We had an editorial board member who attended an eighth (8th) district final basketball game between Hoptown and Christian County. While there, our agent had a conversation with the school district’s Athletics Director, Kerry Stovall.
Coach Stovall is a former head basketball coach at Christian County High School, in addition to several other coaching stops along the way. He did pretty well coaching the Colonels. Stovall recorded a 251-143 record in 13 total seasons as Colonel basketball coach, including a state championship in 2011.
While at the basketball game, Coach Stovall told KPGFootball, “You know that Derrell Bateman, only a sophomore, will be a bone fide star before he leaves this city.” As he was saying this he extended his finger, gesticulating at the player he was praising.
We told Coach Stovall, “We only cover football, Coach.” Stovall told us, “I’m talking about football.”
Now let me assure you, Derrell Bateman is a well put together specimen and we can envision him at a number of positions on a football field. Bateman has been listed anywhere from 6-4 to 6-5, and our agent at the game that night was 6-3 himself. He reported the 6-5 seemed more accurate to him having stood next to the kid while Bateman was going through the pregame lay-up line.
Bateman is an accomplished basketball player. Through 26-games of floor action, the sophomore was leading his team in scoring (12.5 per game) and rebounding (8.3 per game) in a district boasting Hopkinsville High and University Heights and a 2nd-Region which includes Lyon County (5th District), Madisonville North-Hopkins, and Caldwell County (the later two in the 7th District).
We went on the KHSAA website and looked for Bateman to determine if he was on the Colonel’s football roster in ’21. We found him listed on the roster. We didn’t find him having played any varsity football for the 1-10 Colonels (5A, District 2).
Bateman is just too good of an athlete to not have been identified as a real weapon for last year’s Colonel football team. Either the stats weren’t accurately compiled and faithfully reported or he just skated through the season awaiting basketball.
We don’t know which of these two is true. Christian County is in the midst of a coaching search, so we didn’t have anyone we could ask.
Let us just say the following. You don’t get kids as agile as Bateman, with his vertical explosion, height, and length everyday in many parts of the commonwealth. If Bateman were to commit himself to the sport of football, we could see him flourishing (as soon as next season) as either a WR/TE type or defensively at one of the safety/nickel/dime slots as either a 2nd or 3rd level defender.
Imagine someone as explosive as Bateman, with his vertical explosion and length, patrolling the back-third of a defense at free safety. Not hard to picture is it? How would you like to throw over the top of that?
We believe Derrell Bateman will figure out he has a better athletic future as a tall football skill position player with plus-length than as an undersized PF/C in basketball playing mostly with his back to the basket and down low with the big boys. When he finds the solution to that equation…look out!
This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!
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