D211013 lawrence county volleyball

Lawrence County head volleyball coach Robyn Hutto, right, and her daughter Anna Clare are preparing for their last postseason run together as coach and player. [CALEB SUGGS/DECATUR DAILY]

MOULTON — Robyn Hutto has been around Lawrence County volleyball for a long time.

She has been the head coach of the Red Devils for 24 seasons, and for the past three, her daughter, Anna Clare Hutto, has been a star on the team.

Robyn has coached many talented players throughout her time in Moulton, but coaching her daughter has 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 she never forced volleyball on Anna Clare, but her daughter found the love of the game nevertheless.

"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 after her tournaments on Saturdays, Sunday was my day to play and we would play in the living room with me wearing those jerseys."

Robyn was also a coach's kid, 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 Tournament 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 at Wallace State, one of the top junior college programs in the country.

But with her daughter heading to Wallace, 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 starting 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."

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