Wando High School's Tucker Dodson has always had a realistic view of his own abilities.
JUNE 12: Boys Tennis
JUNE 13: Golf
JUNE 14: Girls Lacrosse
SUNDAY: Boys Lacrosse
MONDAY: Girls Track
TUESDAY: Boys Track
WEDNESDAY: Girls Soccer
THURSDAY: Boys Soccer
JUNE 22: Athletes of the Year
When he began playing lacrosse as a sixth-grader, he said, "I was probably one of the worst kids on the team."
ALL-LOWCOUNTRY BOYS LACROSSE
Honorable Mention: Kole Burke, Porter-Gaud; Sam Butler, Academic Magnet, C.J. Anderson, Wando; Greylan Ingle, Academic Magnet; Nate Schlosser, Academic Magnet; Jacob Hand, Bishop England; Peter Hogan, Academic Magnet; Hamilton Brower, Wando; Chris Schulz, Academic Magnet; Zach Swalhah, Academic Magnet; Avery Smith, Wando; Henry Flowers, Academic Magnet.
To the high school lacrosse powers in the Upper State, he said, "I'm just the Lowcountry guy."
When he traveled to showcase events throughout the country, he said, "I expected to be one of the worst players."
Turns out, the red-headed Dodson is pretty good at the game. After a career in which he led Wando to two state championships and three straight appearances in the state finals, Dodson earned All-America honors this season from U.S. Lacrosse and is a repeat choice as The Post and Courier's All-Lowcountry player of the year.
"I had no idea that lacrosse would take me this far," said Dodson, who will play at Merchant Marine Academy in Great Neck, N.Y., starting in the fall. "To me, it was just another fun sport to play. But I didn't like being the worst kid on the team."
Thus motivated, Dodson developed into one of the best players in the state. This season, he led the 17-4 Warriors in goals (51) and assists (57), and scored 181 goals in his career. Wando defeated Academic Magnet, 18-6, in the Lower State finals before losing by 15-13 to Fort Mill in the state finals.
Dodson admitted he felt some pressure this season after the personal accolades he earned last year.
"He handled it great," said Wando coach Lance Renes, the All-Lowcountry coach of the year. "He stepped up whenever he needed to and got the job done for us. He knows how to be in the right place at the right time, and knows how to set up his teammates for a goal. He sets the tone of the offense, and that makes him a valuable player."
Dodson will have another chance to prove himself at Merchant Marine, where he will join a roster dominated by players from the lacrosse-rich Northeast.
"I'm nervous, but I'm not worried about playing up there," he said. "I've played at showcases against other guys and held my own. But I'm interested to see what it's like."
This year's All-Lowcountry team features a second All-American as selected by U.S. Lacrosse in Academic Magnet senior Thomas Trouche, who led the Raptors to a 13-2 record this season, their only losses to Wando. Other Raptors on the All-Lowcountry squad are Jeffrey Thomas and Alex Lansink.
Wando placed Andrew Phelan, Thomas Gribben, Gavin Howley and Connon Simonson on the team, along with Christian Reinhardt and Warner Jenkins of Bishop England and Mikell Hay of Porter-Gaud.
The All-Lowcountry teams are chosen using All-American, all-state and all-region teams in consultation with area coaches.