Jason Fussell made a difficult decision but ultimately did what he felt was best for his family in going to Hobbton to be baseball coach.
Since starting at Midway in 2004, Fussell has been baseball coach of the Raiders, accumulating 293 wins and an NCHSAA 2-A championship in 2014. He also has served stints as athletic director and football coach at Midway.
Fussell said 18 players from Midway have gone on the play baseball on the college level during his tenure.
Sawyer Sutton, who was 5-1 with a 3.03 earned run average for a 21-2 Raiders team in 2018 as a sophomore, has recently committed to UNC Wilmington. Sutton, coincidentally, is the grandson of former Hobbton principal and basketball coach Kenny Bass.
“Hobbton is three miles from my home,” Fussell said. “We have two young daughters who will be going through school there and I want to look after them.”
Leaving the Raiders isn’t easy, but Fussell was scheduled to start at Hobbton, where he will be a physical education instructor, today (Wednesday, August 21).
“I didn’t want to walk out the door (at Midway) yesterday, but I did,” Fussell said. “I can’t even begin to thank all the people in the community who have helped. … Everything that has gone on at Midway is a tribute to the kids. I was just fortunate enough to ride along.”
The Raiders have built a batting cage along the home dugout on the third-base side.
“Some colleges don’t have one as nice,” Fussell said.
The new structure is a function of community support, Fussell said.
“My whole thing is bringing the community together and make it one big family,” Fussell said. “Hopefully, we can build that atmosphere at Hobbton.”
Wildcats football quarterback Grayson Rogers, a senior, hit .500 for a 12-8 baseball team last season with 16 RBIs and three home runs.