With a beaming smile and a writing utensil, one on Newton’s most prominent and accomplished athletes has solidified his future.
Three-sport star Derrick Hurt signed a letter of intent on Thursday to play football and throw for Northwestern College in Orange City.
With all the success he has had at a local level, it’s no surprise that Hurt didn’t go far from home. His contributions to Newton athletics cannot solely be measured in his state appearances or statistics, but rather the enthusiasm he brought to the football field, the wrestling mat and the throwing circle. He will proudly represent the Red Raiders, bringing his tireless work ethic and easy-going attitude to the programs.
Hurt has been playing football at a competitive level since the seventh grade, and it was clear he wanted to keep playing for the next chapter of his life. With that being said, Hurt also has a passion for the throwing pit, an event which he excels at more than most. Hurt recently threw the shot put further than 55 feet, which would put him within about five feet of the best throwers in the nation. It’s clear Hurt’s devotion to both sports is stronger than ever, and he is excited to be playing both at a high level starting next year.
“One thing Derrick wanted was to be able to play both sports,” Hurt’s father Darren said. “After we kind of sat down with him and figured out that one was really not more important than the other, it became clearer what his options were.”
Being from a small town such as Newton, Hurt has always had a tightly knit group of coaches, relatives and friends to help him achieve his loftiest aspirations. It was clear that the group at Northwestern College reflected many of the same small-town principles that Newton has instilled in him.
“It’s a pretty big relief after the whole college search thing. It’s a relief to finally find a school that’s right for me. It’s a really good feeling,” Hurt said. “It’s a very close knit group of coaches, and it was a really good opportunity for me to do track and football. They also offered me a very good package for school. So they made it more affordable for my family and I, which made it an easier decision. Both programs have very good coaches. All of the coaches are Northwestern graduates, which means they share a bond and are very close to one another. I have a very good feeling about them.”
Hurt and his family are relieved to at long last, end their year-long search for a school. It’s refreshing to see all of his family is on board with his decision. A number of Hurt’s coaches and family members showed up to support him on what is likely one of the most significant days of his life so far.
“After visiting a bunch of schools, including some Division-I schools, we saw the great support system they have at Northwestern, and Derrick loved that,” Hurt’s father said. “We have been looking for a year or so, visiting various camps. We got calls from the larger schools, but nothing really felt right on that level. Everything felt right with this school, and when the financial aid came through, it was really a no-brainer.”