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Perryville athlete Emarion Hampton feels strain of COVID in search for a college

Perryville's Emarion Hampton tries to slip from the grasp of Joppatowne's Jason McLeaod during a Class 1A East playoff game at Perryville in 2019.
Perryville's Emarion Hampton tries to slip from the grasp of Joppatowne's Jason McLeaod during a Class 1A East playoff game at Perryville in 2019. (Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun Media)

It is no secret that there are hundreds of senior high school athletes across this country that have been drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Maryland, lost spring athletic seasons as juniors, only to be followed up with a lost fall season, the season that brings all back to school and into the stands for Friday night football.

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Perryville High School athlete Emarion Hampton is one of these seniors who is searching for the next step in his future and he’s finding it hard as COVID has hampered his efforts.

“It’s affected my recruiting big time. I do feel like I’d be in way better position because, without in-person evaluations and going to the colleges and visiting them, it’s hard for a college to see how really good I am and, especially being from a small school, it’s hard to get my name out there,” Hampton said. “So, I have to do more and colleges are just going off your film, so if they don’t see you in person they’re not going to really offer you. They don’t know what type of player you are; film doesn’t speak for everything. There’s little things they’ll notice in person. I can’t get that luxury, so it’s really hard.”

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Hampton promotes himself as an athlete through twitter and other social avenues. For the Panthers, Hampton plays running back, safety and wide receiver.

Hampton is 5 feet 11 inches and 190 pounds. His max bench is 275 pounds and he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.55 seconds.

“In this offseason, it’s the hardest I’ve ever worked, I’ve been training really hard, on the field every day,” Hampton said. “I have a weight room in my house, so I’ve been training down there and off the field, I DM’d [direct messaged] at least 100 coaches every day, twice every day. I have to do what I have to do to get to the next level. I’ve been trying to do whatever I can to get these coaches to notice me.”

As the student, Hampton says he is holding a 3.0 GPA, but says he wants to improve that. “I feel like I do really good in the classroom, trying to get grades even more up, it expands my college choices as grades go up,” Hampton said.

With no college offer out there, Hampton doesn’t have a wishlist either. “I don’t really know, I’m gonna go wherever I think is the best pick for me,” he said. “The area, the quality and characteristics, but right now I’m just trying to figure that out. So I don’t have a school picked out that I know of.”

Whichever school Hampton decides on, he plans to study computer science.

Currently, Hampton, who also plays basketball at Perryvile, is gearing up for a brief 7-vs-7 football league in Cecil County. “We have workouts twice a week and were starting 7-vs-7 soon, but without our coaches, we’ve been contacting Havre de Grace, so we’ll have little 7-on-7′s here and there,” Hampton said.

The league in Cecil is scheduled to begin September 28 and last for about a month with one game per week.

Hampton says he is aware of the recent news about a possible 5-week fall season next March-April.

“Everybody’s new to this, so I can’t really be mad about it because at least they’re doing something, cause they could just cancel the season,” Hampton said. “I’m happy with anything, a little bit of football is better than none.”

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