Russellville’s Panther high school football roster was loaded with talent this past season. They stood in the middle of Kroger Field and traded punches with a bone fide champion when they narrowly dropped the title game to Pikeville High.
Pikeville escaped 30-27 in the battle of the Panthers. The Panthers from the eastern end of Kentucky will admit the Panthers from the western end were plenty tough.
It was easy to get overlooked on the Russellville roster this past season. They had Jovari Gamble in the backfield (220-carries/1,4490-yards rushing/23 TDs). They had Anthony Woodard on both sides of the ball (26-receptions/7-receiving TDs/44-tackles, 5-TFLs, 1 QB-sack, 6-INTs). They had a Coaches’ First Team All-Stater patrolling the defensive third level in Chevis Elliott (9-INTs).
But what about Braxton Baptiste? What about the native Choctaw, former Academic All-Stater looking to embark one day into the practice of Dentistry?
No way this 6-3, 230-pound DE should be overlooked. That goes for you colleges out there looking for incredible up-field, off the edge production.
Baptiste runs a 4.7-second, 40-yard dash (hand-timed). He bench presses over 300 and squats in the neighborhood of 450. Over the course of his football career to date, he has played OLB, DE, SS, QB, WR, TB, and LB.
Baptiste sports a 3.5 GPA. We are unsure of his registered test score but many teams, these days, are test (reporting) optional.
Baptiste’s on-field production can’t be questioned. This past season, Baptiste had 68-tackles screaming off the end with 24.5 TFLs and 12.5 QB-sacks. He also contributed 3-FFs and 2-FRs.
In the end, how can any single player have contributed any more mightily to Russellville High School’s ascension up the ranks over the course of the ’21 season? The answer to this riddle is Occam’s razor.
No single player was more important to Russellville’s successful season than Baptist. Here, and Baptiste’s numbers bear this out, “the simplest explanation was (actually) the best one.”
This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!
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