On to the next: Pike Liberal Arts’ Rush Hixon signs baseball scholarship with Lurleen B. Wallace CC
Published 3:00 am Tuesday, May 19, 2015
For Pike Liberal Arts senior Rush Hixon, signing a scholarship to play two more years of baseball at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia is “everything.”
“In a big word … everything,” Hixon said during his signing ceremony on Monday.. “This is what I have worked for since I was old enough realize what the ultimate goal of baseball was. And, to go through two arm surgeries like I did, to think that I wouldn’t be at this point, that really is where the emotion kicked in. Just knowing all the adversity I went through to get here, it means about everything to me.”
Hixon underwent two surgeries during his high school career, one for Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in his elbow and another on his left shoulder to repair his labrum. Hixon said it had been tough getting into the swing of things after his surgeries, but was thankful to have been able to go through his senior seasons injury free.
“Every time I would get up, I’d get knocked back down. But I was thankful to go through my senior season injury free to be able to play all my baseball games, all football, all basketball,” Hixon said. “It was a blessing.”
Hixon said he would probably not be where he was today if it hadn’t been for those standing behind him supporting him through his high school athletic career.
“The 12 years I’ve spent here have been amazing,” Hixon said. “I couldn’t ask for a better coaching staff, teachers and principal. My family has been involved in Pike since before I was born. I’ve been a Patriot all my life. Being here and what I went through with my two surgeries, if I had any other support cast around me I don’t know if it would have gone as smoothly as it did.”
Hixon signed hopes to play second base and pitch for the Saints, but he said anywhere he could receive playing time would be where he wanted to be.
“Coach Ware said if I did one better in the fall, I would probably do more of that come the springtime,” Hixon said. “I told him I would do anything. However I can contribute is what I want to do. Just being out there with the teammates will be a big thing.”
Like any athlete heading to the next level, Hixon already has set some goals.
“Earn playing time is definitely one, a personal one,” Hixon said. “Then as a team goal, I want to win the state championship next year and then at the junior college level. My brother won it when he was in junior college, and we got to go to the World Series in Grand Junction, Colo., and, it’s an awesome experience. I just visualize myself winning it some day. That’s definitely the goal, and that’s going to be the goal until I leave.”
Hixon said he also has his sights set on playing at a four-year college once his two years with the Saints have come and gone.
“Obviously, Troy or Auburn would be great,” Hixon said. “Auburn is the dream school. If that could ever happen that would be one. Troy is an awesome program. Coach Smartt is an awesome coach, I really like their program. But, anywhere that will give me an opportunity that wants me to play, I’ll be glad to go and play. I want to play ball until someone tells me I can’t.”
Hixon was a leader on the Pike Liberal Arts baseball team as well as the basketball and football teams. For those teammates he is leaving behind, he said the best advice he could give them would be to “Keep God first in your life.”
“My support cast makes me do that,” Hixon said. “We keep God first in my household, in my school. I wouldn’t be where I am today without constant prayer without God. And, well, work hard. I’m a 5’8”, 5’9” 140 pound athlete. I promise you I didn’t just come out an athlete. I’ve definitely had to work for it. My advice would be work hard and chase your dream, because that’s really all you have and who’s to tell you, you can’t do something if you really want to do it?”