There are very few decisions that a senior in high school makes that is more important than where to go to college. For two of Dawson County’s star athletes that decision was made last week as Hudson Sapp and Jasper Gibson both signed commitment papers to play their sport at the next level.
Signing with the University of Mississippi on Wednesday, Nov 13, Sapp put a formal ending on a decision that he had made in his freshman year.
“I’ve been committed to them for a long time,” Sapp said. “Every time I stepped on campus it was a different feeling. It felt like home.”
As a college baseball team, the Ole Miss Rebels have been consistently one of the top teams in the SEC and routinely attract crowds numbering over 12,000 fans at home games. Sapp is looking forward to making an impact with the team as soon as possible after his arrival on campus.
“They expect me to come in ready to play,” Sapp said. “It’s kind of my job to lose in center field.”
In addition to working with Hudson on a father to son level to attain his dream, Dwayne Sapp worked with him directly on the field as the head coach of the Dawson County Tigers. He talked proudly of his son’s dedication and hard work over the past few years.
“Anytime you move onto the next level it takes a lot of time and effort, a lot of sacrifice, time away from your friends and family,” Dwayne Sapp said. “He did that on his own. He knew what he wanted, and he did what he had to do to get there. That’s the kind of dedication you have to have in life.”
Showing the same level of dedication to perfecting his talents on the basketball court, Jasper Gibson signed with Emmanuel College on Friday, Nov. 15.
After transferring into the school at the beginning of his junior year, Gibson was instrumental in the team’s historic 2018-19 season that finished with Tigers making their first appearance in the Final Four of the GHSA State Playoffs.
Former Tigers’ head coach Chad Pittman was in attendance for the ceremony and had nothing but good things to say about both Jasper and his family.
“I have been blessed and fortunate to know this family for a long time,” Pittman said. “He is one that always been very driven. He knew his dreams, he knew his goals, and he stayed very focused on what he needed to do to achieve them.”
The decision to attend Emmanuel may not be surprising as his dad, Dawson County Athletic Director Jason Gibson, spent some time as the head coach of the Lions early in his career, but Jasper was attracted to the school on a more personal level.
“I really liked the people there, and they have a great coaching staff,” Jasper said. “It’s a really good fit.”
Sitting with his son as he signed the final paperwork, Jason Gibson reflected on the differences of coaching and parenting in his comments to the crowd family and friends.
“We are just extremely proud. Anytime you take your talents to the next level it’s a special occasion,” Jason said. “It’s different when you watch them go through it.”