The Renegade Rip

BC shortstop has his head and his heart in the game

Saad Kazi, Reporter

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“My father played, and his father did … It’s one thing that’s been in the family for a long time.”

Kamron Willman was already that much assured to fall in love with baseball from the moment he first picked up the bat at the age of 6. But the Bakersfield College shortstop doesn’t take anything for granted when it comes to playing the game at a collegiate level.

“I didn’t know how the transition from high school to junior college baseball would be,” Willman said of his freshman year at BC. “That whole year was filled with ups and downs … I gained a lot more experience and become a better baseball player and person.”

Saad Kazi
Willman in his first season at BC. The shortstop unfortunately had to red shirt his sophomore year.

After a tough debut season, Willman unfortunately had to red shirt his sophomore year due to Valley Fever. The 20 year old is now anticipating the start of 2019, when he will finally get to play his second season after a long hiatus.

“Baseball is my first love,” Willman said. “I’ve always kept that love for it, which has kept me playing up to right now.”

Willman had never taken any time off from baseball before last year. All the way up to his early teens, he was coached primarily by his father while playing with the Greenfield Baseball Association.

Baseball was his daily life, rooting for the Colorado Rockies when he wasn’t playing (he favors Colorado teams for every sport). It was also a way for the family to bond; Willman’s twin brother, Kyle, has played on every team with him their whole lives.

Junior year at Ridgeview High School was Willman’s golden age. His team held onto a strong bond, where there was “more pulling for each other than anything else,” and would eventually make its way to the Valley Championship game.

“We weren’t as talented but we just didn’t quit when it came to big time games,” Willman remembered. “That’s what I loved about our team.”

Though Garces Memorial took home the victory, the championship appearance alone was Ridgeview baseball’s first in history.

Saad Kazi
Willman (left) and his twin brother Kyle in the Greenfield Baseball Association at age 7.

After graduating high school in 2016, both Willman and Kyle moved on to BC’s diamond field. Willman played most of his first season, while Kyle, playing catcher, hardly did. When Willman red shirted his next season, Kyle got more play time, and eventually got picked by Campbell University in North Carolina for Division 1 baseball.

“He did good last year, he deserved that for sure,” Willman said of his brother.

This upcoming season will be the first in which Willman and Kyle will play for different teams. Willman misses his brother but will see him on television this season.

And though he is ready to start the next season, Willman makes visible in him the ‘student’ in ‘student athlete.’ In his three years at BC, he has always been adamant in attending all his classes, and in high school he finished with a GPA of over 4.0.

Eventually, he wants to follow Kyle’s route of playing at a four-year university, and continue on playing professionally, so that he never has to fall out of love with the game.

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BC shortstop has his head and his heart in the game