Utility player

Published 10:31 pm Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cory Batie played his way from the scout team to the starting unit for the Pike County Bulldogs this season. (File photo)

Cory Batie played his way from the scout team to the starting unit for the Pike County Bulldogs this season. (File photo)

Cory Batie does a bit of everything for Pike County

Pike County sophomore Cory Batie is not the biggest or the strongest member of the Bulldog football team, but he might see more playing time than any other player.

Batie is truly a jack-of-all-trades for coach Fred Holland and the Bulldogs. Batie lines up at wide receiver, cornerback, punter and punt returner.

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Batie said he did not always see so much time on the field. “I started on the scout team,” Batie said. “Coach saw how hard I was working, and he started trying me out at all these different positions. I guess he liked what he saw.”

While Batie said his favorite position to play is receiver, he believes that he is best as a punter. “I feel like I’m best at punting,” Batie said. “When it’s third down, and we don’t get a conversion, the team depends on me to pin them back on the one-yard line and make them have to go 99 yards for a touchdown.”

On defense, Batie is a hard-hitting cornerback. In last week’s playoff game against Trinity, he recorded five tackles, including a tackle for loss. “When I’m on defense, I try to get the ball when they throw it my way,” Batie said. “If I can’t get the ball, I try to knock the receiver out.”

Batie’s biggest weapon on offense is his speed. The Bulldogs get the ball to Batie in a variety of ways, including flanker screens and jet sweeps. “When I get the ball on offense, my first goal is always to get a first down,” Batie said. “After I do that, I try to score a touchdown.” Against Trinity, Batie caught four passes for 25 yards.

Batie said seeing so much playing time used to tire him out, but, lately, his conditioning has improved and allowed him to play at maximum effort. “When I started playing, going both ways would wear me out,” Batie said. “Now I’m used to it. I don’t want to come off the field.”

Batie credited coach Holland with developing him as a player. “Coach Holland put me in a lot of different positions when I was starting,” Batie said. “He brought me along and helped me learn all the new positions.”

For the Bulldogs to beat the Bayside Admirals this Friday in the second round of the AHSAA playoffs, they will need a big game from Batie in all three phases of the game. Batie said he was excited for the opportunity to play in Brundidge. “It’s going to feel good playing at home in our stadium,” Batie said. “We love having home-field advantage. I can’t wait to hear all our fans cheer us on.”

The Bulldogs host the Bayside Admirals of Daphne this Friday at Bulldog Stadium.

Kick off is set for 7 p.m.