Van Buren senior Brad Eversole’s the type of athlete football coach Brooks Coatney says he’d like more of.
A three-sport star in football, basketball and baseball, Eversole was invited this week to take part in the Xtra Innings Classic Tuesday in Jonesboro.
“I really wish more kids today would follow that lead,” Coatney said. “Not only does he play three sports, but he’s really good. To play at the 7A level and be a factor says something about his work ethic. He’s pretty much doing something year-round. I’m really proud of him.”
Ironically, Eversole was on the football field as part of the Pointers’ spring football drills when he was told of the Xtra Innings invite.
“Baseball is my favorite sport,” Eversole said. “I like football and the attitude you have, and I’m looked at as a leader. I take that football attitude with me.”
Until recently, Eversole didn’t consider himself as anything more than an extra pitcher on the team. That changed during the recent high school season.
“For awhile it was my hitting, but coach (David Loyd) kind of molded me into a pitcher,” Eversole said. “I like how I’m basically in control of the game.
I like having the ball in my hand every pitch and keeping every team off the scoreboard. I like doing it and I’ve gotten pretty good at it. At the end the season my bat started picking up, too.”
Eversole isn’t bashful when it comes to talking about playing both football and baseball in college. Plenty have done it before him, including Coatney.
“I talked to coach Coatney and he said he played both football and baseball,” Eversole said.
Eversole emerged last season as one of the team’s go-to receivers.
“I love competing,” Eversole said. “If I miss a ball, then I’ll stay after and get more reps. Every day when I was little, me and my dad were outside hitting grounders and playing catch; I love it.
“Brad is really competitive, I think that’s the thing that sticks out to me,” Coatney said. “Football coaches, including myself, we sometimes get selfish when it comes to athletes. (But) it’s something I try to promote for all our guys. If you have the desire to play another sport, then go do it.
“There are a lot of kids that believe the way to get to college is to focus on one sport and that’s not necessarily true.”
Xtra Innings Classic
Site: Nettleton High School; Arkansas State
Area Competitors: Brad Eversole, Van Buren; Jace Hudson, Clarksville; Kamron Hurst, Subiaco; Austin Pittman, Greenwood; Cade Sidemore, Northside; Matthew Ward, Charleston; Brandon Wolski, Booneville