With the cancellation of the spring season for high school sports, the Napa Valley Register is recognizing senior athletes who have had their careers come to a premature end due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Today we feature Justin-Siena’s Blake Hoban. The sprinter for the Braves track and field team owns a school record as a sprinter and doubled as a dangerous two-way player in football.
Football, basketball, and track and field.
Years on varsity:
Three years on track and just over two for football after I got pulled up at the end of my sophomore year. I played basketball on JV for one year.
By the numbers:
In football, he earned all-league honors both junior and senior years. As a wide receiver, he had a team-high 41 receptions for 754 yards and 6 touchdowns. He also had 2 interceptions as a defensive back.
As a sprinter in track and field, Hoban won the Vine Valley Athletic League title in the 4x100-meter dash as a junior. He was also a member of the 4x100 team that set a school record last year that still stands today.
What was your reaction to the spring season being canceled?
It was definitely a shock and I’m sure most people would agree. Having it be my senior year, I had high goals and was shooting for records, but unfortunately those got cut short. I try to keep telling myself everything happens for a reason and some good will come out of this.
What had you hoped to accomplish in your sport this spring?
I wanted to win another 4x100 league title and break the school record in the 100 and 200.
How has coronavirus changed your life?
It has definitely made me more aware of my surroundings and learning how to be more creative in keeping myself occupied at home. At the same time, it’s going to make me cherish time outside of quarantine even more.
Have you picked up any new hobbies during quarantine?
I wouldn’t say anything too new. I’m just trying to finish school strong and stay in shape as much as I can.
Best memory from high school sports?
I have many, but one from track that stands out is the when our 4x100 team broke the school record. That feeling was like no other.
What do you miss most about sports?
Just the bond and friendships you make with people, along with the memories. It’s something I will always wish I had in my senior year.
I’m going to start training for college football and make the most of the last summer with my friends.
Packing up and going out of state to play football.
Coach Tracy Martin says:
I have known Blake since his grammar school years, and he has been a very talented athlete since Day 1. He has always been fast, but in these last two years he has taken his speed to another level. I think pursuing and achieving the school record in the 4x100 relay last year with teammates Conrad Say, Landon Mispagel and Solomone Anitoni really inspired him.
His individual races also benefited from that season-long challenge of breaking the relay record, which now stands at 43.34 seconds. He had a fantastic top-three 100-meter performance at the VVAL championships last season, and a strong personal record at the North Coast Section Redwood Empire meet. He recognized at that point that he could lead our team this year, anchor the relay and race for the podium at the NCS Meet of Champions.
This season, he stepped right into our team captain role, set his goals high and continued to put the work in at practice. He was already ranked in the top two in the VVAL and top four in the Redwood Empire in the 100 and was headed that same direction in the 200 with a relay split of 23.4 at our first meet.
I really enjoyed seeing him anchor our 4x100 relay with great success already this year, and he would have chased a second school record with his 4x200 relay teammates at the Santa Barbara Easter Relays Invitational. We had many new, young athletes on the team this year and Blake was leading them by example. He continues to push for a new gear, and his attitude was setting him up for another successful championship season.
While track and field has been cut short, I am grateful Blake will carry that drive into collegiate athletics. He is on the rise with more left in the tank, as they say, and has an exciting athletic career ahead.
Contact Gus via phone at 707-304-9372 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JustGusMorris.
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