As the high school baseball season rolled by, Hunter Hudson was beginning to have doubts.
Sequatchie County's senior shortstop was securing few looks and no scholarship offers.
He began to think that opting to play football rather than fall baseball last season might be his undoing.
"Playing football put me behind other guys, but my coach did a great job of getting me looked at, and I have no regrets about playing football," Hudson said. "I think the regret would have been not playing."
He plans to sign this weekend with Tennessee Tech.
"I kept telling him that he had to be patient. There toward the end of the season he didn't have anything, and I kept preaching patience," Sequatchie coach Aaron Simmons said. "Then when summer ball started, things started opening up.
"Tennessee Tech saw him one time and said they wanted him. To be in the position he was in, he did well. He was fortunate to get a Division I offer."
Simmons was referring to timing rather than talent.
"I honestly believe he was the best player in the Chattanooga area this year," Simmons said.
Hudson hit an area-leading .520 with seven home runs, 11 doubles and two triples. He also had 27 RBIs, scored 51 runs and stole 55 bases.
"He has game-changing speed in addition to being a physical player. He's bigger than I thought. He has great potential," Ooltewah coach Brian Hitchcox said after watching Hudson win the MVP trophy in the Tennessee-Georgia all-star baseball game Tuesday.
Hudson's commitment to Tech gives his family two college-bound baseball players. His younger brother, junior pitcher Dakota Hudson, committed to Mississippi State this spring.
Two other Indians signed to move on. Left-handed pitcher A.J. Houk, who missed the bulk of the season with a hairline fracture in his elbow, signed with the University of the Cumberlands, and right-handed pitcher Kegan Frederick signed with Cleveland State.
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...