E.A. Sports Today

Man on the move

Faith Christian coach Dawson has no time to slow down

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

If you thought your Black Friday experience was exhausting consider the day Faith Christian basketball coach Bradley Dawson had.

Up at the crack of dawn, out the door to get his father’s Christmas present, open the gym, clean up a spill, then coach four games in two different locations before retiring for the night shortly before midnight. It’s a wonder he can keep it all straight.

He has been wanting his teams to develop some mental toughness. They needed only to watch him Friday to get a true understanding of what he’s talking about. Determined to take the day one game at a time, he coached just as hard in the final minutes of the last boys game as he did in the early going of the first girls one.

“There has not been one break in this Thanksgiving break, and it started Monday,” Dawson said once he had a chance to kick back for the evening. “We’ve been on the go this whole time.”

The 29-year-old did have a little eye-opener to get him going Friday — he was working on a can of Mountain Dew Kickstart as he prepared for the first game of the day and had two Red Bulls waiting in the concession stand cooler when he got through with it.

“I’m worried about my heart a little bit,” he said.

The action on the floor didn’t help that any. His two undermanned teams went a combined 1-3 in the Daniel Davenport Memorial Invitational presented by White Plains. The girls lost to Pleasant Valley right out of the gate and later to White Plains, then after moving the whole operation down Choccolocco Road, his boys beat Pleasant Valley and were crushed by White Plains.

Oh, did we mention he had to clean the gym after the last girls game at his place? Or that he has to go to Huntsville first thing Saturday morning. He was lucky to have grabbed maybe a 10-minute catnap at his grandmother’s when he stopped to bid a hasty farewell to visiting family about to head back to North Carolina.

When he said at the end of the night “our gas tank went to E pretty quickly,” it wasn’t altogether certain if he was talking about the boys team in its 50-plus-point loss to White Plains or himself.

It would’ve been an even harder assignment if Randolph County hadn’t dropped out of the tournament. The Tigers’ departure at least kept Dawson from running back and forth between his gym and White Plains’ for alternating games.

As it was, his girls played at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., while the boys played at 6 and 8 p.m. Dawson is one of three basketball coaches in the county who oversees both teams (the others are Ohatchee’s Bryant Ginn and Jacksonville’s Ryan Chambless). Plus, he’s the Lions’ volleyball and softball coach, athletics director and teaches PE.

“He has a tough job,” Lions leading scorer Madison Stephens said. “I knew when he got the job as coach of both teams it was going to be tough for him, but I know that he can do it. We have to work together. He’s really patient with us and a lot of times I know that’s hard to do, but he can do it.”

Dawson appreciated White Plains’ coach Chris Randall accommodating his schedule.

“If you’re not playing in both you’re not playing in either,” he said. “I couldn’t do it if somebody wasn’t helping me out. I’m going to try it next year; it might be my last straw. If you ask my wife we’re not doing it again next year. I’ve got a good assistant (Emily Dewberry) so I don’t have any problem with it.”

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