By Alex Hider
PDT Sports Reporter
Very few high school athletes get the chance to play in college. Valley High School’s Hayden Dunn was talented enough to garner college offers in two sports.
As a third-team All-State defensive end in football and a first-team All-State selection in basketball, Dunn had a choice to make.
“I’ve wanted to play college sports since I was a kid, and until a couple months ago, I didn’t know if it was going to be football or basketball,” Dunn said.
Ultimately, Dunn chose the hardwood over the gridiron, and will be headed to Circleville to join the Ohio Christian University basketball team. He also received basketball offers from Bluffton, Kentucky Christian University, Wittenberg and Otterbein.
The Trailblazers have been extremely successful in the past few seasons, winning two NCCAA National Championships in the past two seasons, but winning took a back seat in Dunn’s decision-making process.
“The first priority was going to a Christian school,” he said. “I was raised in a pastor’s home, and that was something I felt was very important to me.”
Dunn was also excited about playing for Ohio Christian head coach Tony Stockman.
“He’s been there two years and won two national championships,” Dunn said. “He’s young, has a lot of energy and his guys love him.”
Dunn is also glad that he will be playing his home games less than an hour away from his home town next season.
“Proximity to home…it’s such a big deal to me. Being only 45 minutes away, it’s really nice,” Dunn said.
Valley coach Scott Rolfe knows he’s losing more than just 15.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. He’s losing one of his team leaders.
“He’s just a picture-perfect student athlete here, so I think that’s something that he can carry on to the next level,” Rolfe said. “His GPA of 3.9 shows the work that he does inside school time and he’s just been a great leader for us on the court and off the court.”
Dunn hopes he and his teammates have left their mark in Valley High School history. With three SOC Championships in football and an Elite eight appearance this season in basketball, they certainly have.
“We’re all so close. We had so many different guys who contributed in so many different ways,”Dunn said. “I want to be known as someone who was a leader on our squad, and someone that just gave everything they had. I think that’s probably what I’ll be remembered by.”
Alex Hider can be reached at 353-3101, ext 294, or on Twitter @alexhider.