GOODY Ky. – Former Belfry defensive star T. J. Dotson signed his letter of intent Thursday to the University of the Cumberlands.
Dotson was a three year starter for the Belfry Pirates and helped the Pirates grab three Class 3A State Championships in a row. Dotson played outside linebacker in one of the most feared defenses, in Class 3A, in the state of Kentucky.
Last season as the Pirates traveled the road to another state championship Dotson finished the season with 56 total tackles and two interceptions which he returned for touchdowns. Dotson has accumulated 233 total tackles for the Pirate defense through his four year stay at Belfry.
The representatives from Cumberland were not able to attend the signing but it is no secret why Dotson was selected and considered. The Patriots are a part of the NAIA Mid-Southern Conference and play teams like neighboring Pikeville College and Georgetown College. The defensive scheme used by the Patriots is similar to that used by the Belfry Pirates; Dotson will fit into the program easily.
Dotson was extremely vital to the Pirates success on the defensive side of the ball all last season, including the 43-0 trouncing the Pirates gave to Lexington Catholic in the championship game last year.
“I never thought I would be good enough to play at the next level, but I have put in a lot of hard work, thanks to me family and team and I’m blessed for this opportunity that the University of Cumberlands wants to give; I won’t let them down,” said Dotson after the signing.
Dotson said that a major part of his decision to play at Cumberlands was influenced by his friend Austin Dotson who was always a Belfry football standout, and graduated back in 2014 from Belfry High School. “He is like a brother to me; he talked to me about and answered all of my questions. I got to talk to the coaches and they were all really nice and it just seemed like a great fit for me,” said Dotson.
The Cumberland Patriots instill a winning tradition the same as the Belfry Pirates. Cumberland finished last season with a record of 7-3 and just missed the playoffs but they are always in contention and won a National Championship two years ago. Dotson said, “ I’m excited to see what happens, I’m ready for this.”
(William Plaster is the sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News, he can be reached at 304-235-4242 ext. 2274 or at [email protected] or on twitter @sidplaster)