Rose State College’s Motto, “Going Somewhere Starts Here” rings true for international students Benji Hutchison and Patrick Fitzgerald who have now been recruited by four-year universities to play soccer and continue their academic paths.
Benji Hutchison, center back for Rose State, is from Nottingham, England. Head Coach Billy Martin saw his tryout video and thought Hutchison could make an impact in the newly formed team and would be a good leader. Coach Martin’s instinct was right-Hutchison served as team captain during both years he played for the Raiders. When asked about his decision to attend Rose State, Hutchison said he, “wouldn’t change a thing.” The highlights of the school for him included the staff, whom he says were fantastic, kind, and pushed him to improve academically. While playing for the Raiders, Hutchison earned an associate degree in liberal studies and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at his next institution. He has verbally committed to Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma City.
Patrick Fitzgerald also played center back for the Raiders. As his accent suggests, he is originally from Waterford, Ireland. Fitzgerald had plans to attend Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas but started at Rose State instead. He was unsure at first of his decision but it didn’t take long for him to love RSC and the thriving campus life that was available to him. He said, “I was very lucky with the people I met and the company I kept at Rose State.” Fitzgerald’s favorite part of living in the U.S. is the food – especially the Mexican restaurants around campus. As he prepares to leave Rose State and move on to Midwestern State University, he remembers a few faculty members fondly – his speech teacher, Professor Tharp and his math teach, Professor Tucker left a lasting impact on him which he will carry with him to Texas and eventually back home to Ireland.
With the help of Benji and Patrick, the Rose State Raiders completed its second season with a 14-5 record.
Photo cutline: Left to right – Head Coach Billy Martin, Benji Hutchison, Patrick Fitzgerald and Assistant Coach, Trevor Harmon.