Austin Hutchins rewrote a majority of the record book for quarterbacks at Tri-County North.
Having lead the Panthers to the post-season three times, the 6 foot, 2 inch, senior is taking his talents to the next level.
Hutchins, a four-year starter for North, signed a letter-of-intent to continue his academic and athletic career at Ohio Northern University near Columbus.
“I’m pretty excited,” Hutchins said. “Not a lot of kids get the opportunity to go play at the next level. I’m pretty blessed and just really excited about the opportunity. I love the coaches. I love the atmosphere up there. Small college, small town. I’m kind of used to that. I’m excited to go up there and work hard and prove myself.”
Hutchins, who excelled at three sports North, said he’s hoping to see playing time his first year.
“That’s out there. They have a junior right now, but you never know what can happen the harder you work,” Hutchins said.
Hutchins played at quarterback, defensive back, and punt returner for the Panthers this season. He finished with 1,433 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns, and 309 rushing yards with five rushing touchdowns. On defense, he had 56.5 tackles, one interception, and one forced fumble.
Tri-County North coach Bill Derringer said Hutchins will be hard to replace.
“I can remember back his freshman year and he never threw one interception. We weren’t putting it in the air as much as we did later on, but over the course of his four years he has rewritten every quarterback record that we have for a career,” Derringer said.
Hutchins owns records for most touchdown passes, most yards passing, most touchdowns in a season and many more.
“He’s done very well for us,” Derringer said. “He was captain his junior and senior year. He is going to be greatly missed. It’s going to be difficult to replace somebody like that. And academically and as far as character he’s top-notch in all areas. It’s easy to coach when you got good players.”
“I’m excited he’s going to Ohio Northern. It’s close. I don’t get to go watch my guys play in college a whole lot because I’m trying to get ready for our next opponent, but being that Ohio Northern is less than two hours drive I’ll try and get up and see him play,” Derringer said.
Hutchins appreciated his time at North.
“Coach D put a lot of confidence in me. I owe a lot of thanks to him. He made me the player I am today. Great players helped me out a lot over the four years. I couldn’t have done it without everybody on the team. I’m very thankful.,” Hutchins said.
“We went to back-to-back playoffs. Unfortunately we couldn’t pull out a win, but it was exciting. The town got really involved. The senior class has a whole bunch of leaders in it. I want to thank my teammates and Coach D.”