Miami Trace senior Austin Mathews recently made public his college choice for where he will continue his education and his baseball career.
Before a host of family, friends, teachers and administrators, Mathews signed a letter of intent to attend Ohio Northern University, located in Ada, Ohio (near Lima).
Mathews will soon be a member of the Polar Bears’ academic and athletic family.
Mathews explained how he came to commit to Ohio Northern.
“During basketball season, I started off being committed to Hiram College,” Mathews said. “I was committed there to play baseball. Then, as of a couple of months ago, it came to me, okay, what’s going to be the best option for me, academically, not only baseball.
“Ohio Northern kept coming back in my mind,” Mathews said. “I thought, you know what, Ohio Northern is my best choice. So, I decided to de-commit from Hiram a few months ago. I committed to Ohio Northern and I’ve been happy with the decision ever since. I’m not looking back at all.
“I plan on majoring in accounting and minoring in sports management,” Mathews said. Asked what kind of job that might lead to in the future, Mathews said, “Hopefully, a well-paying one. More like in a business area, that’s more what I’m looking towards in my future.”
Asked about his favorite high school baseball moment, Mathews responded:
“It would probably be three years ago, my freshman year, when Brady Wallace had that walk-off hit in the Sectional title game against Court House. I remember the ball hitting the fence and us charging the field. That’s probably the best memory I have here at Miami Trace.”
As far as in the classroom, what are a couple of Mathews’ favorite subjects?
“It’s been math throughout the years, math and history,” Mathews said. “I’ve enjoyed those two subjects the most. Reading, that’s just not me. I don’t want to sit down a read a book. Reading’s not too bad, but, I’d rather deal with numbers and equations.
“I have numerous favorite teachers here,” Mathews said. “One of them has got to be Miss (Laura) Hottinger, she’s like a mom to me. I’d do anything for her if she ever asked. Another would be Miss Amy Bush, she’s been like a mom to me, as well. She’s been there for me most of this year.”
What about keys to success at the next level?
“It’s just probably going to be working hard the next four years,” Mathews said. “Being a student-athlete (in college) sounds like it’s going to be pretty hard, due to the fact that you have sports, 24-7. There’ll be workouts, classes, homework. I think if I work hard and keep at it, I think I’ll be fine.”
Mathews was asked about the unique opportunity to move into a new high school.
“I found it quite easy,” Mathews said. “I think being a senior, it was much easier, because you don’t have that many classes. It might have been more challenging for the juniors and sophomores and freshmen. This is a big school. You might get lost around here.”
“Austin has been a big asset to our program the last four years,” Miami Trace head baseball coach Rob Smith said. “As a sophomore, he got a little bit of playing time. We saw on the mound then that he was going to be something special. He had a great year last year and he’s followed up with a good year this year. I think he’s 5-1 this year. He plays third base for us, as well.
“He’s been a big reason we’ve been able to have some success this year,” Smith said. “I think Austin will succeed at the next level. He’s been a pleasure to coach. He was a part of the league championship last year.
“I’m very excited for the Mathews family,” Smith said.
Mathews was named First Team, All-Frontier Athletic Conference for 2019.