Trophies for tournament titles, county crowns and area championships from just about every era can be found.
Just five years ago, most of the girls basketball trophies were dusty antiques.
Now, thanks in large part to Caroline Dodd — one of the top female basketball players to come through Walker County — Carbon Hill’s girls basketball team has plenty of new hardware.
Since Dodd started playing on the high school basketball team, she has rewritten the school record books while guiding the team to four straight Walker County Basketball Tournament titles (winning the MVP award each time) and back-to-back trips to the Central Regional Tournament.
Dodd is the Daily Mountain Eagle’s 2013-14 Player of the Year.
“I think Caroline is the most influential female basketball player that this county has ever witnessed,” Carbon Hill coach Wade Tittle said. “She has made all the players around her better, during not only this season, but her career as well. She has worked hard, maintained a great attitude and her numbers speak for themselves. We haven’t lost an area game in two years and have not lost a county tournament game in four years.”
Despite losing some key components from last year’s squad that made the regional tournament, Dodd and crew were able to earn a repeat trip to Montgomery this season.
Though Carbon Hill lost its regional opener both times, Dodd was named to the All-Regional Tournament team each year.
A boxscore including 25 points, eight rebounds and three assists would be great for any high school player. That was just a common night for Dodd, who averaged 25.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.8 steals per game.
The 5-foot-8 guard led the team in scoring, rebounds and steals and was second in assists. The UAH signee finished her high school career with more than 2,000 career points, scoring 852 points in her senior season alone.
“When she came to play for us as an eighth grader, she was a shy 110-pound athlete. Over the years she has worked to make herself a basketball player and grown into a confident young lady that has left a legacy on this basketball program that may never be matched,” Tittle said. “I would put her up against anyone, male or female, in a shooting contest. Her rebounding and defense all improved through the years. As a coach, I want my players to be consistent. They don’t have to be great. Caroline was both.
“One thing I will remember about Caroline is when we would take a five-minute break at practice, she would never sit down. Others would get water and take a breather, but she would keep shooting and she was always the first one on the practice floor ready to go.”
Dodd’s legacy continued after the season ended. She was a first-team All-State selection by the Alabama Sports Writers Association and she is the first Carbon Hill girls basketball player to be named a finalist for the Class 4A Player of the Year award.
The Eagle Elite team is made up of: Carbon Hill’s Caroline Dodd and Savanna Lawson, Cordova’s Jessica Willingham and Alexis Cooper, Curry’s Ella Banks, Dora’s Madison Clayton, Lynn’s Reagan Tittle, Parrish’s Mekya Hill, Sumiton Christian’s Kendell Hamm and Walker’s Sidney Cooper.
Honorable mention selections are: Carbon Hill’s Abby Tittle, Curry’s Ashlee Swindle, Lynn’s Emma Easley and Brooke Harris, Oakman's Jordan Harbison, Parrish’s Mary Jo Sanford, Sumiton Christian’s Collin Bowen and Walker’s Anna Claire Harris and Madisyn Hood.