BOYS SOCCER

Hutchins hopes to revive struggling Hobart boys soccer program

2013-01-23T18:00:00Z 2013-01-24T03:24:05Z Hutchins hopes to revive struggling Hobart boys soccer programJim Peters jim.peters@nwi.com, (219) 548-4363 nwitimes.com
January 23, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

Reclamation projects don't faze John Hutchins.

When the opportunity came along to take over a Hobart boys soccer program with one win to its credit over the last four seasons, he didn't pause before taking on the challenge.

"When I went to Wheeler, it was the same thing," said Hutchins, who spent six seasons with the Bearcats, four of them as head coach. "The first two years, we won one game each year, then it (improved) gradually.

"I'm actually pretty excited about the whole thing. I've done about everything in soccer you can think of. It's always been in my blood. It's something I've always enjoyed doing. I eat, drink and sleep this stuff."

Hutchins, 56, started at the parks level in 1987 and has also coached club soccer.

He had three sons play at Portage and a nephew coaches at Morgan Township. The Hobart native and graduate spent the last three seasons as an assistant at Hobart with Jack Allendorf, who resigned with the graduation of his son.

"It's my school, my alma mater," Hutchins said. "I feel really comfortable. When I have a call-out meeting, I'm going to to tell them two things have to change -- No. 1, our attitude in how we approach everything, and No. 2, they have to trust what I'm doing.

"I'm more aggressive. You've got to have some imagination. I'm bringing some new things to the program that are going to help them learn the game."

Hobart's greatest shortcoming through the down cycle has been defense. It allowed in excess of 100 goals in 2010 and 2011 before giving up 72, still an average of over roughly four a match last year.

"They may not have won a game, but they sure did work hard," Hutchins said. "When I brought things in, they embraced (it). We're gong to start in the back and work our way forward.

"Part of it's we've just got to get the right people back there."

In addition to a solid group of sophomores, Hutchins liked what he saw of the freshman class last season.

"We've got something to work with, most definitely," he said. "My main goal when I started coaching was to get kids into college. I haven't had any yet, but I think this freshman class, if they do well, things can work out for them.

"We just have to get going in that direction."

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