High School Standouts: CDHS’ Derry forms lasting bonds as two-sport athlete

LOWER AFTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – At 6-foot-9-inches tall, Chuckey-Doak senior Christian Derry is pretty easy to pick out of a crowd.

“I’ve always been just a little bit taller than the other guy,” he smiled.

It’s part of the reason he latched onto basketball at such a young age.

“Played for Doak – the midgets – played for them when I come from East View over to Doak,” he said.

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He quickly learned the best part of playing in front of fans: bringing them to their feet.

“There’s nothing like running up and down the court after you just made a big play – hearing that crowd scream,” he explained.

He did plenty of that in his time with the Black Knights, helping the squad win a pair of District 1-2A championships as an underclassman. As a junior, he was selected to the Class 2A All-State squad.

This past season, as a senior, he averaged 23.1 points, 12.4 rebounds and 4.8 blocks per game as a Class 2A Mr. Basketball candidate.

“I’ve grown a lot as a player – gotten better with hours in the gym,” he said. “Hours in and after practice. It’s not only that two-hour practice that gets you better. It’s the hours you put in after practice – shooting, doing drills and footwork.”

Hours in the gym – and support from his basketball brothers – have brought him a long way.

“I love my teammates to death – they’re there for me. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be where I’m at as a player,” he said.

The big right-hander also found baseball by the time he was 10 years old.

“Picked up a ball, swung a bat – that’s about it,” he admitted.

He’s already into his final varsity season at Chuckey-Doak. It’s not the home runs or the strikeouts that have kept him coming back to the park each year – it’s the people.

“Once more, that brotherhood,” he said. “You know, some of the guys that I play baseball with, I don’t play other sports with.”

With basketball and baseball, Derry gets a chance for a break in the offseason. But, when it comes to his work showing cattle – an offseason doesn’t exist.

“That’s 365 days a year,” he said.

Just like with athletics, there’s no shortcut to competing at a high level.

“The cows have got to pretty much bond with you,” he said. “They’ve got to know who you are.”

Derry has competed in local shows from Greene County to Lebanon and has even won a few ribbons in his day. He’s taken center stage at the junior nationals show in Grand Island, Nebraska, as well.

But, for him, it continues to be about the relationships he forms through it all.

“You find your show buddies – you’ve always got them guys that will come help you.”

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