Chicken Express Community Heroes: Hamilton's Abbey Hale and Union Hill's Luke Batts

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Abbey Hale 

Hamilton High School 

It’s safe to say that Hamilton is a pretty tight-knit community in central Texas. The town embodies the motto “What a Hometown Should Be”, and that’s what makes it such a special place for senior Abbey Hale. 

Hale has competed in cross country, basketball, track and cheerleading for all four years of her high school career. She’s also the school’s Student Government Reporter, serves as the Student Council FCA Representative, is a member of Fellow of Christian Athletes, and participates in Academic UIL and FCCLA Star events. 

“I love this town,” Hale said. “I have always had so much support from everyone, and I love the fact that a 10 minute grocery store run can turn into a 30 minute experience because of all the people you run into. I constantly have people asking me how school and athletics are going. I love that the community cares.”

While her involvement in athletics and other extra-curricular activities has taken up the majority of her time over the last four years, Hale has also managed to give back to the community that means so much to her as well. 

She plays an important role in Hamilton’s “Bulldog Buddy” program, where elementary school students are assigned to a high school football player or cheerleader. 

The pair then exchanges letters and gifts throughout the year, helping younger students in the community connect with those they see on the field and the sideline on Friday nights in the fall. 

“It is such a humbling and fun experience to have these young ones looking up to me,” Hale said. “I enjoy giving back to the community and helping out on campus because I have lived here my entire life. This town and the people in it have raised me and given me so much – what kind of person would I be if I did not give something back?”

Hale, though unsure about what her major will be in college, plans on attending Abilene Christian University after graduating in the spring.

“I will definitely remember my time here in Hamilton,” Hale said. “I can safely say I won’t venture too far from home in the future.”

Luke Batts 

Union Hill High School 

Sophomore Luke Batts has been apart of football, baseball and golf teams that have experienced tremendous success at Union Hill High School over the last few years. But Batts’ favorite sport isn’t played on a court or field – it’s on the water. 

Batts is a competitive bass fisher and enjoys spending his free time fishing and hunting. It’s a sport his older brother Noah takes part in at the collegiate level as well. 

“I spend a great deal of preparation and time fishing,” Batts said. “I love the outdoors and being able to spend time on the water. Noah inspires me to achieve great things.”

Batts has attended Union Hill since eighth grade, when his dad accepted the Superintendent position with the school district. He has only 20 students in his graduating class, but points out one big advantage to a small school atmosphere.

“Small schools are a family,” Batts said. “I get to see my teachers, coaches and principals every day in different kinds of roles. Everyone at our school focuses on being a champion in the classroom, on the field, on the court and in the hallways. Everyone is expected to contribute to our school’s success. 

“When there are things needed to be done on campus or in the community, our entire school is willing to help.”

Batts embraces that mindset, as he spends a good portion of his free time outside of competition volunteering in the community. He’s involved in student council, model UN, community food drives and helps with beautification projects on campus. 

“I have served at a rescue mission, volunteered at my local fishing club, worked with our Little Dribblers program and helped with community service at our school,” Batts said.

While he still has two and a half years left to continue making an impact on the community, Batts plans on pursuing his passion for the outdoors after graduating in 2020. 

He hopes to join the United States Army before becoming a Texas Game Warden. 

“I want to give back to one the things I truly love,” Batts said. “The great outdoors.”

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