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2020 Senior Spotlight: Madden Rutherford

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone

Louisburg Sports Zone will be running senior spotlights through April and May everyday (Monday through Friday) in an effort to honor seniors who had their seasons taken away due to the spread of COVID-19.

Madden Rutherford had a lot of success with the Louisburg baseball program.

He’s earned all-league honors and was the Wildcats’ No. 1 pitcher a year ago, despite dealing with some injuries. As bright as some of those moments were, those aren’t what Rutherford remembers the most from his time with the Wildcat program.

“I think my most vivid memory of playing for LHS was my first game freshmen year,” Rutherford said. “I was the only freshman on varsity, so I was already feeling like I had to prove myself to the older guys. It was like 25 degrees and raining at Paola that night, and to be honest I pitched really bad.”

It may not have been the best experience for Rutherford, but that moment pushed him to bigger and better things. He was named to the All-Frontier League team his sophomore and junior seasons and was poised for a big senior campaign.

Under the leadership of new head coach Kade Larson, Rutherford was looking forward to his final year with the Wildcats and for an injury free season.

Unfortunately, it all came to a halt before it could really get started. Spring sports were cancelled due to COVID-19 and that meant an early end to his senior year.

“I was incredibly excited for the baseball season this year,” Rutherford said. “The coaching staff looked a little different and so did our team, so the expectations were lofty for us. We collectively planned on winning and winning often this year, so it was really disappointing when we found out we wouldn’t get a chance to play.”

Senior Madden Rutherford will continue his baseball career at Washington University in St. Louis.

Rutherford is still in baseball mode as he is preparing for life with his new team as will he join the WashU baseball program in the fall. WashU, based out of St. Louis, was one of the top NCAA Division III teams in the country, and he has been in contact with his coaches.

Although it is still unclear on how college baseball will work next season, Rutherford is doing the best he can to get ready for the next level of baseball.

“I have not missed a beat since the season was cancelled,” he said. “I was pretty bummed that weekend when it officially ended, but I got back to work that Monday at my house. Luckily, I have a lot of resources and space at my house and good communication with my college coach and pitching trainer, so I have been working out and training every day of quarantine. Covid has been good in the sense that it really made me have to be self-motivated.

The fact that Rutherford will get to continue to play the sport he’s loved since he was little, has helped cushion the blow of losing his senior season. It is something that has provided him with a lot of memories.

“I think I started playing T-Ball when I was 4 years old,” Rutherford said. “I have played ever since then, and the sport has been a huge part of my life. All of my summers for the last six years were composed of balancing football weights with all of the traveling we did for baseball. I got to see some pretty cool places, including New York, Albuquerque and Atlanta.

Other than baseball, Louisburg Sports Zone also had a chance to catch up with Madden on how he has been coping with an early end to his senior year and some of his other interests. Here are his responses from the rest of our Q&A.

LSZ: What have you been missing the most during this time away from everyone?

MR: I mostly miss the social interaction with lots of people each day, especially my teammates. Facetiming and seeing people like once a week just isn’t the same.

LSZ: What is your most memorable moment as an athlete or in school, and why?

MR: The most memorable moment for me over the last four years was for sure when I scored 4 touchdowns and we beat Paola 25-7 on their field my junior year. I felt like I was on top of the world that night.

LSZ: What is your favorite activity/hobby outside of sports and why?

MR: Outside of sports and exercising, my favorite hobby is a tie between playing video games and hanging with my family. I’m pretty good at video games so it’s fun to compete with some guys that I maybe don’t see in the sports world, and my family is always there for me when I need them, so I love to spend time with them when they need me.

LSZ: I know you are going to WashU to play baseball next season, but what are you doing to keep in shape during a time like this?

MR: The coaches and WashU and I talk regularly about my training, their status on campus, etc. I’m exercising and training six days a week, all the while sending film and video of my activities to them. They always give me feedback the next day and it’s up to me to take the instruction and apply it myself.

LSZ: What accomplishments that don’t involve athletics are you most proud of and why?

MR: Aside from sports, I am most proud of my ACT score (33) and my GPA (4.2, weighted.) I’m a Kansas Scholar, and a future neuroscience Major at WashU. I have also been a part of a 2x State Champion Choir and Men’s Choir.

LSZ: What do you think would be something that a lot of people don’t know about you?

MR: A lot of people might not know that I really enjoy learning about the brain. I’m majoring in Neuroscience at WashU, so I’m looking forward to be pushed by a school with a 15 percent acceptance rate.

Madden’s Favorites

Pro athlete: Patrick Mahomes

Pro team: Kansas City Chiefs

College team: Kansas

Movie: Real Steel

TV Show: All-American & You

Song: This changes like every week

Band/Musician: This changes every week, too

Pregame meal/snack: Chicken and pasta a few hours before, and a cold sandwich an hour before

Class/subject: AP Bio

Teacher: I love all of my teachers because they all work hard. Mrs. Lane is pretty cool, though.

Previous Senior Spotlights

Drake Varns – Golf

Trinity Moore – Soccer

Andrew Krause – Baseball

Kayla Willey – Softball

Anthony Davis – Track and Field

Garrett Rolofson – Golf

Shayla Aye – Swimming

Allie Boles – Softball

Michael Waldron – Track and Field

Avery O’Meara – Soccer

Ryan Haight – Golf

Andie Masten – Soccer

Lauren Cutshaw – Softball

Trent Martin – Track and Field

Erin Lemke – Soccer

Luke Wickersham – Golf

Skylar Bowman – Soccer

Gabby Dugger – Softball

Sydni Keagle – Track

Olivia Chase – Soccer

Colin Cook – Golf

Morgan Messer – Soccer

August Daniels – Softball

Carter Anglin – Track and Field

Hannah Straub – Soccer

Reilly Ratliff-Becher – Softball


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