December 14, 2022
Huntsville, AL – Today, we recognize and celebrate Sonny Batchelor for his time and dedication to the Huntsville Sports Commission Board of Directors over the past 12 years.
Sonny Batchelor, the son of Boyd and Sue Batchelor, was born and raised in Reform, Alabama. Sonny attended Pickens County High School, where he played football, basketball, and baseball. He humbly states, “I wasn’t the best, but I had fun.”
During his senior year of football, however, the team won the High School State Championship for Class A. It wasn’t his only state championship that year, as Sonny also won a state tractor driving competition in Auburn. He graduated from Pickens County High School in the Class of 1959.
Sonny went on the attend the University of Alabama, where he graduated with a degree in economics the summer of 1968. Possessing a servant’s heart, Sonny took time off between semesters to help his mom, as well as work on the farm to help his grandfather with cattle and trees. To this day, Sonny likes to say he’s still “just a little country boy.”
Shortly after graduating from the University of Alabama, Sonny moved to Huntsville to start his career with State Farm in November 1968. It wasn’t long after living here that one of his customers – a coach at Butler High School – introduced him to his girlfriend’s roommate, Kay. Sonny and Kay started dating in 1974 and were married in Kay’s hometown of Leighton on July 26, 1975.
Kay and Sonny have always had a love for sports, specifically Alabama sports. Sonny admits, “Kay keeps up with the scores just as much, if not more, than I do.” Sonny and Kay are season ticket holders for seven UA sports: football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, softball, gymnastics, and volleyball. In fact, they attended every home and away Alabama football game for 25 consecutive years, a streak stopped due to COVID-19 and the lack of away game tickets available.
Sonny’s love of sports and Alabama started at a young age and stemmed from his dad, Boyd. He was a coach for all three men’s sports at Sonny’s high school. His dad was also known for being the go-to for football information and would even report all the football scores in the area to The Tuscaloosa News each week. Boyd would often take Sonny to UA, where he would watch Bear Bryant in action from the sidelines.
Sonny has been a State Farm agent for 54 years and has continued to serve several organizations throughout his career, including the Huntsville Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame, Kiwanis Club of Huntsville, State Farm Agents Political Action Committee, and most importantly to us, the Huntsville Sports Commission Board of Directors.
As Sonny rolls off the board after 12 great years with the Huntsville Sports Commission, we want to thank him for his time and dedication to sports in Huntsville and our organization. While Sonny has no specific favorite memory with the Sports Commission, he recalls, “Anytime we held an event, it was successful, and they wanted to come back…that’s what made me happy.”
Sonny will continue to do what he loves, which is staying busy at work, attending Alabama games, and spending time with his wife. Some call him the Jack Nicholson of Alabama Basketball, so you may see him at a game if you’re lucky.
Mayor Tommy Battle signed a proclamation declaring December 14th Sonny Batchelor Day in recognition of his dedication to the Huntsville sports community.
Thank you, Sonny…and Roll Tide!
The Huntsville Sports Commission is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), organization that promotes and enhances the quality of life in Huntsville by identifying, recruiting, promoting, and staging sporting events and meetings. For more information, contact Brooke Izzo, Director of Marketing & Communications, 256-883-3769, firstname.lastname@example.org