Batavia is the home of many gifted athletes but Batavia is not an athletic focused school actually. From experience, I know that Coach Piron likes his players to focus on academics before athletics. Although academics is a big focus here in Batavia, we have had some very gifted athletes come through this school and pursue sports afterwards.
- Ken Anderson. Anderson was a Batavia graduate who I had the pleasure to meet this year. He was an excellent football player in high school and after graduating in 1967, he attended Augustana College, home of the Vikings. In 1971, he was drafted 67th overall to the Cincinnati Bengals. Anderson played in the NFL from 1971-1986 with a total of nearly 33,000 passing yards and almost 200 passing touchdowns. Ken was a finalist in 1996 and 1998 for a Hall of Fame spot. Anderson was one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time and to say he is from my hometown and also graduated from my high school is an incredible thought.
- Dan Issel. Issel graduated from Batavia High School in 1966 and began his college basketball career at University of Kentucky. He played at Kentucky from 1967-1970 and soon after began his pro career. Dan was an ABA basketball player for the Kentucky Colonels from 1970-75 and a NBA basketball player for the Denver Nuggets from 1975-85. “Issel was the model of durability and consistency” says Hoophall.com. Issel was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993, which was well deserved. Dan Issel is another person that has put Batavia High School in the history books for his outstanding athletic achievement from his high school career to his time playing professionally.
- Kyle Niemiec. Niemiec was one of Batavia’s most gifted quarterbacks of all time. In the 2015 season, Niemiec threw for over 2700 yards, which is well above national average. He also threw 24 touchdown passes which once again, breaks national standards. Niemiec was able to lead the Batavia football team all the way to the IHSA Quarterfinals against Cary Grove. Niemiec was able to be part of the 2013 State Championship run his sophomore year which not a lot of player can say they did. During the 2015 season Kyle managed to win five Batavia player of the game awards and also clutched a player of the week nomination. Along with football, Niemiec is also a very talented baseball player. Niemiec is an excellent athlete on the field but off the field, he’s a leader and a friend to everyone around him. As a dual-sport athlete who excels in both sports, Niemiec is definitely deserving of this spot.
These three athletes are very gifted individuals but there are many more players out there that are noteworthy. Batavia has something special, that’s all there is to it.