Calvary’s Grace is a divine talent

By LEE BRECHEEN, Louisiana Football Magazine

Every now and then a young player comes along with the IT factor as an athlete/recruit, and Hutch Grace of Calvary Baptist definitely fits that description.

He is the only junior in this series of defensive back profiles. Grace is a Class of 2024 safety with special talents for both football and baseball at Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport.

I will admit I haven’t seen him play baseball yet but have talked to some baseball friends of mine who believe he has a lot of talent as a pitcher.

In the football game I saw, he had two interceptions and several solo tackles with speed that was obvious – he runs a 4.55 in the 40-yard dash at 6-1, 210. Hutch has “WOW” closing speed and makes quick reads. All this was on display last fall in his sophomore season of high school.

His stats from 2021:  eight interceptions — three returned for touchdowns — along with 56 total tackles, 28 solo tackles, two caused fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Those are senior-class level numbers. Hutch is already productive at that level with two years left to play, with size and speed that demands attention.

His baseball stats for a state championship team this spring:  .366 batting average, .470 on base percentage, and as a left-handed pitcher he faced 69 batters, allowed only nine hits, struck out 30 and earned four saves. He also played outfield.

“Baseball is a cruel game where we’re supposed to square up a round ball with a round bat,” he told me. “Half an inch is the difference in a pop up and a home run. I’m addicted to the challenge. That’s why it’s the greatest show on dirt.”

Hutch has championship genes.

“My dad started at left tackle on the offensive line for the Evangel Christian Eagles from 1996 to 1999. He was a part of their undefeated teams that went 60-0 and won four state championships and a national championship. My dad protected the blind side of Brock Berlin, the quarterback who was the National High School Gatorade Player of the Year. They defeated West Monroe in front of 43,000 at the Superdome, which was special to my dad. Trust me, he tells me about that game at least three times a week during football season.

“My mom was a four-time All American cheerleader in high school and went on to cheer in college. She was the cheer coach at Marksville High School and Evangel Christian. To this day, I’m convinced I got my athleticism more from mom than my dad.

He is also grateful for his head coach.

“Few have impacted my life the way coach Rodney Guin has at Calvary Baptist. While some coaches are busy building their careers, coach Guin is teaching us how to build character. He’s taught me not only how to win in the game of football but also in the game of life.”

NOTES ON HUTCH GRACE:  Colleges he has interest in, for baseball and football, are topped by Arkansas, LSU, Oklahoma State and Baylor. Hutch has a GPA of 4.0 and has an ACT score of 24.  He loves to hunt and fish.  Hutch is deeply connected with his church, where he leads a weekly middle school group of boys. He says, “Investing in those coming up behind me is a genuine passion!”

Hutch has collected honors in both sports.

In football, he was first-team all-district, all-city and Class A All-State last fall.

In baseball for the Cavaliers, he earned first-team all-district honors for their state championship team.