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Senior Spotlight: Larson strove to improve American Canyon's baseball program
Senior Spotlight

Senior Spotlight: Larson strove to improve American Canyon's baseball program

From the Senior Spotlight: A celebration of Napa County student athletes series

With the cancellation of the spring season for high school sports, the Napa Valley Register will recognize senior athletes over the next few months who have had their careers come to a premature end due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Today we focus on American Canyon multi-sport star James Larson. A staple of the Wolves baseball team during his prep career, Larson also played a large role for the Wolves football team as a strong running back this past fall.


Baseball for four years, football for three and basketball for one.

Years on varsity:

My freshman year I played the end of the baseball season on varsity and have been at that level ever since.

By the numbers:

Career varsity batting average of .327 with 48 hits, 17 RBIs and 43 runs in 50 games. Also only committed 3 errors. Earned all-league honors as a sophomore in the Solano County Athletic League. Two-time finalist for the Register’s County Baseball Defensive Player of the Year award. Rushed for 441 yards and 2 touchdowns on 64 carries as a senior for the 8-3 Wolves. Was a second-team all-league selection to the Vine Valley Athletic League football team as a senior.

Fun fact:

I love to dance and I’m really sad prom was canceled.

What was your reaction to the spring season being canceled?

The day our coach told us the season was officially over was heartbreaking. He had sent out a long group message to all our players saying how sad he was to tell us it’s over and that he’s sorry this was how it ended for our seniors and how he was really looking forward to this year. Right after, my teammate Jordan Fisher sent me a separate text reminding me of all the fun times and memories we had together as underclassmen starting high school varsity baseball. After that text the reality of not being able to play baseball with my boys again made me cry.

What had you hoped to accomplish in baseball this spring?

We were hoping to accomplish it all. You name it, we were trying to go as far as possible along with taking first place in the league. Outside of winning, we were trying to accomplish a new system we wanted to implement into the teams with hope to improve our own game and the future of the program.

How has coronavirus changed your life?

If you know me you’d know I’m a handshake/hug-type of person when it comes to saying hi. Ever since this coronavirus, it’s hard to think that people will be comfortable anytime soon with shaking someone’s hand. Personally, it’s made me think more cautiously about staying clean and being more mindful of spreading germs and how I interact with others.

Have you picked up any new hobbies during quarantine?

I’d say I haven’t picked up any new hobbies, just doing those hobbies a lot more than usual. I will say though I have watched just about every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie there is ever since quarantine and I’ve played video games so much I don’t like them anymore.

Best memory from high school sports?

My best memory from high school sports had to be when Eli De Guzman hit a walk-off three-run home run to send us home winners against Fairfield my sophomore year. I watched the majestic shot sail over the fence while standing on third base. It was an unbelievable ending to that game.

What you miss most about sports?

I miss the bond and the overall brotherhood we had as a team. I will miss competing with each other and making unforgettable memories. I miss cracking jokes and laughing together. This team had a lot of great athletes and a lot of veterans and sadly we will never know what we were capable of or be able play our final season together in high school like we dreamt of in little league.

Summer plans:

This summer I plan to continue to practice and train as much as I can, as well as getting a job. I also plan to go out and enjoying my friend’s company if the government lets me.

Fall plans:

I will be attending Solano Community College and playing baseball there along with some of my former and past teammates.

Coach Matt Brown says:

Even as a freshman, he was one of the best athletes on campus. We’ve had some transfers come in and give him a run for his money, but his hard work and determination have kept him in the conversation as one of the top athletes at the school. He is a very good student and has outstanding character and integrity. He is a student athlete who I would want my own sons to to emulate.

On and off the field, Jimmy is a team leader. He is the heartbeat of the baseball team and has earned the respect of his teammates. He actively cultivates relationships and includes the newcomers and JV players.

Contact Gus via phone at 707-304-9372 or email at Follow him on Twitter @JustGusMorris.

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Sports Reporter

Gus Morris covers St. Helena and Calistoga sports for the Napa Valley Register. Before joining the Register in 2018, he covered collegiate sports for the student publication at the University of Oregon.

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