Dixon, Stewart honored as best in 3A

Published 12:23 am Saturday, March 27, 2010

VIDALIA — Torrey Dixon’s performance for the Vidalia basketball team this past season keeps earning him recognition.

In his latest collection of individual accolades, Dixon was selected as the LHSAA Class 3A’s player of the year.

This marks the second year in a row a Vidalia player was named player of the year in 3A, after teammate Gary Stewart was selected following the 2008-2009 season. Both Stewart and Dixon were named first-team All-State in 3A this year as well.

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“It’s great that we’re able to get the Class 3A player of the year two years in a row, as well as first-team All-State two years in a row,” Vidalia coach Robert Sanders said. “I don’t recall that happening here before.”

Although Dixon said he was happier about winning a state championship this year, he didn’t take his selection lightly.

“It means a lot, knowing that all my hard work paid off,” Dixon said.

Stewart, meanwhile, said he was glad the top player recognition went to a Vidalia athlete two years in a row.

“To me, that means a lot,” Stewart said. “That lets me know that Vidalia has a lot of talent, and we’re being recognized for it. Having the two best players in the state means it was Vidalia’s time.”

Dixon also said it spoke highly of Vidalia’s ability to develop top athletes.

“It says we have good coaching and outstanding players,” Dixon said.

Sanders said he wasn’t surprised Dixon and Stewart ended up being top athletes, given the two’s work ethic.

“Those two led in all of our drills,” Sanders said. “They were always the first to get here and last to leave. They gave 100 percent every day, and consequently, they’re the two that stayed in games the longest for us.

“They had a really good work ethic when it came to preparing for games. They did a lot of work on their own, away from practice. That says a lot about them and their love of the game.”

Dixon said the work he and Stewart did outside of practice paid off on the court.

“It was important, because me and him got the chance to know each other better and get to know each other’s games better, and how each other played,” Dixon said. “It made a big difference. It got us to the finals last year, got us back this year, and we came through this time.”

Dixon also credited his father in developing him into a top basketball player.

“He motivated me,” Dixon said. “He’s been coaching me and teaching me since I’ve been a little kid.”

Stewart, meanwhile, said two years of being on the Class 3A All-State team gives him a lot of satisfaction.

“It feels really good, playing hard these four years and sticking with it,” Stewart said. “All my hard work paid off.”