Bateman Named to RHSSHOF
Charlie Bateman, Rector High School class of 1978, has been named to the RHS Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2017. He'll be inducted along with Scotty Johnson, RHS class of 1977; David Shelton, RHS class of 1982 and the 1964 RHS basketball team. The induction ceremony will be held immediately following the noon luncheon, set for Saturday, Sept. 2, in the Rector High School gym.
Kenny Burns, of the Clay County Democrat, said the following of Charlie Bateman in his column, “Whatever Happened To….” in the Feb. 12, 1997 issue-- “In the fall of 1978 the old Rector High School (before the days of CCC) graduated one of its all time great high school basketball superstars, Charlie Bateman. Many Blackcat fans from back then still remember how Charlie dominated the floor at high school basketball games during late ‘70s.”
Coach Kelly Scobey also had high praise for Bateman, noting “if you are a high school basketball fan and you missed seeing Charlie Bateman play, you missed a treat. Charlie was a fierce competitor who always gave 110 percent in a game and also in practice. Charlie was the only player I ever coached who I didn’t want to block-out while rebounding; I just wanted him to get the basketball. He thought every rebound or loose ball belonged to him alone.”
Thanks to this attitude, and his talent, Bateman lettered in basketball in 1976, 1977 and 1978.
During his junior year, Rector played a strong Tuckerman team (26-6) in the regional tournament to qualify for state. Charlie [at just six-feet tall] led Rector to a win with 34 points and 28 rebounds. “These stats are amazing, especially 28 rebounds,” Scobey observed matter-of-factly.
During his junior year Rector won 27 consecutive games and finished with a 29-3 record, spending most of the season ranked #1 in its classification. “Charlie’s team” also won the Arkansas College tournament that year and in addition, Charlie was named to the All-District team.
In his senior year, Bateman led his team in scoring, rebounding and assists. His stats included 22 points per game and 16 rebounds per game on average. His performances helped Rector advance to the quarterfinals of the State tournament, and Charlie was again named to the All-District team and also to the All-State team.
Some of Bateman's more impressive stats, taken from the newspaper write-ups of the day, include several from his junior and senior campaigns.
Against Oak Grove he poured-in 41 points, had 28 rebounds while completing 13 fields goals and shooting 15 of 19 from the free-throw line. In a game against Hoxie he scorched the Mustangs for 31 points, his third consecutive 30-point game, and pulled down over 20 rebounds, also the third time in a row to accomplish that feat. This increased his season average to over 20 points per game and 15 rebounds per contest.
In a game against the Highland Rebels he scored 38 points, including 16 points in the fourth quarter, and pulled down 24 rebounds.
And, in another game with the Oak Grove Lions he scored 31 points and had 25 rebounds for a strong double-double.
In 1978 Bateman was awarded a basketball scholarship to Southern Baptist College [now Williams Baptist College], at Walnut Ridge, where he played for two years. His second season, in 1980, he was All-Conference (JUCO). Charlie then transferred to Arkansas Tech where he played for one more season, finally giving up his basketball career due to injuries to the ligaments in both ankles.
Bateman graduated from Arkansas Tech in 1983 earning a BS in Health and Physical Education. He then began what would become a 28 year coaching career at Bentonville Jr High, and later he coached at Danville and Warren. He is currently coaching at Texarkana, where he has been for the past 18 years.
In 2014, Bateman was the North Heights Jr. High (Texarkana Arkansas School District) Teacher of the Year. In 1996, while coaching at Warren he was selected as “Coach of the Year” in 4A.
Over the course of his successful coaching career he has been head basketball coach of both boys and girls basketball teams at both the senior high and junior high levels. In addition, he has coached golf, tennis, soccer, football and track.
Those wanting more information about the luncheon may contact Owen B. Moseley at 870 935-4039.
In addition, the annual RHSSHOF golf event will be held Friday, Sept. 1, at the Kennett Country Club. Those wanting more information on this event may call Michele Haley at 870 240-5064 or Michael Lindsey at 870 240-3257.