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Rutherford excited to take next step in baseball career at WashU

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone
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Louisburg senior Madden Rutherford recently signed his letter of intent to play baseball at Washington University, a Division III program in St. Louis.

Madden Rutherford had a difficult decision to make about his college future and it had more to do than with what school to attend.

Rutherford, who is an All-Frontier League player in both football and baseball, had offers to play both sports at multiple schools. The Louisburg senior had played both most of his life and he had to decide which one to leave behind.

In the end, baseball won out.

On Feb. 26, Rutherford signed his letter of intent to play baseball at Washington University in St. Louis during a signing ceremony with family and friends at Louisburg High School.

“It is really exciting now that everything is official,” Rutherford said. “The recruiting process was long and hard and really confusing too. I am the oldest kid in my family, so my parents had never really gone through it before so I am glad it is all over and set in stone now. I am excited to be going to Wash U.”

The recruiting process weighed on Rutherford at times as he was trying to find the right sport to play, along with a school that will provide the right academic future for him.

“It was tough decision, not only between two or three different schools, but I was deciding between two different sports as well,” Rutherford said. “I was trying to factor the academic side of things, how close it was, the money and all those things made the decision a hard one.

“It’s not that I didn’t like football as much, I just feel that I have better chance to make a career out of baseball and that has been my dream ever since I was a little kid – to play a professional sport.”

Washington University provided Rutherford with an opportunity to do something that he loves – pitching. Rutherford has been named to the All-Frontier League second and honorable mention team the last two years, but last season he wasn’t able to pitch due to some injuries.

After injuring his thumb during his past football season, Rutherford is finally healthy and ready to go for his senior season at Louisburg and as he prepares for his next stop at Wash U.

Madden Rutherford held a signing ceremony on Feb. 26 at LHS after he signed with Washington University. Seated next to Madden (from left) are his father Shane, his brother Meade, his mother Breck and sister Malee. Standing (from left) is Louisburg head coach Kade Larson and former head coach Joel McGhee.

“I’ve played baseball since I was four and it something I have always loved,” Rutherford said. “I have played a bunch of sports my whole life, but I am just grateful for the opportunity to be able to continue to play baseball.

“Being a quarterback too, I have always just had a knack for throwing things I guess. I have worked really hard at continuing to be a pitcher and maybe I can make a living at it.”

He will get a good opportunity to improve on a Bears team that is considered one of the top programs in NCAA Division III. Washington is currently the No. 1-ranked team in the country and is a regular in the NCAA Tournament.

“I think Wash U is a perfect balance between school and sports,” Rutherford said. “They have a very reputable baseball program, but also I really think that the academic side of it is really going to challenge me. They have a really successful baseball program, but it wasn’t necessarily the team’s success that won me over, but all the success they have had with their pitchers. Last year they were awarded the best pitching staff in Division III, so that was really enticing to me since that is what I will be doing there.”

The academic part also intrigues Rutherford as Washington is considered one of the better academic institutions in the country and he is looking forward to hitting the books.

“I am deciding between two biology options right now for my major,” Rutherford said. “I think at this point I want to enter med school after getting my biology degree, but whatever happens, I will have a good back-up plan if my athletic career doesn’t work out.”

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