Athlete of the Week: Denson ready for college, enjoying baseball

Published 5:39 pm Saturday, March 4, 2017

Gabe Denson never had to run home to tell his parents about upcoming school field trips or news. If they somehow hadn’t heard, all he had to do was walk down the hallway and knock on their classroom doors.

Denson, a senior at Dallas County High School, grew up with two educators as parents. His mom, Tina, teaches at Valley Grande Elementary School and his dad, Gaylen, is at Martin Middle School, and he went to both schools. He even had a class with his dad at Martin.

“It was kind of weird at first, seeing his teaching side versus his dad side,” Denson said with a laugh. “They are two different things.”

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Now that he’s in high school, things have changed a bit. Now, he’s got to actually take school news home instead of just assuming his parents already know.

“It got weird up here,” Denson said. “They didn’t know everything that was going on, and I’d forget to tell them because I was so used to them already knowing.”

Denson said neither parent ever had to remind him to do a homework assignment. He said he’s never missed one and it shows in his grades. Denson has a 4.1 GPA and made a 26 on the ACT. He will earn a certificate in drafting when he graduates from Wallace Community College Selma this spring, at the same time he earns his high school diploma.

His plan is to stay at Wallace one more year, so that he can earn two associate’s degrees — one in applied science and one in science. From there, he’ll transfer to Auburn and go into mechanical engineering or accounting. Whatever he ends up doing will involve math, his favorite subject.

But, all of that is in the future.

Right now, he’s one of the senior leaders on a Dallas County baseball team off to one of its best starts in years. The Hornets are 7-1 and Denson has played a major role in that start.

Denson has started and won three games as a pitcher for the Hornets. He plays shortstop when he’s not pitching.

“We go game by game and our record really doesn’t matter,” Denson said. “The next team is what matters. They could be good, they could be bad, but we’ve got to come ready. Whether you are 1-7 or 7-1, you’ve got to be ready for the next game.”

Denson wears the same no. 17 his sister, Whitney, wore while in high school. Whitney was an honorable mention for all-state in 2011 and played a major role on Dallas County’s 2011 state championship team.

“I look up to her a lot,” he said. “They won a state championship and her batting average was amazing.”

Denson has some lofty goals for his senior season too.

He’d like the team to reach the playoffs, finish with a winning record, beat Demopolis — a growing rivalry — and win a playoff game.

He said he won’t try to play baseball in college, so he knows this is his final year playing a game he’s loved since he was 3.

“Knowing it’s coming to an end, it’s hard sometimes,” he said.

When he’s not playing baseball he enjoys riding 4-wheelers, but his is broken down right now.

“I like working on them too, so I kind of like when they break,” he said with a laugh.

Unlike his 4-wheelers, Denson is hoping Dallas County won’t break down and can keep its hot start to the year going.

If the Hornets can, it could be a banner year for a program that hasn’t made a deep postseason run in years.

“We need to try to do everything right,” he said.