By Aubreigh Heck
When some people hear the word “goat,” they might think of some of their favorite athletes, or a cute little animal. The Hutchinson Community College baseball team, however, thinks of the fuel behind their wins.
The goat, which is referred to as, “Goat,” by the Blue Dragons, was brought to Hutchinson by sophomore infielder Hunter Gotreaux from Moss Bluff, La.
“My mom brought (Goat) home one day. She said, ‘Look what I got you,’ and I kept it in my room. After Hurricane Laura came in last year, it tore down my whole house. Everything in my room was destroyed, except for that goat,” Gotreaux said. “Two weeks later we had (Hurricane) Delta come in, and we put that goat on a fence post, and the goat was still there by the time the storm was over.”
Gotreaux’s family realized the specialness of Goat, and sent it to Hutchinson so it could stay with him.
When the Blue Dragons complete a comeback, or win a tough game, their team mascot is sure to be seen parading the field afterwards.
Sophomore relief pitcher Zane Covey knows Goat is a symbol for the team when it seems that they’re down for the count.
“It resembles that even through tough times, we can still stand through things, and a sense of resilience almost,” Covey said. “It’s kind of a sign of hope.”
Blue Dragons coach Ryan Schmidt knows little of Goat’s existence, but decided to leave it to the players.
“It has been kept secret from me,” Schmidt said. “I think when you look at baseball superstitions, what we as coaches do is try to find different ways to keep the players engaged and to have those fun things going on in the dugout. Whether or not they lead to our success or not is to be determined, but it’s kind of a fun baseball-ism.”
Schmidt said he sees a positive with the team’s mini metal mascot, crediting it for keeping the energy within the team up.
“It’s something that’s important to them, which is kinda cool, and I want it to be,” Schmidt said. “I want them to have fun with it, because these guys find a lot of different ways to put pressure on themselves, so I want the dugout to be as light and fun as it can be.
“If we have to have a goat in there, we’ll put the goat in there. I don’t care if we have to have a farm in the dugout, as long as we can win some baseball games.”
His players agree.
“Baseball’s hard, sometimes you gotta have a little bit of fun,” Covey said.