The Dawson County basketball program was well represented when Region 7-AAA announced the players of the year and first team honors on Feb. 10.
Seniors Kaylee Sticker and Luke Chism took home the highest honors of the night as each was named the Region 7-AAA Player of the Year based on the recommendations of their coaches and the votes of the regional coaching staffs.
Sticker earned the honor on the strength of a record-breaking season that saw her lead her team in scoring over the course of the year, cross over 1,500 points in her career and become the all-time scorer in Dawson County High School Lady Tiger history.
Her efforts pushed the Lady Tigers into a third-place finish in region 7-AAA and has led the team into a Sweet Sixteen berth in the GHSA state tournament.
“I’ve never had that honor before,” Sticker said. “So just to see the great girls who have come through this program and find out that I get to be one of them is a great honor.”
Chism has only been with the Tigers for one year but has left an indelible mark on the program with his natural talent at the game and his leadership on the floor as he also led the Tigers in scoring over the regular season, while crossing over 2,000 points in his career, to take Dawson County to their first region 7-AAA championship title in seven years.
“It’s definitely an exciting accomplishment, almost at the top of my list,” Chism said. “But region was definitely my favorite.”
A trio of juniors rounded out the announcements for the evening as Sophia D’Oliveira was named to the 7-AAA girls’ first team, while Jasper Gibson and Campbell Reed were selected to the boys’ team.
The selection marked the first recognition at the regional level for D’Oliveira and she seemed to understand the implications for her role as a leader of the future with the Lady Tigers.
“I’m definitely going to miss (Sticker) next year,” D’Oliveira said. “Its going to be hard losing her next year but we’ve just kind of got to keep the same energy, just keep the program going and go after her legacy.”
Reed, who closed the 2018 season as an honorable mention in region 7-AAA, appreciated the honor, but quickly put it in perspective compared to the team’s accomplishments this year.
“As a freshman I looked up to the older kids on the team that were able to get on the first team,” Reed said. “Last year as an honorable mention it’s still an honor, but this year it feels good, it's like icing on the cake after winning the regional championship.”