Is Colin Kaepernick the long term quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers? Maybe not. But he is no doubt a fan favorite in his hometown of Turlock.
Kaepernick graduated from John H. Pitman High School in 2006, and the people of Turlock support their Niner whether he’s the starting quarterback or not.
His performance recently has not been consistent on the field at the most important position there is and Blaine Gabbert, who has a 5-22 record and lost his last 10 starts, will get the start on Sunday as the Niners take on the Atlanta Falcons.
Numerous businesses in town still have their Kap jerseys hanging proudly on display and their Kaepernick specialties still for sale.
Rori Redding, an employee at Main Street Footers, has not seen a decline in the community support for their star and says that the #CK7 Kaepernick Footer (complete with secret sauce, chili, coleslaw and jalapeño peppers) is still a hit.
“The sales are still steady,” she said. “People buy it every day and they have been for about the last two years, it’s still just as popular as before.”
Kaepernick’s jersey and collage of photos are still in a place of honor inside the Main Street eatery, as well.
While the Kap Footer is still a popular lunch item, Olde Tyme Pastries has seen a slight decline in the sales of their Kaepernick jersey cookies (with cinnamon frosting glaze).
“We still make them upon request,” said store manager Terri Coonce. “But although they aren’t as popular as they used to be, we still support Kaepernick 100 percent and we believe that Turlock as a whole does as well.”
Matt Staack, a former teammate of Kaepernick, agrees that the town still supports their hometown hero.
“He does a lot of great things for the community and still supports Pitman High, his alma mater,” said Staack. “When I played with him he always put the team first and he’ll continue to be a great leader no matter what position he’s in.”
Another organization that hasn’t forgotten their hometown hero is Westside Ministries, which is sporting a new slogan on their Columbia Street fence: “We love Kap.”
“We know he’s struggling right now, but wanted to still show our support for him,” said Lydio Banana, director of programming for Westside Ministries. “He’s such a wonderful role model for our kids.”
Banana added that the ministry is still selling their “We love Kap” t-shirts they made for him in the past few years and that anyone interested should contact the ministry at westsideministriesturlock.com.
There might be a change in the 49er offense, but there’s no change for the love Turlock has for Kaepernick.