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Brighton ace receives multiple D-I offers, makes Memphis his college choice

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Colton Hathcock signingColton Hathcock Memphis

The list of names of Brighton pitchers to sign a college scholarship reads like a Cardinal Hall of Fame.
Head Coach Brian Oswalt has guided and witness greats like Adam Blackburn, Jeremy White, Colter Millican and many more dun the Brighton uniform and sign a letter of intent.
The latest in that line was senior Colton Hathcock on Nov. 15 in the Brighton High School Library. But what made Hathcock’s National Signing Day so special was his school of choice.
“It’s huge whenever you get a D-I signee,” Oswalt noted. “I’ve known Colton ever since middle school. I’ve seen his progression as he went along with his size and strenght. With his fastball the way it is now, Coach Rock has him a good one. Colton has worked hard for it. He’s done a working in the summer time. Everything he has hoped for has come true today.”
With his signature on a few forms, Hathcock signed to play for The University of Memphis and Head Coach Daron Schoenrock. There to share in the moment were Hathcock’s family, mother Alicia, step-father Bobby Szekely, sister Haylie Hathcock and grandparents Phyliss Tedder and Harry Curtis.
“This is real big,” Alicia said.  “This is so big for us and he is close to home. Mom likes that.”
Since his days of playing T-Ball in Brighton at the age of 5, Alicia has been there to support her son. From a Tipton Crush member to a Memphis Tiger Club team member, Colton has worked to put himself in a position to reach his dream of playing for a Division I program.
“It’s a life-changing and big-life decision,” Alicia said.  It all came together for him then. I’m happy with his decision. Coach Schoenrock is an awesome coach and I know he will be taken care of.
“With hard work and keeping focused, I think he can make it to the Majors,” she added. “Of course I’m his No. 1 fan but his has what it takes to make it to the Big League.”
Hathcock’s latest step toward his ultimate dream was shaped over the summer. With the help of coaches like Oswalt and Brighton pitching coach Zane Adams assisted Hathcock in developing an array of pitches.
“It clicked for me this past summer,” Colton said. “I don’t know how. I just started throwing harder I guess. That’s what helped me out. Coach Oswalt has worked with me in the offseason last year trying to work on some pitches. We have some good ones.”
Oswalt said the dedication Colton brought to his workouts and pitching sessions placed him on the radar of colleges like Memphis, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
“This past year he came in and pitched for us,” Oswalt recalled. “He was one of the aces of our staff. He had two good pitches with his fastball and curveball. Toward the end of the year when we played in the district tournament I could tell his fastball picked up some miles per hour.
“When Coach Shonerock got a chance to see him, he was on top of his game with his change-up,” he continued. “He has all three pitches working. I could tell that he gotten stronger. He’s been in the weight room. When you look at him on the mound, he’s a good looking speciman. You can stick him out there anytime against anybody.”
Hathcock has worked on his strenght playing quarterback for the 2013 District 13-3A champion Cardinals. As an all-around athlete, Hathcock is also one of the top hitters for Cardinals and plays some infield for Oswalt.
But when he arrives on campus in Memphis, Hathcock is expected to develop into a top pitching prospect. Schoenrock said Hathcock has made strides and is a college-ready pitcher today.
“Over the summer he made tremendous progress,” the veteran coach said. “He has power-arm potential and sure velocity. His secondary pitches have gotten better. He has the ability to pitch at a high level.”
Schoenrock has been bringing local talent to Memphis for a decade. He enters his 10th season at the controls of Memphis Baseball with a club featuring both experienced players and a group of newcomers. Schoenrock led the Tigers to the program’s seventh 30-win season and second straight since joining Conference USA in 1995. The Memphis Tigers will be a part of the American Athletic Conference this upcoming season.
“They moved into that new AAC,” Hathcock noted. “That’s good players and good teams.”
That also was a factor in decision. With his choice of college secured, Hathcock can now focus on joining Cardinal greats like Blackburn, White and Millican in another club, district baseball champions.
“Work hard and not lose focus are the keys,” Alicia said. “Getting the signing done will help with that. His future is secure now then he can worry about the big world. Now he can enjoy high school and just play.”
Oswalt said Hathcock has already locked up a spot as one of the best to come through Brighton when he signed to play at Memphis.
“He’s one of the better ones to come through here,” he said. “He’s a good guy that comes from a good family. And he’s a good student too and leader. He’s just a pure athlete.
“This signing has taken a lot of pressure off of him,” Oswalt concluded. “There were a few schools after him but he felt the right fit was Memphis. Coach Shonerrock, he came in and he’s a class act. And I know Colton has turned into a real good leader for me since last year.”

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November 2013
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