Carbon Hill's Dodd signs with UAH
by Johnathan Bentley
Nov 20, 2013 | 2049 views | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Carbon Hill's Caroline Dodd signed a letter-of-intent with UAH last week. She will play basketball at the school. Present at the signing were, seated from left: Donnie Dodd, Caroline Dodd and Debra Dodd, back row, Caroline's Upward coach Charles Earnest, Carbon Hill girls coach Wade Tittle and Caroline's AAU coach Bob Harris. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
Carbon Hill's Caroline Dodd signed a letter-of-intent with UAH last week. She will play basketball at the school. Present at the signing were, seated from left: Donnie Dodd, Caroline Dodd and Debra Dodd, back row, Caroline's Upward coach Charles Earnest, Carbon Hill girls coach Wade Tittle and Caroline's AAU coach Bob Harris. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
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CARBON HILL — With the game on the line, everybody in the gym knows that Caroline Dodd is going to get the ball.

That doesn’t mean they can stop her.

The Carbon Hill senior guard hopes to have that same effect at the next level.

Dodd signed a letter-of-intent with the University of Alabama-Huntsville on Wednesday.

She will begin her career with the Lady Chargers next season.

The choice wasn’t a hard one for Dodd, 18, who has been the one constant for Carbon Hill girls basketball coach Wade Tittle over the last five years.

“I just considered everything — where I wanted to live and if my family would be able to come and watch me. UAH was my first choice. I think it's the right place for me,” said Dodd, who also considered UNA.

She will play for coach Roy Heintz, who guided UAH to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history two years ago.

Dodd doesn’t know what role she will play with the Lady Chargers just yet. Whatever her role may be, she will take it in stride.

“I’m just going to go in, work hard and do what I can to help the team, whether that means me playing or sitting on the bench cheering for them. I will just do my role,” Dodd added.

At Carbon Hill, Dodd’s role is simple — score, and score a lot.

She eclipsed the 1,000-point mark early last season and is on pace to top the 2,000 mark this year.

She averaged 18.7 points per game last season, leading Carbon Hill to its first ever regional tournament appearance in the process.

Her scoring has improved steadily every season.

She averaged 10 points per game as an 8th grader, 13.3 as a freshman and 15.8 as a sophomore.

Dodd has led the team in assists each of the past three season and was the second-leading rebounder last year.

Dodd’s exploits haven’t surprised Tittle.

“Caroline is a program changer. From the first time I saw her in the seventh grade, I knew she would make a difference when we got her (on varsity). Not just because of her skills, but her enthusiasm and love for the game,” Tittle said.

“She is a straight A student and a great example for others in the way she carries herself as a person and an athlete.”

Dodd said plenty of behind-the-scenes work went into earning a spot at the next level.

“Some people think getting a scholarship is easy, but it’s really not. They don’t see all the nights in the gym where you are working to get better. It takes a lot of hard work,” Dodd said.

“You never want to peak. You are either getting better or getting worse. A lot of people just settle. They think since they were good one season, they are going to automatically be good the next season. Well, that’s not it. You have to keep working at it.”

Since she arrived on the varsity team, Carbon Hill’s program has risen from from the cellar to a squad that has won 20 games each of the past two seasons.

“Making the regional last year was another step up,” Dodd said. “We only won two games my 8th-grade season. Since them, we've just been stepping up. You have to strive to get better and better.”

Dodd is the lone senior on the squad this season.

The Bulldogs will have a new look after a pair of inside players, Megan Bice and Lindsay Fluker, graduated.

“We have a different team this year. We are really going to have to work at it. We want to win another county championship, win the area and make it back to regionals,” said Dodd, who has been named the Walker County Basketball Tournament MVP each of the last three seasons.

“I just want the team to do well. If that means me getting 25 assists and scoring 10 points, I’m cool with that.”

Dodd credited her coaches, from Upward Bound coach Charles Earnest, to AAU coach Bob Harris, to Tittle to helping her reach her goal of playing college basketball.

“I think she is the best female athlete to ever play here, I know she is the best ahtlete that I have ever coached. We have gone 64-27 the last three years and she has had a huge part in that, she has been our leader and helped make the players around her better,” Tittle said.

“UAH is a great school and they are getting a terrific student and basketball player that is coachable. She pays attention and you never have to worry about her effort or attitude, it will always be there. I’m so proud of her.”