Athlete of the Year Guilbert prepares for a new challenge 

Photo by Ray Hamill/ – Eureka’s Jamin Guilbert receives his Big 5 Boys Athlete of the Year award from Jennifer Perrone of DelReka Distributing, one of our awards sponsors.

By Ray Hamill — When you’re the 2023 Humboldt Sports Big 5 Athlete of the Year, you’re probably going to have some options when it comes to playing in college.

And that was exactly the case for Eureka High’s Jamin Guilbert, who was heavily recruited this year — and in more sports than one.

Guilbert, who was a Logger standout in football, basketball and track and field, began preseason practice with the American River football team this week after committing his future to the Beavers.

And that’s not all.

After a record-breaking spring in track and field — in just his second year competing in the sport — the talented Guilbert will also compete for the American River track team in 2024.

For Guilbert, it was an easy decision and it all began years ago when he was a sixth-grade lineman determined to improve his game.

As Guilbert found out, however, unlike other sports here in Humboldt County there aren’t a whole lot of camps for linemen on the North Coast and he was forced to travel out of the area in an effort to hone his skills.

That’s when he discovered the Linemen Win Games Camp in Sacramento, which is run by longtime American River head coach Jon Osterhout and offensive line coach Bob Barnes, and it turned out to be a game changer for the young player.

Guilbert attended the camps annually, which not only put him on the coaches’ radar but also put them on his, and that was a big reason he chose American River despite being recruited by just about every community college in the state.

“When I was a sixth grader I started going to a football camp there, and that’s where I met the coaches,” he said. “And it just kind of grew from there and it became my school of choice.”

Guilbert has been practicing with his new teammates for the past few weeks during summer workouts and he began official practice in pads earlier this week.

And so far so good for the Eureka graduate, who was a Big 4 all-league selection as a senior and one of the best linemen in the area.

“It’s very competitive,” he said of his new program. “It’s also very organized.”

Guilbert, who was also recruited by a couple of Division-I schools, joins an American River team that is usually among the most competitive in the state, and one that was 5-0 in conference a year ago and 8-4 overall.

He says he hopes to go play for a four-year program after his time at American River and could move on as soon as next year.

“I need a little bit of growth, a little bit of development time,” he said. “After that, I’ll be four-year ready.”

If Guilbert’s impressive development in track and field over the past two years is any indication, the sky’s the limit for this multi-sport standout.

After just taking up some throwing events as a junior in high school, he quickly established himself as one of the greatest throwers in H-DNL history when he set a new league record in the discus this spring, breaking a mark that had stood for 20 years with a throw of 179’ 10” on his way to a North Coast Section Meet of Champions title and a top-10 finish at the state meet.

Jamin Guilbert with fellow H-DNL throwers Joseph Gonzalez of Eureka and Derek Ray of McKinleyville.

“The first year I was really just trying to figure out how to throw the disc flat,” he said. “This year I figured it out.”

In addition to his two years competing in high school track and field, Guilbert also played four years of basketball for the Loggers and four years of football, three of them as a starter on the varsity team.

While admitting that competing in sports during the COVID years was “weird,” Guilbert also says he enjoyed his time as a Loggers student-athlete, in particular an exciting shortened spring season in football in 2021, one that included a pair of thrilling overtime wins.

Any local players interested in the Lineman Win Games camps should visit their website for more information.

Categories: Eureka, Football, Track and field

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