South Oldham’s Keaton Martin (2020) is special in any light…

Kmart, outside of Crestwood, Kentucky, is a chain of discount department stores which have been popularized in movies the likes of Troop Beverly Hills, Beetlejuice, Six Days Seven Nights, Rain Manand even the former late-night TV show, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. It is also famous for announcing periods of discount savings, randomly occurring within the store, and announced over the intercom as Attention Kmart Shoppers, there’s a Blue Light Special isle ___.  In Crestwood, Kentucky and particularly at South Oldham High School it is running-back Keaton Martin. The chain closed 7 of its Kentucky Department stores in 2017. I am sure I will hear from its lawyers about the unauthorized use of its trademarked logo featured with this article, so don’t be surprised if you should come to the page, one day, and the Kmart logo is replaced. I am trying to do them a favor. If there is one place in Kentucky where the department store should experience untold amounts of popularity, you would think it would be Crestwood, Kentucky, where Keaton Martin is doing wonders for both Kmart’s image and brand owing to its association to him, especially among South Oldham football fans. Though not dressed in a blue light, they have a very special Kmart carrying the football for the South Oldham High School Dragons and his name is Keaton Martin.

Keaton Martin is 5-7 and weighs 190 pounds and can best be described as a handsome, preppy, studiously appearing young man whom you might sooner believe plays trombone in the marching band than is a high school, All-State running back. It has probably always been this way for Martin who played for Team Kentucky FBU elite and Team Kentucky Future Stars back in middle school. Because of his stature and the way he appears in street clothes KPGfootball would wager Kmart commonly gets discounted and overlooked by most observers who later profess shock when they learn of Martin‘s on field ability and production. The true Kentucky high school football enthusiast, though, wasn’t surprised when Keaton burst onto the scene as a freshman, and started in 2016 for the state semifinalist South Oldham Dragons (12-2) in its backfield. However, I don’t believe even the most ardent Martin fan could have predicted he would gain 1,558 yards his freshman year on 182 carries with 19 rushing TDs and 114 points scored. For his efforts his freshman year, Oldham Sports selected him its Breakout Male Athlete.

Surely, with defenses targeting the returning 1,500 yard plus ground gainer, his sophomore year would be a dramatic drop-off. I mean, that freshman year must have been a fluke. Well, I suppose it depends on what one considers a drop off because KPGFootball doesn’t consider 1,258 rushing yards on 153 attempts with 17 rushing TDs and 4 passes caught for another 74 yards and 4 TDs receiving to be anything other than a mild diversification. Martin got 29 fewer carries, but still averaged roughly the same amount of yards per attempt (8.56 yards per in 2016; 8.22 in 2017) while contributing 21 TDs running and receiving in 2017 whereas he only contributed 19 TDs, all rushing, in 2016. Looks to me like, in his sophomore year he added a little catch out of the backfield to his repertoire. For his efforts over his sophomore season, KPGFootball selected him to our All-State Sophomore Football Team at running back.

So here’s the rub…no matter how he looks in street clothes, no matter his nickname being the same as a discount department store, there is nothing discount or Blue Light Special about the young man’s performance. In two years in a high school backfield, entering his junior season in 2018, Kmart has rushed for 2,816 yards in 335 carries for an 8.41 yards per rushing attempt, two-year average, and 36 rushing TDs with 40 total TDs scored either by land or in the air. With Keaton Martin in the backfield, the Dragons have gone 22-4 over that amount of time and with some of the best young talent in Kentucky, this year or the next for the Dragons figures to be very special in any color of light.

This is Fletcher Long, reporting for KPGFootball reminding you to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE!

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Attention Kmart Shoppers! (highlights)


About Fletcher Long 1459 Articles
Two-time winner of Kentucky Press Association awards for excellence in writing and reporting news stories while Managing Editor of the Jackson (KY) Times-Voice

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