PREP SPORTS: ‘I will cherish the memories and friends I made from these sports forever’: Dakota Overton recaps Raider years

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Good Hope’s Dakota Overton. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. — Good Hope senior Dakota Overton is preparing to graduate later this month and in this interview he discussed his stellar career on the basketball court and the baseball field during his years at Good Hope High School.

“One of my favorite memories was during my 11th grade year, when we went to the mountains for a Christmas tournament. We shot at a local gym for our team practice, and then, on the way back to our cabin, we were snowed in the car. After waiting for the roads to get better, we decided that we would all just walk to our cabins and leave the cars in a parking lot, which was fairly close. The snow was still falling, and everyone was laughing and goofing off, until we got back to the cabin, which was close to two miles away from the parking lot,” Overton said. “Another great memory was from this year. Our game against West Point was delayed 30 minutes, and everyone ran to their cars in the rain. Once the game started, it just felt like all of us came together, and it was the most fun I’ve had since I was a kid.”

Dakota played with so many great guys and under some amazing coaches during his career.

“I feel like throughout my basketball career, I have gotten the opportunity to play with and practice against some of the best players that have come through Good Hope. This made being a point guard easier for me, because I knew that I could always depend on my guys to show up and play their heart out for me and my teammates. There was a lot of great players growing up while I played baseball, and just getting to know them at practice and realizing that I. too, would one day, have to step up and be a leader made me want to fill their shoes even more.”

He added,

“Coaching was great throughout both sports at Good Hope. The main point that they tried to prove to us was that we should be great young men and followers of Christ. Any time we would get ready for a game, we would pray. They wanted the best for us always and showed me they will be there for me throughout my whole life, and they are always one call away. My basketball coaches always let me know how much I mean to them and show me that they truly care about my future, and they want the best for me. My baseball coaches always tell me to keep being myself and let me know how much I mean to the teams I am on. They gave me so many life lessons and taught me how to be a better teammate and player, but the best thing was making sure I grew closer to God. I learned that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, and that no one is perfect, but realizing Jesus is the only one who lived a perfect life and died a terrible death for our sins, is the only way that we can be saved.”

Dakota talked about his favorite basketball and baseball memory, and what he will remember and miss the most about playing sports.

“My favorite basketball memory that happened on the court was when we won the county championship this year. When the game was ending, we were just looking around, and we saw all the fans and everyone else cheering us on. My favorite baseball memory would have to be when our pitchers would be playing really good, and I would remember singing a song kind of quiet. My teammates would hear me and then, we would all be singing in the dugout while we were hitting,” he said. “I will miss being with the underclassmen every day and just spending time with them and all of my close friends that I see every day at school. I will cherish the memories and friends I made from these sports forever.”

He had so many great memories during his time in high school, but one really sticks out to him. Good Hope will always hold a special place in his heart.

“Every day there, there was something different, just because of all of the good people we have. The more I think about high school, the only things that feel so special are my senior memories. It is funny how all of the other years seem so distant now that I am a senior. My favorite memory would have to be when the senior team I was on won the volleyball tournament during homecoming week, and that whole week was just filled with fun. Everyone had so many smiles and wasn’t worried about anything then,” he said. “Good Hope is so special, because no matter what you want to do or the struggles you have, no one will treat you differently. Everyone is so friendly and kind. The teachers always want what is best for the students and will try to work with you on the things you don’t understand. Everyone in our community loves our sports teams, and it truly shows and brings our community together. That is what makes Good Hope so special to me.”

He will deeply miss being a Raider next year and was a huge role model for a lot of the younger kids. He had a lot of role models during his high school career.

“I will remember all of the fun times I had with my friends and being able to create so many friendships over the years. I will miss seeing everyone on a daily basis and being around my friends all of the times,” he said. “I try to treat everyone how I would like to be treated, no matter who it is. I feel like if I could just hold the door for even one person a day, or maybe even talk to someone about their day, or give them a smile, that I could make a difference in someone’s day. I feel like it was very important to me to be that person and knowing that made me want to be an even better person and follower of Christ.”

He added,

“There are so many different people I could name, but a couple of guys I still keep in touch with are Charlie O’Neil and Colton Lindsey. Those guys were always such Godly men and would push me to better myself daily, and it really helped me get to where I am today. All of my coaches are role models to me alongside my mom, who works in the office as our secretary. She has helped me in so many ways, and I love her for everything she does and all the work she does for our school.”

He gave some advice to those students that will be starting high school in August, and to those people that want to get to where he’s at right now.

“Try to have as much fun as you can, and don’t try to wish it away. While you are in the moment or in class that day, it may feel like you’ll never reach the end goal of graduating, but it will sneak up on you and before you know it, you will be graduating and starting your own life outside of school,” he said. “Just be yourself and not let anyone try and tell them they aren’t able to do something. Try to always find the good in every situation and make the best of what you have.”

He was in a couple of clubs and learned so many things during that experience. He accepted a scholarship to go to Wallace State and was so happy when he got his first scholarship. He learned a lot about himself during his time as a Raider.

“It was a lot of fun being in the Pep Club, and I was able to get into every home game to the sports I did not play in. National Honors Society was also very fun, because I was able to meet new people around the county when we all met in Fairview for an event,” he said. “I’ll be attending Wallace State to get my two-year degree, and then, I’ll go to a four-year college to get my Electrical Engineering Degree. I felt ecstatic when I got my first scholarship and even though it wasn’t a lot of money, I felt good that I was able to get any kind of money just to help with college. I feel like I learned a lot about myself and what I wanted to do in the long run. I learned how to work with others, and try to not only make myself succeed, but help others succeed as well.”

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