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Ashwaubenon athlete shines in two sports

Hurd will be attending Creighton University in the fall to follow his dream of playing at the Division I collegiate level.

By Tori Wittenbrock

Associate Sports Editor

ASHWAUBENON – The future looks bright for Ashwaubenon High School senior Eason Hurd as he is a dual threat this year, for the Jaguars.

With the end of his senior seasons closely approaching, Hurd has been on the top of his game lately — in both golf and baseball.

After qualifying for the WIAA Sectional golf tournament on Tuesday, May 21, Hurd became only the fourth player in Ashwaubenon High School history to secure the 100th hit of his career in their baseball game against Menasha on Thursday, May 23.

With a busy dual-sport schedule for this spring semester, Hurd has seen a lot of overlap as on Tuesday, May 28 when he participated in the WIAA Sectional golf tournament in the morning and then was the starting pitcher in Ashwaubenon’s WIAA Regional against West De Pere that night.

“It’s a lot of planning ahead, a lot of talking with teachers, and talking about when I am going to be gone, when assignments are due, and just staying on top of everything,” said Hurd.

“Usually there is practice everyday and a meet two or three times a week, so a lot of it is just communication with teachers and coaches especially. They help a lot in making sure that I can get to practices, meets and games and still have time to get my homework done.”

Hurd said that he is extremely grateful to be able to compete in two sports the same season — something that is extremely rare at the high school level.

“Baseball is my highest priority. With golf, I am fortunate enough that the coaches are okay with me playing golf since I don’t get to make it to a ton of the practices, but they still let me compete in the tournaments. Baseball is the sport that I make sure I get to every practice and every game for sure and golf is the one that I get to play as much as I can, “ said Hurd.

Where it all started

Because he has been playing both sports for so long, Hurd said that he has a true passion for each of them.

“Baseball I’ve been playing since I was about four or five years old. Golf I’ve been playing since I was about seven or eight but I really picked it up at about 12 or 13,” said Hurd.

Even though he has worked hard to elevate his skill and ability at each of these sports, Hurd said that he has his dad to thank for introducing him to the sports and pushing him to get better.

“My dad was the one who got me into both baseball and golf. He introduced me to both of them growing up,” said Hurd.

“He was my baseball coach when I was younger and he would take me to the course for golf and then eventually signed me up for lessons when I was in middle school to try and see if I had a bigger interest in it.”

Shifting gears

Hurd said that although he has a passion for both golf and baseball, he has to approach the two sports very differently.

“Baseball is very team oriented and I can only do so much for the team. I put my best effort in every day to help all of my teammates get better and to allow our team to be as good as we can,” said Hurd.

“With golf it’s nice where we have a team, but the team can perform to any level and however I do, I can take that forward and try to compete in regionals and then sectionals. It’s kind of nice because sometimes I don’t have to worry about all the other people and I can just hone in on myself, whereas in baseball I really try to help everybody around me because I know that my impact on everybody around me is going to help us move forward.”

After having such a big week in athletics, Hurd said that he is excited to soak in every moment of his last few athletic performances of his senior year.

Hurd said that his big week in baseball getting his 100th hit and golf qualifying for sectionals gave him the opportunity to be grateful for where his hard work this semester has taken him.

“It was a pretty good feeling because golf was the second sport that I have qualified for sectionals in — unfortunately, the other wasn’t baseball. I’ve qualified for basketball and golf now,” said Hurd.

“With the 100th hit coming the same week as the qualifying for sectionals, there was a lot of time and effort put into getting all of those hits over the years and being able to qualify in golf which is not easy by any means with how competitive our regional is. It was a pretty good feeling and I know that my parents were really proud of me just because of the load I have had this season.”

Hurd said that although he is extremely grateful to his parents and coaches for helping to make this happen, it hasn’t been easy to balance his busy schedule.

“Golf practices pretty much every day during the week and baseball practices Sunday through Friday, and we are usually off Saturdays. Usually there are five practices and then I have golf meets in the mornings so I will go to the meet in the morning and then be back in time for practice in the afternoon,” said Hurd.

“We also lift twice a week for baseball as well. Usually as soon as I get off the golf course I am driving myself or getting a ride with someone over to baseball practice and then I get home and it’s all school after that.”

What’s on deck

Hurd recently made his commitment to continue his baseball career at the NCAA Division I level at Creighton University.

“I had a couple of options that I got to go visit — Creighton was one of them, Ohio was one and Bradley was one. I went to visit Creighton and it was pretty much instant once I got there. It was very ‘me’ and I could see myself going there,” said Hurd.

“I loved all the coaches and the recruiting guys. They all made it a great experience for me. The school itself, the business school there, it just was a really good fit. They all showed me a really great time and I kinda knew right away that that was where I wanted to go.”

Hurd said that it was through the recruiting process that he discovered that he wanted to go out of state for college.

“I definitely tried to explore that through the recruiting process because I wasn’t sure where baseball was going to take me and I had always had dreams of playing Division I baseball,” said Hurd.

“There is only one school in Wisconsin that is Division I. Once I started seeing some of that out of state attention I knew that I could do it so that’s when I started thinking that going out of state was going to be a good idea.”

Hurd said he is excited to follow his dream of playing collegiate baseball, but he knows that it means he’ll have to dial back his golf career for the near future.

“I probably won’t play as competitively as I do now entering tournaments and stuff, but I definitely will continue to play whether it’s just with friends or family or even to just go out and have a good time with it because I really just enjoy playing golf and it’s something that I really hope to continue playing as long as i possibly can,” said Hurd.

Like most seniors in high school, Hurd said that he has an idea of where he plans to take his degree and career.

“I’m going to Creighton for business. It’s going to be more of a finance degree because I want to be a financial advisor so I’m going through the finance track through Creighton. So that’s what I hope to do one day,” said Hurd.

Dedication, a strong work ethic and natural ability have no doubt contributed to Hurd’s success as an athlete — yet, Hurd said that he would be nowhere without his big support system behind the scenes.

“I’ve had a lot of people over time whether it was coaches or family or friends who have contributed to where I am today, whether it’s taking me to get extra work in or going with me to get an extra lift in or pushing me in practice every day to make sure that I am making myself the best player that I can be.”

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