CG’s Easterling adds college track to his ‘hobby’ list

Published 2:19 am Saturday, May 28, 2022

Coal Grove Hornets’ senior track standout Steve Easterling signed a letter-of-intent on Tuesday to run for the Kentucky Christian University Knights. Attending the signing ceremony were: seated left to right, sister Laurie Harmon and nephew Weston, mother Mary Easterling, Steve, father Steve Easterling and sister Lee Ann Williams; standing left to right, uncle Rick Easterling, Hornets’ head coach Jay Lucas, KCU head coach Chuck Went and niece Kayla Williams. (Photo by Tim Gearhart)

By Jim Walker

COAL GROVE — Steve Easterling seems to be picking up a lot of things to do in the past few year.

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One of his favorite things now is reading.

“I’ve picked up reading a lot now. I’m really into Stephen King,” said Easterling

Hornets’ Steve Easterling

Another thing the Coal Grove Hornets senior has picked up is running track. And it’s another good habit because it led to him signing a letter-of-intent Tuesday with the Kentucky Christian University Knights.

Track is among the sports he has played including football, basketball and powerlifting. Easterling seemed to actually lean towards football as his favorite, but he admitted that track has grown on him.

In fact, Easterling didn’t start running track until his freshman year and he was reluctant at first to continue with the sport.

“I wasn’t planning on running track. It was one of those things that I got drafted into it,” said Easterling. “They said, ‘Hey, come out with us today’ and it was December. I never quit. I just stuck around.

“At first I thought, ‘this kind of sucks. Why am I just running to run?’ But then I really liked the competition aspect of it and you’re running with people you’ve grown up with. I really like being able to compete two days a week rather than like a football game every Friday when you practice all week. It’s just a lot more fun.”

Jay Lucas is both the Hornets’ football coach and the track coach and he has a good idea of the type of person and player the Knights will be adding to their program.

“Stevie is a tremendous worker. With Stevie, you’re getting a kid with great character, great work ethic and a fantastic kid who always pushes himself to be the best he can be,” said Lucas.

“He’ been such a huge asset to us over the last four years. He really helped us revive the program and get it back in the right direction.”

Easterling said he was deciding between KCU and Morehead State, but he admitted that the Knights were really the frontrunner from the starting line to the finish.

“I was looking at Morehead State but it was kind of my backup. KCU offered me a scholarship first and that’s where I decided to go,” said Easterling.

Kentucky Christian is expected to look at Easterling in his main events of the 400 meters, the 4×400 relay, the 800 meters and possibly the hurdles.

Easterling said looking at the KCU roster and its times, he thinks he can compete as a freshman.

“I’ve looked at the times and I think I can run with them right now. Hopefully, when I get there I’ll get better. I think I’ll make an impact my first year there,” he said.

Getting better will be enhanced by the fact Easterling can dedicate all his athletic time to track and not split it with football.

“I think I’ll get better because it’ll be more working on technique and stuff rather than just getting in shape. With track (in high school) a lot of times it gets put on the back burner because you’re getting more conditioned for football and basketball or whatever sport you’re playing. Whenever I have the chance to focus the whole year rather than jamming track into three months, it gives me a chance to do a lot of different excises and stuff.,” said Easterling.

Although he talked very fondly of football, Easterling did say there are a lot of differences between the two sports and they both have their merits. However, Easterling said he is more suited for track.

“I really like track. When you watch football film, it’s kind of subjected to see how good the competition is. With track, a 54-second 400 is the same as somewhere else. It’s how good is the competition. You get on the track and try to beat the other guy,” said Easterling.

Although coach Lucas has been a big influence, Easterling said his parents Mary and Steve — he is the Dawson-Bryant Schools superintendent — have had the greatest impact on his life.

“Dad definitely has been a huge influence, more in the aspect of sports and academics, but how to be a man,” said Easterling. “But my mom has also played a big role making me work on my multiplication tables when I was real little and reading even though I hated it. When I look back, I’m glad they did.”

Easterling plans to major in business.