MOULTON - Robyn Hutto has been around Lawrence County volleyball for a long time.
In fact, she’s been the head coach of the Red Devils for 24 seasons and for 18 of those seasons she’s had a daughter by the name of Anna Clare Hutto. For the past three seasons that daughter has been a star for the Red Devils.
Robyn has coached many talented players throughout her time in Moulton, but coaching her daughter brought something extra special.
“I always dreamed of having a daughter that loved volleyball, though I guess she didn’t have much of a choice,” Robyn said. “She’s been with me since she was rolling around in the ball cart and to have gotten the chance to coach her, it’s been a dream come true.”
Robyn said volleyball was never forced on Anna Clare Hutto, but that it didn’t have to be for her to find the love of the game.
“I wanted to play for her and for this team for as long as I can remember,” Anna Clare said. “She used to have these jerseys and so after her tournaments on Saturdays, Sundays was my day to play and we would play in the living room with me wearing those jerseys.”
Robyn was a coach’s kid herself, playing for her dad Royal Carpenter at Hatton High School. That experience helped her prepare for coaching her own child.
“I remember in a basketball game if someone made a bad pass my dad would look at me like why did you let them make that bad pass?,” Robyn said. “But he always coached me hard and I’ve seen other coaches baby their kids and I swore I’d never do that. But even though I felt like I’ve been harder on her than anyone else, I would say she’s been the easiest kid I’ve ever coached.”
Anna Clare, however, doesn’t always find it as easy.
“There have been times where she would call a timeout just to talk to me. If I ever got special attention it wasn’t in a positive way,” Anna Clare said with a laugh. “But overall I would say that it hasn’t been much different than playing for any other coach. I have respect for her and she respects me too and I think that’s helped us have a great relationship through it all.”
The young Hutto has racked up several accolades in her three years as a Red Devil starter. She’s been the Lawrence County MVP three years in a row, county player of the year and a North/South All-Star. Those achievements earned her a scholarship to play for Wallace State, one of the top Junior College programs in the country.
But with her heading to Wallace, that has begged the question what does the future hold for Robyn at Lawrence County?
“I’ve had a lot of people ask me that question,” Robyn said. “Honestly it all depends on how the schedules work out because I do want to get to see her play. But I’ve gotten 24 years in and 25 is always a number you want to shoot for.”
Robyn said the love she has for Lawrence County might keep her here for a long time.
“I graduated from Hatton and I remember in 1998 before I came here someone asked me if I would come to Moulton and I said that’s the last place you’ll ever catch me,” Robyn said. “And now 24 years later here I am, but I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. I think as long as I still enjoy it, or until they kick me out, I’ll still be here.”
Anna Clare wants to see her mom carry on after she’s gone, although she has her own set of reasons why.
“She wants me to stay so she can be the one to take over for me,” Robyn said. “Which isn’t surprising because I think she’s invested more in this program than even I have at times.”
Right now the two aren’t worried about the future. With postseason play set to begin this week, they’re just focused on enjoying their last run together.
“We’re looking forward to it,” Anna Clare said. “We’re not dreading it like it’s the end, we’re just going to have fun together.”