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2017-03-15 / People

MaxPreps honors Appalachian’s Dean

by Roger Thorne

Peyton Dean, a junior at Appalachian High School, received the MaxPreps Athlete of the Month Award for January 2017, and the school turned out to celebrate the presentation on Wednesday, March 8. MaxPreps is a division of CBS Sports reporting exclusively on high school sports. The award is sponsored by the United States Marine Corps.

MaxPreps spokesman Dean Craig said they recognize two high school students from around the country every month during the school year and, with only 18 awardees per year chosen from an estimated 7 million high school athletes, being selected is a true distinction. Head football coach Zach Jones spoke about the significance of a tribute like this. “It’s important because it shows that even a 1A school in a rural county can get national recognition,” adding that it is a personal honor for Peyton, but also for the team and school.

Peyton earned the recognition by being a standout performer in football and basketball and in the classroom. He was the leading receiver for the Eagles this year. In one game, he had nine receptions for 227 yards and three touchdowns, making him only the 31st player in Alabama high school football to post over 225 receiving yards in a game. In basketball, Peyton averaged 24 points and 7 rebounds a game this season and was the first boys player at Appalachian to score over 1,000 career points. Peyton’s performance in the classroom is just as important to him. A member of the National Honor Society, he has maintained a 4.0 grade point average and is 5th in his class.

Ha’Sean Treshon Clinton-Dix was the guest speaker at the event. Clinton-Dix is probably better known as “Ha Ha,” an All-American safety at The University of Alabama, now playing for the Green Bay Packers in the NFL. Clinton-Dix encouraged Peyton to keep working towards his goals saying, “Dedication, loyalty and faith will take you a long way.”

USMC Staff Sergeant Worner Heath echoed that sentiment when he told the audience that Peyton exhibits the same qualities as members of the Corps, that he “represents honor, courage and commitment.”

Peyton hopes to play college basketball as he prepares for a career as a physician. Asked about his role model, Peyton said it is Stephen Curry [NBA guard for the Golden State Warriors] because, “He is not only a great professional basketball player, but also, he keeps God first.”

Peyton is the son of Jennifer and Dusty Dean, both employees at Appalachian. He is the grandson of Brenda and James Carr. Mr. Carr is a former Blount County Superintendent of Education and longtime educator in the county. The Carrs were at the presentation as were many other family members.

MaxPreps produced this video for its Athlete of the Month series

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