Dick blazes trail for Lady Warriors


Photo by Dave Boyd
Alicia Dick (front, right) is joined by sister, Erika; mother, Pam, and father, Bill, at Fridayƕs signing.

By Wes Holtsclaw
STAR STAFF
wholtsclaw@starhq.com
A dream came true Friday morning for an outstanding student-athlete and her program.
Since the inception of the softball program at Happy Valley more than 10 years ago, there has not been a player go on to play the sport collegiately.
All that changed when senior Alicia Dick signed to extend her athletic and academic path locally with the Milligan College Lady Buffaloes.
"We're very happy that Alicia has chosen Milligan to further her athletic and academic career," said Milligan coach Wes Holly, who has also worked with Alicia in recent years. "I know her personally and have watched her grow up over the years. She's done a great job at Happy Valley excelling in her athletics and academics."
"We feel like she's definitely a Milligan fit based on her background and everything she brings in," he said. "She comes from a great family and we're elated that she chose us."
Superior all around the diamond and in the classroom, it has been a dream of Dick from an early age to play a sport collegiately.
"I've worked with (Milligan coach Wes Holly) for so long and I've always wanted to go there," Alicia said. "It's close to home and they've got a good program. It's kind of been a dream since I was about nine."
"It's very big," she said. "I'm at a loss for words because it's a big accomplishment and something I've worked for my whole life."
Dick has lettered in softball and basketball at Happy Valley, but really stood out on the softball diamond with the ability to play a number of positions.
She threw a perfect game and had a winning record from the mound last season and has played a big role in Happy Valley's past two sub-state seasons from the pitcher, second base and outfield positions.
Having earned All-Conference, All-District and All-Northeast Tennessee honors as well as sharing Co-MVP of the annual Elizabethton STAR All-Carter/Johnson team with teammate Kortney Goulds, you can't find a glitch on her resume to this point.
"She's a versatile player," said Lady Warrior coach Karri Killen. "I could have complete confidence whether she was catching or pitching, playing second or in the outfield. She plays every position and she plays it well. She's a team leader and hits the ball well. She's very talented."
The same goes in the classroom where she has excelled, maintaining a 4.0 GPA and being ranked in the top ten percent of her class since her freshman year.
That work helped her earn an academic scholarship as well with Milligan.
"Not only does she have a 4.0 GPA, she's a smart girl off the field as well as on the field," Killen added.
The signing is a sign of good things to come for the Lady Warrior program, who has several other talented players that could sign somewhere before the end of the season.
"It's very big," said the Lady Warrior coach. "Of course, when you get the type of talent we have, they are capable of playing at the next level. Alicia's a great player and a great kid. It's a big step for her and a big step forward for the program."
Much is also to be said about Dick's parents, Bill and Pam, who have shown tremendous support for their children.
"They're really happy for me," Alicia said. "I think my mom wanted me to go there too. They're just happy I was able to make it in a college sport."
Holly recruited Dick primarily for the second base and catching positions, but plans to work with her pitching as well.
He expects her to contribute immediately to the Milligan team.
"We feel like she can come in and contribute immediately because she's basically a multi-position player," Holly said. "Based on her skills and everything, we feel like we can definitely find her a spot to play in."
"We are primarily looking at her for catching and second base although she does an excellent job pitching," he said. "We will continue to work on her pitching some to see if we can get her speed up a little more to more of a college speed."
Dick admitted it would be different competing in her last year of high school softball knowing she has four more years to await collegiately.
"It's not going to be just about high school, it'll be about getting myself ready for college next year," she said. "We've made sub-state the past two years, hopefully this is our year. We return everybody except one starter and I think we've got a really good chance if we work hard."