Aaron Hamilton moved around a lot as a kid.
Beginning in Junction City, Hamilton then moved to Columbus, Ohio, and then to Fort Meade, Maryland. His last stop was in New Orleans, Louisiana, before he returned to Junction City when he was in third grade. A native of Manhattan, Hamilton’s mom had heard from friends in the area about the Junior Jays football program, and got him to join the club as a fifth grader.
“I came back in third grade and I didn’t know anyone,” Hamilton said. “I could have played Junior Jays in third grade, but I didn’t know about it. I played in fifth grade and that’s how I met all my friends. You stay on the same team every year with the same people every year. So, I just grew with them and had the same coaches every year.”
Hamilton played for the Juniors Jays, and continued to play the game he grew to love in high school for the Blue Jays. He didn’t have huge expectations for himself going into his freshman year, and he characterized himself as timid.
“When I came here freshman year, I wasn’t really expecting to be moved up,” Hamilton said. “I just knew I had to come in, run the offense and do what I needed to do. Then I came in my junior year and started varsity, and that’s when I played offense. I played offense freshman to junior year.”
And it was his senior year when Hamilton saw many doors open up in front of him, when he switched sides of the ball, from offense to defense.
“My senior year, the senior classes before me were all defensive players so they were all gone and graduated,” Hamilton said. “So, I had to take one for the team and go where it was best for me and the team. I played safety, and I probably should’ve done that my freshman year because safety was a lot better for me.”
Hamilton’s play helped net him an offer from Ottawa University, where he committed to play at on March 5. But due to financial constraints, he decided it was best for he and his family for him to explore other opportunities. On May 4, Hamilton reopened his recruitment. Then on May 20, Hamilton made a commitment to continue his football playing career and education at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe.
“The offer was way better than Ottawa; way, better financially,” Hamilton said. “The coaches were really nice to me and the location was a lot better. I’ll be playing in Olathe, and I’ll be able to do a lot more things.”
Hamilton was told that the Pioneers plan to play him at defensive back and as a return man. He will bring a lot of speed to the program. Since he has only played defense for one season, he plans to hit the film room and study a lot more while trying to add some weight and strength to his body.
Hamilton has soaked in a lot from his playing time in Junction City. He knows that the timid player that walked onto the gridiron as a freshman in high school won’t be the same one walking onto it as a freshman in college.
“I know I have to be all-in and I can’t be timid,” Hamilton said. “I need to go get what’s mine because anything can happen. I can take a seniors’ spot any second, and a senior can get hurt any second. So I have to go all-in and be fearless.”