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Tushka’s Dagan Simon – Athlete Spotlight – Presented by Stuteville Ford of Atoka

Taking the bus ride from Tushka to the Oklahoma City area for the state baseball tournament is certainly nothing new for the Tigers. They’ve been there every year (except the Covid season) for the past five years at least including this spring which was pleasing to coach Dax Simon.

“Our goal of course is to go to state every year, so I wasn’t so much surprised as pleased. We graduated several seniors last year, so seeing some of our youngsters really step up and lead us back there was nice.”

One of those that helped lead the way was the coach’s son Dagan, a junior and three-year starter at shortstop who also does some catching and hits in the leadoff spot.

“Dagan had his best season yet on offense particularly,” said the coach/dad. “He’s always been a pretty good hitter, but he stepped up this year and hit .490 with 21 RBIs, 24 runs scored and 39 stolen bases.”

Dagan had a good role model to follow in his brother Blake who was a catcher for the Tigers. The two played together for a couple of years and had the usual brotherly competition.

“But I always got the best of it,” laughed Dagan, who also plays point guard on the Tigers basketball team and is in the National Honor Society and Bible Club at school.

Dagan attributes his success at the plate this year to a couple of factors.

“I think I just matured more as a hitter and was a little bigger and stronger. I also changed my stance at little at the plate and added a leg kick.”

Tushka swept through districts and regionals undefeated to make it to state but were knocked out in the first round by third-ranked Sterling.

“I was disappointed with how we played at state,” said Dagan. “We had kind of an up and down season but overall, I guess it was a pretty good year.”

Dagan got a little taste of leadership in this junior year in baseball and basketball and has some thoughts on what makes a good leader.

“I think a good leader has good character and holds everybody accountable while setting a good example.”

The Tigers have several players like Dagan who made their mark this year and will be back for what they hope will be an even better spring in 2024.

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