By Sara Hodges

ROCKLIN (CBS13) — A Rocklin High School athlete is taking a drastic step after learning the fall season would be delayed in California due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

It didn’t take long for both Kristian Ingman and his father Jason to see the writing on the wall. He’s decided to make a move to salvage his early football career by moving across the country.

“When COVID happened, I started thinking well maybe the season might not happen,” he said.

“My biggest fear would be that come December another executive body’s going to make a decision and say well the curve hasn’t flattened enough,” Jason Ingman said.

Luckily for this sophomore, he already had the top-ranked high school football program showing interest.

“It was a nice nod that IMG called up and said they wanted him to come out, but we weren’t going to do it,” his father said. “We ultimately decided that while it wouldn’t be the best for the family per se, it’s the best for him.”

So, they packed his bags and made the very tough decision to send their 15-year-old son over 3,000 miles away to IMG Academy in Florida.

“Freshman year is when you get your name out there, sophomore year is where coaches actually start looking for you and then junior year is about the year that all the offers come in,” Kristian said.

“If you start applying them your senior year or start apply them when you get into college, you’re 10 years behind the curve,” Jason said.

READ MORE: Fall High School Sports In California, Including Football, Delayed Until At Least December

At a very young age, Kristian knew he wanted to play football at the highest level.

“His first football camp at seven, when I went to pick him up from UC Davis, he said, ‘Daddy can I please stay overnight?'” Jason said.

“Pretty much every day, I would train every day just to get where I am now,” Kristian said.

Over the years his love for the game only grew, and so did his size. As a sophomore, Kristian stands at 6’5″ and 220 pounds, the perfect build for an NFL tight end.

“All of my teammates were giving me a hard time for leaving, but pretty much all of them said, ‘Go out there and make it to the league,'” Kristian said.

It’s unclear how many other young athletes are thinking about making this move, but chances are he’s not the only one. Kristian said he’s not ruling out coming back to Rocklin post-pandemic to finish out his high school career.


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