Two Vikings sign letters of intent to play college football
By Paul McManis
Commoner Journal staff writer
McARTHUR — Two Vinton County Vikings were among the thousands of high school seniors across America who signed letters of intent on National Signing Day to play football at the college of their choice.
On Wednesday, varsity football players Joey Batey and Curtis Lindner met with school officials to sign the document that commits them to a collegiate football program.
Batey, who was a very active part of the Vikings football team this season, signed to play for Tiffin University, while Lindner, another senior standout, signed to play for Kentucky Christian University.
Batey, who signed to play as a safety for the Tiffin University Dragons, compiled 71 tackles — 47 assisted, 24 solo and 1.5 sacks — in 2011. He finished the season with 390 rushing, 101 receiving, 169 passing and 517 return yards — a total of 1,177 yards.
Lindner, who received a recommendation from Vikings Football Coach Justy Burleson to play receiver at the college level, will be suiting up to play for the Kentucky Christian University Knights. Lindner finished the 2011 season with 169 rushing, 144 receiving, 276 passing and 96 return yards — a total of 685 total yards. Defensively, Lindner compiled 44 tackles — 30 assisted and 14 solo – and recovered one fumble.
Burleson said he was proud of both Batey and Lindner and the effort they put into the sport. He said they were two key athletes who took the lead of a team that is still in transition.
“They’ve both demonstrated that work ethic and that desire,” Burleson said. “It takes commitment day in and day out. … These two have shown it.”
Burleson said the signing players are two who have set the tone for what he hopes is a great future for Vinton County football. He said the players brought a level that reaches beyond a common player and they filled needs on the team, as both played multiple positions. He said both were willing to put forth their best effort regardless of where they played.
Burleson wasn’t the only one who realized that Batey and Lindner dreamed big and had the talent and drive to make those dreams come true. The players said they have known for a long time they were hoping for an extended football career.
Batey said football has always been a desire throughout his life, and he has known for some time that this level was one he wanted to reach.
“I’m just excited for the future,” Batey said. “It’s always been something I knew I wanted to do.”
Batey said he has learned a lot in Vinton County and plans to take with him a good work ethic and family values as he moves on to the college level.
Lindner said he too is seeing the fulfillment of lifelong dreams. He said he has worked hard and now he is seeing the results of those efforts.
“I’ve been wanting this for a long time. It’s kind of a dream. Hard work is paying off,” Lindner said.
For highlights of Batey’s senior season, view the video below, courtesy of Tiffin University. Linder did not have a similar video made.