By Ray Hamill — Former St. Bernard’s multi-sport standout Lane Thrap has decided to put his college football career at Santa Rosa JC on hold for a year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And that’s good news for College of the Redwoods, with Thrap opting instead to enroll at the local community college and play baseball for the Corsairs for the year.
“With all the uncertainty with COVID, and not being really certain of the amount of games we’ll get to play, I figured it wasn’t a good year to go down and spend money on housing,” Thrap said. “And I figured it would be a good year to play baseball.”
The recent St. Bernard’s graduate was a prep standout in football, basketball and baseball, and had the option to play any of them at the collegiate level.
Thrap enjoyed a sensational season on the football field last fall and was among the top receivers in the entire North Coast Section, helping the Crusaders win a state championship.
Earlier this year he committed to play football at Santa Rosa, one of the most competitive JC programs in the state, and that remains the long-term goal.
“I plan on still playing football. That was my No. 1 decision,” the college freshman said, adding that the Santa Rosa coaches were very helpful in his decision to hold off for a year. “I’m still excited to play there next year.”
For Thrap, switching sports in college won’t be too much of an adjustment.
“I like baseball just as much as I like football, and I’m excited to get to play another year of baseball, especially after missing out on my senior year (because of COVID-19),” he said.
The former St. Bernard’s star will provide some options for head coach Brad Morgan and the Corsairs, and is expected to play a big role, following in the footsteps of his older brother Logan who also played for Morgan.
“That family, they’re just tough competitors, and you know you’re going to get that out of him,” Morgan said of Lane. “There’s just no quit in them.”
Morgan, who coached Thrap this summer as an assistant with the Humboldt Eagles 19U baseball team, sees the former St. Bernard’s player having an immediate impact at the collegiate level both on the mound and in the infield, while he expects him to grow as a player at the plate.
“I know from working with him over the summer that he’s pretty reliable in the infield, and he’s able to go on the bump and throw strikes and get outs,” the CR head coach said. “(At the plate) he made some adjustments over the summer and we worked with him and he ended up doing pretty well.”
After missing out on a spring high school season, Thrap says he particularly enjoyed playing this past summer for the Humboldt Eagles, an all-county all-star team, especially the many road trips they were forced to take in order to play games.
“It was a lot of fun,” he said. “I got to play one more year with a lot of players I’ve been playing with my whole life.”
He added, “I thought it was better that we got to travel. It felt like we had been stuck at home a long time.”
At CR he will be reunited with former St. Bernard’s and Humboldt Eagles teammate Caleb Ruiz.
A large class of CR players is expected to begin restricted practice next week after recently getting the go-ahead.
“Recruiting has gone pretty good,” Morgan said. “We’re right around the 40-man mark, which is a pretty good class, a pretty big class. I’m definitely looking forward to getting these guys out on the field and seeing what they can do.”