, some say they are missing out on scholarship opportunities, which could impact their future.

Posted: Feb 1, 2021 10:14 PM
Updated: Feb 2, 2021 8:42 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Football signing day is less than two days away, and with California athletes not able to participate in athletics, some say they are missing out on scholarship opportunities.

Action News spoke to senior Cole Valentine who said not knowing if he is going to have his last season at Pleasant Valley is disappointing and frustrating.

"When you don't have chances to play for your last time and you don't have chances to play in college because of that, it really does frustrate it is a disappointment, it hurts my heart," said Valentine.

Valentine has one academic offer, but says right now he's just hoping he has a senior season. However, he says he will always wonder what would have happened if he had his season during prime recruitment time.

"I can never estimate what other people can view me has, but I can assume I would get more than what I have now. That is a fair assumption for a lot of guys out there. So it is definitely heart breaking," said Valentine.

Across town at Chico High School, Quarterback Jake Hamman, says his feelings are the same.

"It is really saddening, it is devastating, I have worked my whole life to play college sports, it has been a dream of mine so it is devastating," said Hamman.

The senior football and baseball star also does not have any offers. 

Hamman says he grew a lot between his junior and senior year, so the old film he has just doesn't cut it.

"I look at myself from last year and I see I have grown in height and weight, and I just feel like I can do so much better and I have so much more to offer now," said Hamman. 

Pleasant Valley Coach Mark Cooley says it is vital for college coaches to see game film over practice film.

He says this is hurting athletes across the state who can't afford college without a scholarship.

"That is one of the main goals, one of top three goals. If we can help parents pay for education by getting kids scholarships that is exactly what we want to do. This year, as I said before it is not like it has been in the past," said Cooley. 

Cooley added on Thursday a meeting is being held between California coaches, Dr. Gayle from the CDC, and staff from Governor Newsom's Office to try and get athletes back into competition.

Cooley said the meeting is also for the arts, like drama and band. He says it is to safely try and get anything related to high school back for the kids. 

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Gusty winds and very dry conditions will drive high fire danger across northern California on Thursday. We'll also end up much cooler on Thursday afternoon. Lighter winds, hotter temperatures, and more widespread impacts to air quality are ahead for Friday and Saturday.
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