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SWHS’s Dockery named to all-state team

Sweet Water High junior Tondalaya Dockery earned honorable mention all-state softball honors when the Alabama Sports Writers Association released its annual team Saturday morning.

Dockery opened the season as the Lady Bulldogs’ starting center fielder before shifting to catcher, a position which she had never played, after four games.

“She is just an unbelievable athlete,” Sweet Water head coach Pat Thompson said of the ability that allowed Dockery to adjust so quickly to an unfamiliar position. “She was a tremendous asset once we moved her back there. She was stopping balls in the dirt, throwing out runners, catching balls against the fend.”

Dockery’s talents transferred over to the offensive side of the game as she hit .385 on the season with a .462 on-base percentage.

“She was our leadoff hitter, has really good speed,” Thompson said.

As he looks toward next season, Thompson expects big things out of a Lady Bulldog team that returns the vast majority of its players from a squad that made the Class 1A state tournament in 2010. At the center of his expectations are Dockery, a player he believes will continue to set the tone in Sweet Water.

“Whatever she wants to be is her ceiling,” Thompson said. “I expect her to be our leader. I expect her to maintain that position and help us win games.”