by Caleb Lubbers–Few people are talented enough to play a sport at the collegiate level. Even fewer people can say they are talented enough to play multiple sports.
Braxton Hinders, a senior at Morningside University, somehow has managed to juggle being a collegiate golfer and a pitcher for the Mustangs baseball team for the last four years.
Graduating from Carlisle High School in 2018, Hinders came to Morningside after being pursued by both the golf and baseball coaches. He had to strike a deal to make this unusual combination of sports work: he would golf during the fall season and play baseball during the spring.
“I’m so lucky I could go somewhere that I could continue to play the sports that I grew up loving,” Hinders commented. “I’m also lucky to have such flexible coaches that are able to work with my schedule.”
Hinders stressed that it also helps that he has had some amazing teammates along the way, such as Gunnar Cale.
“Braxton has got a work ethic like no other. He’s a great guy and always is pushing us to be our best,” describes Cale, a baseball player who has been teammates with Hinders for the past two years. “He’s one of those guys who stays even after practice ends to keep working to make himself better.”
On the baseball team, wearing #48, Hinders is a relief pitcher. For as long as he can remember, he wanted to throw for a college team.
“I was both a pitcher and shortstop stop, so moving to a pitching-only role has been a little different. I do miss batting a little bit,” Hinders said in regards to his position.
When he’s not throwing bullpen sessions, Hinders can be found on the course working on his golf game. He boasts a 7.8 handicap for 18 holes.
“Repetition, repetition, and more repetition,” is the one piece of advice Hinders would give to younger golfers wanting to improve their games. “You just need to put the time in. It’s not something you can be good at without practicing a ton.”
One of Hinders teammates on the golf team, sophomore James Evans, is thoroughly impressed with the dedication and time Hinder spends working on his craft: “I struggle finding free time between my classes and playing only one sport. I have no idea how he finds a balance between baseball, golf, his classes, and everything else he does.”
On top of playing two sports, Hinders also is a Resident Assistant in the Plex, one of Morningside’s three dorm buildings. He has been an RA for the past two years.
“Not only do I get to live here for free, I get to meet and interact with so many people on a daily basis,” Hinders said when asked what his favorite part of being an RA was.
Hinders also dedicates one night a week to lead a worship group for seniors from surrounding high schools.
When asked what he likes to do in his free time, Hinders let out a laugh. “You know, I don’t have much free time,” he joked. “But when I have time to myself, I love to watch sports or play video games with friends.”