Aubrey Hutzler has more than proven herself behind the plate. As a catcher for John Paul II's Cardinal softball squad, the incoming senior raked in quite a few votes in the VYPE DFW Private School Softball Player of the Year Fan Poll. VYPE DFW was able to catch up with her on the incredible season she had. With her efforts on and off the field, Hutzler is the VYPE DFW Recruit of the Week!
Eyes on the Prize
photo provided by Aubrey Hutzler
Staying focused in the midst of a pandemic isn't easy for anyone- it's especially not easy for a high school student-athlete who had their previous season canceled. However, Hutzler was able to do just that as she prepared to go into her junior season. "I knew that [the canceled season] was the time to improve on my weaknesses and get my body conditioned for going deep in the season and playing long, competitive games," said Hutzler. "I focused a lot on leg strength so that I could power through those long innings catching."
Secrets to Success
photo provided by Aubrey Hutzler
It's important to remember that you work with a team when you're playing sports. Hutzler is as humble as she is good at softball and fully recognizes that it takes a WE and not a ME to be successful. "I could tell you that the secret to my success was all because of the work I put in outside of practice and all the extra reps I tried to get in at practice and that it was all because of ME," said Hutzler. "But the real secret to my success was that I knew my team had my back."
Since it's far easier for Hutzler to focus when she is relaxed, she was able to play strongly through her junior season because she knew that she could count on her team whether she was winning or losing. "Thankfully I had a team that I could rely on to pick me up when I don't succeed. Nobody's perfect, especially in softball. This sport is based on failing. You are really good at this sport if you fail seven times out of ten."
Hutzler says it's no secret that her team does well because of the relationships that they share with one another. "It's not really a secret, but our good team chemistry and our willingness to put the team first [is the reason for our success]," she told VYPE. "As a team we could trust each other to have our backs. We could not have made the run we did without relying on each and every person wearing that JPII jersey." Hutzler went on to credit Coach Baker and Coach Rome in their efforts to make sure that every position was solid at practice in order to be ready for the tough games.
Making Memories while Looking Ahead
photo provided by Aubrey Hutzler
There are plenty of memories to be made when you are playing in a team sport. It could be that championship you won or that really great hit you had, but for Hutzler it was a simple moment. "My favorite memory is the junior meetings Emily Jonte, Emma Rodrigues, and I had before every game."
Going into her senior season, Hutzler is more poised than ever to continue her dominance behind the plate. "My mindset for myself and our team is to continue growing and improving," said Hutzler. "Now that we have won state, I don't want us to get content and stop pushing ourselves… Other teams are setting out to beat us and we can't let them. We still have a lot of work to do if we want to go back to back." She says next season she is looking forward to the freshman class that is coming in as well as sharing and growing the culture with them. "I feel like [the freshmen]will help us get back to state and continue the legacy that our 2020-21 group created."
College and Beyond
Hutzler is committed to Campbell University where she hopes to major in either Clinical Research, Pharmaceutical Sciences, or Biology with a Pre-Graduate concentration. She chose to commit to Campbell because it checked all of the boxes for her. "Campbell had everything I wanted in a program and college," said Hutzler. "This program is competitive and will give me an opportunity to grow as a person and a player. I felt like the coaches were going to push me so that I could become better than anyone ever thought I could be. The school itself gives me a great home feeling and I really felt like I could be myself at that school. It is such a unique school and is exactly where I want to be. I am so excited that I am going to be a Fighting Camel."
Who is your favorite sports team?
"My favorite team is either the Kansas City Royals or the San Antonio Spurs."
Who do you look up to as an athlete?
"I look up to Tim Duncan. He is the type of leader, teammate, and person I want to be like. He is so selfless, leads by example, and has the skill to back him up."
If you could go to dinner with one person (dead or alive) who would it be? What would you want to talk to them about?
"I would go to dinner with Cassandra Clare. She is one of my favorite authors and I am just so curious about how she came up with this entire fictional universe. I have always wanted to be a character in one of her Shadowhunter books."
John Paul II is known for producing quality athletes. A couple of weeks ago, fans had the opportunity to let their voices be heard in who they thought deserved to be voted as the VYPE DFW Private School Softball Player of the Year; heard they were! Sitting atop the polls was a trio from the Cardinals' squad: Emma Rodrigues, Taylor Marchin, and Aubrey Hutzler.
You might recognize Rodrigues' name from a few articles VYPE published during both the softball and track seasons. As a dual-sport athlete, Rodrigues put in the work to make sure she was at the top of her game for herself, her school, and her teammates. Rodrigues accomplished her goals in both track and softball. To cap off her year, she finished at the top of the fan poll with 36.46% of the votes.
Taylor Marchin is an all-around athlete. A recent JPII graduate, she is headed off to Murray State College after a decorated high school career. Marchin was awarded the honor of being named 1st Team All-District, 1st Team All-State, Academic All-District, and State All-Tournament Team during her time with the Cardinals. Marchin recorded seven individual shut-outs, 4 additional shut-outs combined with another pitcher, as well as two individual no-hitters and two combined no-hitters. In the 2021 season, Marchin recorded 166 strikeouts. The star in the circle came in second place in the fan poll with 31.31% of the votes.
Aubrey Hutzler is headed into her senior season with the Cardinals after a stellar junior season. Behind the plate, Hutzler posted a .982% fielding percentage while making only 4 errors in 225 total chances. At the plate, Hutzler has a .494 batting average as well as a .571 on-base percentage while recording 31 RBIs Hutzler came in third in the fan poll with 13.54% of the fans' votes.
It's safe to say there is no shortage of talent coming from the Cardinals' softball program. Fans should be excited to watch as this team continues to flourish during the offseason and into next year.