By Chris McCarthy/Editor
Patrick Lister will spend the next two years in the land of the Jawhawks.
The Southside High senior signed a football scholarship with Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College on Wednesday (Feb. 6).
A starter at quarterback since midway through his sophomore year, Lister felt that he was a good fit for the Blue Dragon program that last season went 9-3 and was ranked third in the National Junior College Athletic Association football poll.
“I loved it when I visited there. I’ve always had a passion for football, and I’m excited that I’ll get to play for another couple of years.”
According to the school’s website, Hutchinson is was been ranked nationally for the past five seasons, including as high as No. 2; has posted a 28-8 record over the past two years and was the Salt City Bowl champion for three of the past four years.
Southside head football Marty Smith noted that through some coaching connections in Kansas, he was able to draw the attention of Hutchinson head football coach Rion Rhodes.
“We began to communicate with each other, and I was able to send him Patrick’s highlight film, and things moved from there. One of the things that Coach Rhodes loved about Patrick is that he’s a three-sport guy.
“When Patrick got out there and threw for him, he felt that he had a golden opportunity to find a diamond in the rough. Coach Rhodes was looking for a certain type of quarterback, and Patrick happened to be that kind of guy.”
This past season, Lister threw for 842 yards and seven touchdowns while leading the Panthers to a 6-4 record, the program’s first winning season since the 1993 season.
Smith noted that Lister made many contributions and sacrifices during the past two seasons, including the passing game taking a back seat in a run-heavy offense.
“Patrick easily could have thrown the football more, but he understood that for us to be successful as a program, we had to do other things in order to win football games,” said Smith. “Not many quarterbacks can go through the adversity that Patrick’s gone through in his career in overcoming several injuries and wind up being successful. Since I’ve taken over this program the last two years, Patrick has done everything I’ve asked him to do. He’s a special kid, and I couldn’t be happier for him.”