Dees Named Press Player of the Year

No one in the county can deny it has been a good school year for Greenfield High School athletics.

The football team made it the state playoffs for the first time in 14 years. The girls’ basketball team won its first-ever state championship and set a school record for number of wins in the season.

Lady Yellowjacket sophomores Chloe Moore and Tess Darby were Miss Basketball finalists and have already won more personal awards in just two years of high school basketball than most players can achieve in four years.

Softball is close to acquiring the second seed for the district tournament. The tennis team has a chance to win the district, go to the regional tournament and possibly the sectionals and state tournament.

Then there is boys’ basketball, which had its best season in five years with 19 wins and a regular season second-place finish in the district.

Senior guard/forward Levi Dees was a major reason for the success the Yellowjackets had and that is why he was named the Weakley County Press Boys’ Basketball Prep Player of the Year at the annual fall and winter athletics banquet Sunday at the Greenfield school.

Dees had a quite a year for the Yellowjackets. He set a new single-game scoring mark with 44 points at home on Jan. 5 against Dresden. He was named the Most Valuable player in District 13A.

He averaged 23 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game his senior season, while making 35 percent of his three-point attempts.

He started playing for the varsity team as an eighth-grader, which was head coach Chad Levister’s first season at Greenfield. He gives a lot of the credit for his success to his head coach for giving a chance to prove himself on the court while still in junior high.

“It has been a blessing playing five years for Greenfield,” Dees said. “Coach Levister took me in as an eighth-grader and I got some playing time. I got the feel for what high school basketball is really about. It is a whole different level from junior high with just the speed, and Coach Levister really taught me how to adapt to that.”

That first season was a rough one for Dees, his head coach and the Yellowjackets as they only won two games and went 0-15 is District 14A. His freshman season saw the Yellowjackets with a few more wins as they went 8-21 and 3-13 in the district.

The Yellowjackets slipped a little in Dees’ sophomore year with just five wins overall and only one in the district. His junior year was slightly better with eight wins, but none in the district.

Things changed his senior season with district realignment as Greenfield was put in District 13A along with Union City, Bradford, South Fulton, Lake County, Dresden and Gleason.

“Just working my up to my senior year, we struggled real bad when I was a freshman, sophomore and junior,” Dees said. “My senior year was a big change. We had a successful year in the summer camps at Waynesboro, Ole Miss and Dyersburg. Nothing could be done without Coach Levister and my teammates.

“They really encouraged me to do my best at everything. I want to thank my family also because they encourage me to do my best every night. Also, the fans were incredible throughout the whole season. We made a good run up to the region, but we came up a little short. It is a big step to allow the upcoming seniors to follow in our footsteps.”

Dees has yet to receive college offer to play basketball, which is quite surprising. His teammate Kameron Shane recently signed with Martin Methodist. Dees is not getting discouraged about the lack of offers. His is more than willing to attempt to play as a walk-on and work his toward a basketball scholarship.

“I’m supposed to have a tryout with Christian Brothers and see how that goes,” he said. “As of right now I am just going to go from there. If that does not work out then I will probably go UTM and major in biology. I have a couple of academic scholarships there and I may try to walk-on there.”

He is ready for the challenge with his classroom and basketball work ethic and good character. There is very little doubt he will reach his goal of playing college basketball in the fall with those qualities.

For more on local sports and photos from Greenfield’s Athletic Banquet, see the online or print editions of the May 1 Press. Call 731-587-3144 to subscribe. 

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