Coweta football coach Tim Harper has been searching the rule books and bylaws for any way he can get senior quarterback Gage Hamm an extra year of eligibility.
“I’m trying everything I can to figure out a way to hold him back,” joked Harper.
Hamm is a huge reason for Coweta’s recent rise in Class 5A. The Tigers are 7-1 this season and have won 18 of their last 21 games over the past two seasons. They’re currently ranked fourth in the state according to Prep Redzone Oklahoma.
“This program has made some huge strides in the right direction and a lot of it has been because of who we have at quarterback,” admitted Harper. “The kids believe in him. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, Gage Hamm is ready to go.”
Through eight games, Hamm has thrown for nearly 1,400 yards. Even more impressive are his 19 touchdown passes and only one interception. For his career, he has nearly 6,000 passing yards, 60 touchdown tosses and just 10 interceptions.
“Gage is a three-year starter that makes great decisions with the football,” stated Harper. “I’m super proud of him and his production. When you think about the level of competition we’ve played over the last three years, you can’t say enough good things about Gage Hamm.”
With that kind of production to go along with his 6-3, 195-pound frame, you would think colleges would be lined up at the school gates to recruit Hamm. Unfortunately, most schools have taken a wait-and-see approach with the senior signal caller.
“I’ve been talking to three or four schools and most are saying I probably won’t be playing quarterback,” claimed Hamm, who’s also an All-State wrestler. “They said I still have this season to prove that I can play quarterback. Recruiting is not the easiest thing to deal with. I don’t have any offers yet, but I know they’re going to come eventually.”
“When it comes to colleges, it’s usually one of two things,” added Harper. “They either want a quarterback that’s a pure passer or they want somebody that’s got 4.3, 4.4, or 4.5 speed. Gage is a 4.6 kid, but let me tell you what he really is – he’s a winner.”
The Tigers have already avenged both of their losses from last season, knocking off Bishop McGuinness and county rival Wagoner the first two weeks of the season. The convincing 37-13 win over the defending state champion Bulldogs was especially sweet for Hamm and his teammates.
“Our defensive line coach (Dave McGrath), he’s been at Coweta for 18-19 years and he’s only beaten Wagoner a couple of times,” said Hamm, who had three touchdown passes and a rushing TD in the game. “Seeing him hold that trophy after we won was probably the highlight of the night.”
With just two regular season games remaining, Hamm realizes his high school career is nearing an end. Unless Harper finds an eligibility loophole somewhere, the quarterback only has a handful of opportunities remaining to don the orange and black Coweta uniform.
“It’s gone by really fast, especially this season,” admitted Hamm. “It’s already Week 8 or Week 9. It doesn’t even feel like Week 4 or 5 right now. We’re working on winning these next two games so we can have at least one more home game.”
Coweta plays host to another local rival Friday night at 7:00 P.M. when the Tigers welcome Bishop Kelley to town. YurView will televise this Ford Game of the Week live on Cox channel 3 and online.