TERRE HAUTE —
Following a standout baseball career at Terre Haute North, Max Hutson took his talents to one of the nation’s most prestigious collegiate programs at Wichita State.
Injuries never allowed Hutson to reach his potential, although he earned four letters as a Shocker and earned Academic All-Missouri Valley Conference honors in 2007.
Upon graduation, Hutson returned to Terre Haute and has spent the past two years as a volunteer assistant with the Indiana State program under Coach Rick Heller while also running a youth baseball school.
Hutson is now taking his career path to the next level, as he has accepted a job as an assistant coach at Southeastern Community College in Burlington, Iowa.
“Coach Heller gave me a good recommendation, and Coach [Justin] Schulte and I got along really well,” Hutson said. “About a week later, we signed the deal.”
Hutson is going to one of the nation’s top junior college programs, as last year the Blackhawks won 44 games and finished one win short of qualifying for the Division II JUCO World Series.
SCC shortstop Yhoxian "Chippy" Medina was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 38th round of the major-league baseball draft, while two Blackhawk players are continuing on to play in Division I.
One of those is pitcher Dakota Bacus, who ironically is trading places with Hutson and coming to Terre Haute to play for the Sycamores this fall. Bacus pitched against several of his new teammates in the summer of 2010 for the Moline (Ill.) American Legion team in the regional tournament, defeating Wayne Newton Post 346 in the finals.
Hutson enjoyed his time back in Terre Haute, and realizes that the first rung on climbing the ladder of collegiate coaching is to be an assistant and continue to work his way up.
“Being at ISU was an awesome experience for me,” Hutson said. “Learning the game under Rick, Tyler [Herbst] and Brian [Smiley], and I had a lot of fun. It was nice being back home and seeing all the people I know and love.”
One appealing aspect of junior college baseball is that there is both a fall season and a spring season, so the opportunities to coach games are plentiful. SCC will begin its fall season next weekend, and comes back to Indiana to play in a tournament at St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer in September.
Hutson majored in finance at Wichita State, but the competitive nature of baseball is something he just doesn’t have out of his system yet.
“I love being able to continue doing baseball, which is my passion in life,” he said. “My long-term goal is to be a Division I head coach someday. I am going to work hard and try to work my way through the coaching ranks and let the chips fall where they may.”
• Bits and pieces – Terre Haute South and Pepperdine grad Kristen Seaton has begun volleyball practice with the Indiana Hoosiers.
Because of a medical redshirt year with the Waves, Seaton will have one year of eligibility for IU while she works toward a master’s degree.
In a videotaped interview on the IU athletic Web site, the 6-5 outside hitter said that she doesn’t mind the dropoff from the picturesque setting of Malibu, Calif., to being back home in Indiana.
“It’s good, it feels like home again,” she said. “It’s nice getting to meet with a new group of girls, and play in front of people I know – finally.”
Seaton said the veteran Hoosiers have accepted her well to the program in a short time.
“It’s been awesome, and I feel like I really fit right in,” she said. “I’ve only been here for about a week or so, but everyone has really pushing each other and holding each other accountable. “They want to win, Seaton added. “It’s really nice coming to a very competitive group of girls.
The Hoosiers will have four televised matches this year.
They will play on ESPN2 when they visit Nebraska on Oct. 8, 2011, a game that will be broadcast via tape-delay on Oct. 9. Indiana's trip to Michigan State on Oct. 26 will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network. The Hoosiers will host Iowa and the BTN on Nov. 12, with the game tape-delayed on Nov. 13.
The Hoosiers will also play before cameras at Ohio State on Nov. 20, a game broadcasted by the BTN.
• Northview grad Trent Lancaster is not a member of the Indiana State football team this fall, delaying his enrollment until the spring semester as a “greyshirt.”
He can participate in spring workouts, but the upcoming school year will not count as one of the five calendar years an athlete has to complete four years of eligibility.
• Terre Haute North grad Ben King has transferred from ISU to DePauw and joined the Tiger football team in time for the beginning of fall practice.
King is a 6-0, 200-pound defensive back who redshirted last fall during his freshman year at ISU. His first game as a Tiger will be in Terre Haute on Sept. 3 as DePauw plays at Rose-Hulman.
• Haley Chambers, who pitched Riverton Parke to the Class 1A state softball championship two years ago, has moved near Indianapolis for her senior year and is now attending Cascade High School.
She is playing volleyball for the Cadets, and verbally committed last year to play Division I softball for Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
• Terre Haute North grad Molly Martin was honored by Hanover College last spring as the school’s top senior athlete.
Martin capped her four-year career as the leading scorer and rebounder in Hanover’s women’s basketball history. She totaled 1,887 points and 1,091 rebounds in her career.
The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s most valuable player as a senior, Martin was a first-team selection for four consecutive years and was the HCAC’s freshman of the year in 2008. She was also named the most valuable player in the league tournament the past two seasons.
She now works at Union Hospital in Terre Haute in the fitness department.
Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches at Northview High School in Brazil. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.