Family, friends and coaches joined two Clopton football players Wednesday, Feb. 19 as they finalized their intentions for their post-high school atheletic and academic careers.

Kyle Martin signed to play for the Culver-Stockton Wildcats starting the 2020-2021 school year. Shawn Yates signed to play for the Washington University Bears. 

kyle martin

Kyle Martin signs to play for the Culver-Stockton Wildcats flanked by his parents, DeeDee and Shane martin. James Bowman, right, assistant Culver-Stockton football coach, stands with Clopton-Elsberry head coach Butch Wolanski (center) and Assistant Coach Nick Gremaud (left). Photo by Adam Thorp

Martin said he made the final call about two weeks before the signing ceremony. Before signing, Martin listed some of the things that attracted him to Canton.

“[It’s a] small school. I really like the football program. They’ve been rebuilding for the last three years with the new coaching staff, getting good recruiting classes,” Martin said.

Martin expects to continue playing as a receiver for Culver-Stockton.

“I can be a deep threat, because of my speed and athleticism,” Martin said.

Off the field, Martin said he plans to major in pre-chiroprachty, with a goal of then attending a chiropractic college.

Yates said his interest in pursuing a medical career led him to look at Washington University.

“I found Wash U. A lot of people referred it to me, because of how prestigious an institution it is and the good reputation they have. And once I realized they have a football team and also other athletics, I was, like, ‘this place seems like it would be the right fit for me’.”

shawn yates

Shawn Yates signs to play for the Washington University Bears with his parents, Scott and Becky Yates, by his side. Clopton-Elsberry head coach Butch Wolanski and Assistant Coach Nick Gremaud stand next to sister Shana Yates. Photo by Adam Thorp

Yates said he made the decision in September, during a campus visit. He had been impressed by how the school treated its players and how the players supported each other on and off the field.

Washington University’s football team currently has a junior that has played quarterback, Yates’s position, and he said Wednesday he was not sure what his role would be in the short term.


“[I’m hoping] I can be competing for a big role on the team as quarterback in the next couple years,” Yates said.