Concord (Calif.) De La Salle linebacker Michael Hutchings knows that each week the Spartans step on the field, they’re going to get their opponents best shot.
Winners of 20 straight section titles and three straight CIF State Open Division titles, Hutchings wants to leave De La Salle with another ring before he heads down to USC.
And as a senior captain, he knows he’s got the responsibility of keeping his team focused in games that on paper, appear to be blowouts.
“Some games are more significant than others, and its hard in this long stretch of the season to stay focused, but it’s also the most important part of our job as seniors to keep our efforts high every game because everyone is coming for us,” said Hutchings.
As usual, the Spartans are ranked #1 in California, and the heavy favorites to win another CIF-NCS title and make a return trip to the Home Depot Center. On Friday, against former EBAL rival Pleasanton (Calif.) Foothill, the Spartans found themselves in a little closer game then they’re used to.
“Our previous games, we won by over 50 points, but this was the first pretty good team in the EBAL we played and they always play us pretty well. We weren’t surprised by the way they played us,” said Hutchings. “It was fun getting in on offense and scoring a touchdown, but I also dropped a pretty important one. It’s my job to stay focused and show my team that.”
One thing that isn’t distracting him is recruiting, Hutchings committing to USC on July 1st.
He’s used the past few months to continue to build a strong relationship with his future Trojan teammates.
“I talk to Eddie Vanderdoes all the time and with Kenny Bigelow too. He’s way across the country, but I talk with him a lot. We’re set on our guys at USC, and we’re all close to each other,” said Hutchings. “I think other schools’ classes have noticed how tight we are. We’re happy to be finished with recruiting and excited about USC.”
Hutchings said he plans to get down to USC for the Oregon game for an unofficial visit, but will likely wait for his official visit until after the season is done.
“All the commits are planning to take their visits together after the season,” said Hutchings. “But I’m going to get down there on November 3rd for the Oregon game.”
Hutchings said he stays in consistent contact with the USC coaches.
“I talk to Coach (Scott) Hazelton and Coach (Clay) Helton a lot and we’re staying in touch with all the other guys and just always communicating,” said Hutchings.
Hutchings and De La Salle will face Pleasanton (Calif.) Amador Valley on Friday.