SMITH COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tuesday night at Smith County High, the basketball team faced off against Trousdale County in a game few will remember who won, but no one will forget the victory they witnessed.
One player united both teams in moment that goes far beyond the court.
From the moment the Senior Night introductions began at Bill Landreth Gymnasium, a memorable game unfolded.
Owls’ Senior, Dalton Shoulders, rose up from being team manager for four years to donning the No. 55 jersey, to becoming senior co-captain, to starter in one night.
“Big D”, a young man of few words, scored his first two points of the game with a layup.
Coach Trey Sanders, always with Shoulders at his side, said he worked hard for that moment.
“We always have senior night, and trying to do something special, and Dalton been with us for the four years and, and they made a big part of our program. You know, we wanted him to have that opportunity to do that. So, I spoke with his mother and talked with her and made sure that she was good with that,” said Sanders.
With the clock winding down in the fourth quarter, Shoulders showed the crowd the only longshot of the game as he launched a three pointer and scored.
It was a moment and a night celebrated by both teams. And for Shoulders, he said, “It made me feel happy.”
For Sanders, who tries to have a positive impact on young lives, he knows the game was less about winning or losing, but about a life lesson for both teams. They could walk away celebrating a young man of few words but the ability to connect with so many.
“It was great because actually the the coach for Trousdale County was a former player of mine,” Sanders continued, “I spoke with him over the weekend, telling him what we were wanting to do, and so we’re very appreciative to him and his basketball team you know; they were very receptive of it as well.”