Virus shutdown could see exodus of high school athletes from California

Local News

ROCKLIN, Calif. (KTXL) — With the uncertainty surrounding high school sports and whether or not teams will be able to play their seasons come the fall, some parents are contemplating moving out of state — or at least having their son or daughter move to continue their sports careers.

At 6-foot-5-inches tall and almost 225 pounds, soon-to-be sophomore Kristian Ingman is already one of the top-10 tight ends in the country for his age group.

“Let’s be honest, every kid’s dream is to go on. We’re not expecting that dream, but you don’t want to take that dream away and if you can help them achieve that dream, we’re going to do whatever we can and we felt this was the right decision as a family,” Kristian’s father, Jason, told FOX40.

In July, Kristian is literally picking up and taking off to the state of Florida. The 15-year-old will be attending the IMG Academy after being recruited to play football there.

“It’s a little nervous going out there on my own for the first time in my life at 15,” he said. “I knew it was going to happen someday, but it’s still a little nerve-racking to do it now.”

“Throughout the state, it’s day-to-day, it’s up and down, so we really just felt it would be better to put him in a situation where we knew exactly where the state stood, where the school stood,” Jason said.

Kristian’s family said had it not been for the coronavirus shutdown, he would have stayed and played the rest of his high school career for the Rocklin Thunder. But with the way things stand currently, his father feels more and more families will be making decisions like this one soon about their sons’ and daughters’ playing future.

“Especially with states like Texas, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma all opening up for full sports, you’re going to see a lot of movement and California is going to lose a lot of players,” Jason told FOX40.

“My friends are pretty supportive of this,” Kristian said. “They know how much of an opportunity this is to have, so they’re 100% saying, ‘You can do this and we’ll be there.’”

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