SYRACUSE – Trine University will welcome a fifth Wawasee Warrior to its football program with the signing of senior Hunter Hlutke. The lineman for the Warriors held his signing Monday afternoon at Wawasee High School.
Hlutke was a two-way starter for the Warriors on the offensive and defensive line. He started all 10 games his senior year for coach Mike Eshbach. Hlutke was a four-year player in the football program, his junior and senior years with the varsity to where he was named a senior co-captain.
“I hope I have been able to show Trine that I wasn’t going to quit and finish plays,” Hlutke said at his signing Monday afternoon. “I never wanted to take myself out of a play. I love playing the game, whether I’m doing really well or really bad. I hope they saw my ability to want and compete.”
Added Eshbach on Hlutke, “This year going into the season, we put him into the field tackle position and determined it was one where he certainly needed to be very athletic and have some strength. He stepped into that role and learned how to zone block, and I felt every week he got better at what he was doing. Hopefully some of the schemes that we do will prepare him for the next level.”
A three-sport athlete, Hlutke swam one season and competed in two years of track and now two years of golf, currently playing for the Wawasee golf team.
Active outside of athletics, Hlutke was a co-captain of the Super Mileage Team and involved with DECA, ski club and is an Eagle Scout. He carries an 8.72 GPA (12-scale) and is ranked 73rd in his graduating class. He hopes to continue his academic career as a mechanical engineer. Hunter joins his sister, Paige, as college athletes as she is a catcher for the Grace College softball program and is also studying mechanical engineering.
“I like to keep ahead of my grades,” Hlutke said. “I’ve been to Trine a couple times for academic visits and football camps, so I got a chance to see the university. They have a very prestigious engineering school. I’ve heard a lot about it from my sister, who takes engineering classes.”
Hlutke becomes the fifth Wawasee player to join the current Thunder roster, including Zac McKee, Lucas Garza, Bryce Woody and Trevor Harter. Trine had a fantastic 2017 season, going 11-1 with a perfect 6-0 mark in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The Thunder lost in the Division III playoffs to Wartburg after beating Monmouth (Ill.) in the first round of the postseason. Trine is coached by Troy Abbs.