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Jaymee Dotson on pace for extended reign

Jaymee Dotson was presented her fourth consecutive first team all-conference award this past November at the Great American Conference women’s soccer championship tournament. Photo courtesy of the GAC.May 24, 2022 - Brian Ramsey

When Jaymee Dotson takes the field in the fall of 2022 for Ouachita women’s soccer, she has a chance to accomplish a feat that no one else has.

The Princeton, Texas, native has been the best midfielder in the Great American Conference since her freshman season, a claim supported by the league’s head coaches with four consecutive first team all-conference selections. This past season, she was a unanimous first team selection and was the unanimous pick for the league’s midfielder of the year award. She also earned all- region honors from a pair of organizations, and was selected to the GAC’s all-tournament team.

What a way to go out. But, wait ...

Because of COVID-19, the NCAA has allowed all student- athletes whose careers were affected by the pandemic to have an extra year of eligibility.

For Dotson and many others across the country, that’s good news. The special exception means that countless young men and women can continue to play the sports they love at a competitive level, at least for another year.

" I never realized how rare it was to be a first team honoree four times, much less five. "
Jaymee Dotson

Specifically, for Dotson, it means she has a chance of becoming the first-ever five-time, first team All-GAC selection in any sport.

“I never realized how rare it was to be a first team honoree four times, much less five,” Dotson said. “It means a lot, and [the honors] have been amazing. But, I’ve never liked recognition that much. It’s more about the team for me.”

Dotson credits her long and decorated career at Ouachita to the closeness of the team, and specifically the freshman group she was a part of in 2018. She and her roommate, Jamie Fowler, have stuck it out through the good—such as winning the GAC tournament championship in the spring of 2021—and the not so good, like having the 2020 season postponed.

The extra year has also adjusted Dotson’s planning for the future. She says the extra time has allowed the decision-making process to slow down.

Dotson is on pace to graduate following her fifth season in the fall of 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. She then plans on attending graduate school for occupational therapy, physical therapy or athletic training.

“I’m still unsure on which way I’m leaning,” she said. “I also still have thoughts of playing overseas if that’s possible, but right now I’m just going with the flow and taking advantage of as much time playing competitively.”

For someone who has dominated as a midfielder for the past four years, it would be a fair assumption to make that Dotson has always played the position. However, that would be wrong.

“I actually started out in goal when I was young,” Dotson said. “By my sophomore year in high school, I stuck with midfield.”

Good choice.

After winning a state championship in high school, Dotson enrolled at Ouachita, and the honors list isn’t finalized.

Not only has she been a first team all-conference pick each season, she was named the GAC freshman of the year in 2018, has been selected to the GAC all-tournament team three times, was named the GAC tournament most valuable player in the spring of 2021 and is a three-time academic all-conference selection. She has also earned all-region honors in each of her four seasons.

Dotson has played in 64 games throughout her Ouachita career, logging 20 goals, eight game-winning goals and 14 assists.

The rarity of having that kind of experience coming back to your roster for another season does not go unnoticed from Ouachita Head Coach Kevin Wright.

“She brings a lot of quality, but the experience and commitment she brings will be really important for us,” Wright said. “She has had a wonderful career, but I think she and I both will tell you there are some team and individual goals we are happy to get another run at.”


 

By Brian Ramsey, assistant athletic director for communications

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