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Senior Spotlight: VCA's Jamin Magness perseveres amid turbulent senior year
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Senior Spotlight

Senior Spotlight: VCA's Jamin Magness perseveres amid turbulent senior year

Some familiarity bred comfort for Jamin Magness when it came to Dallas Baptist, so Dallas Baptist will be where the Valley Christian Academy senior will continue his education.

“Both my parents actually went to Dallas Baptist, and my dad told me to give it a look,” said Jamin Magness.

He did give the school a look. as good a look as one can in this age of COVID-19 pandemic-caused closed campuses anyway, and decided Dallas Baptist was the school for him.

Besides, “I have family in the area,” said Magness.

Magness played football, basketball and baseball at Valley Christian Academy. He was the VCA nominee for the 2020 Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table Male Athlete of the Year.

His senior year has been more than trying for Magness. He broke his wrist in a VCA football game.

“It was the right wrist, my dominant hand,” said Magness. It was late in the basketball season before Magness could play sports again.

He was part of a VCA baseball team that, along with the VCA softball team, played in the last sports events on the Central Coast before the pandemic prompted the cancellation of the rest of the spring sports season across the nation.

VCA’s baseball team defeated Coastal Christian 16-0 at VCA March 13. The game was called after the top of the fifth inning because of the 10-run rule.

There have been no sports events on the Central Coast since that day. Schools statewide closed shortly thereafter and the CIF State Office announced on April 3 that all post-season spring sports events were cancelled.

With a right wrist that is not completely healed yet, Magness has been working out individually as best he can. Team workouts were cancelled when schools closed.

“I hope to play basketball my sophomore year at Dallas Baptist,” Magness said. “I’ve been doing some basic home workouts. I’ve been going on some morning runs sometimes, doing bike rides when I can.”

“I’d say the (right) wrist is 80 percent healed. There’s a plate in it now. I hope to settle into college academics my freshman year and work on my game.”

Magness said, “I hope to have another surgery on my wrist, in December of this year, and have the plate removed.”

He played point guard/shooting guard at VCA for four years. When he’s ready, Magness hopes to secure a backcourt slot on the Dallas Baptist team.

“I haven’t reached out to the Dallas Baptist basketball staff yet,” said Magness. “If all this COVID-19 stuff clears up, when I go to the campus I can get some information about it.”

Magness played football and baseball at VCA for three years. “My junior year I got a job working at Chick-Fil-A and decided to take some time off from some sports.”

He has been active in Christian service activities, and that helped Magness secure some academic scholarship money toward attending Dallas Baptist.

“I’ve gotten a Christian leadership scholarship as well as a Christian service scholarship,” said Magness. “That’s been a big help toward tuition.

“I‘ve talked to some out-of-state administrators, and they’ve been able to help me with getting applied and getting an academic scholarship.”

After the schools closed, Magness said he "adjusted pretty well to online learning. I do prefer the in-person interaction I feel normal school gives you.

“It helps you better understand and get a question answered rather than have to send an email and wait for the reply.”

Magness said he hopes to make a science field a career. “I know I want to do something involved with the human body, whether that be sports or something else.”

Player of the Decade: We're looking for the top player of the last 10 seasons

The sports staff at the Santa Maria Times, Lompoc Record and Santa Ynez Valley News is looking for the top football player from Northern Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County over the last 10 seasons of high school ball.

See who our nominees are thus far.

Senior Spotlight Series: Celebrating the area's top senior student-athletes

Our 'Senior Spotlight' series is aimed at highlighting senior student-athletes who have had their final year of high school disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. The athletes featured here were their school's nominee for Athlete of the Year or Student Athlete of the Year for the Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table's end-of-year banquet that has been canceled due to the outbreak.

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Sports Reporter

Kenny Cress, sportswriter for the Santa Maria Times since September of 2000. BA in political science from Cal Poly Pomona. BA in journalism from Cal State Northridge.

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