Athletes of the Year: Carson's Dulkoski, Stout
By Ronnie Gallagher
CHINA GROVE — Kelly Dulkoski and Myquon Stout will have big shoes to fill next year.
The two Carson stars have been named the 2012 Salisbury Post Athletes of the Year and both will return next year.
Dulkoski is a junior, Stout only a sophomore.
There were plenty of athletes in the running. The competition for this award was like the Kentucky Derby: a photo finish. But in the end, the two Cougars represented five sports, in order, football, tennis, basketball, indoor track and outdoor track. Their talent, awards and character were lauded by their coaches and opponents.
Dulkoski, the deadly outside shooter for Brooke Misenheimer, was the North Piedmont Conference Basketball Player of the Year. She made the state tennis tournament in doubles, which is hard to do. She and her fellow 4×800 relay team members placed second in the NPC track meet.
Stout, is, well, stout.
He’s a 6-foot-1 245-pound man-child who creates havoc from the defensive side of the ball in football. He came home with a third-place medal in the state indoor track meet. Indoor track was the sport he practiced after basketball workouts, where he was a starter for Brian Perry.
In the spring, during his fourth sport, outdoor track, we saw him waste the field in the shot, throwing over 55 feet, giving Carson its first-ever state championship.
For Stout, his 3A state title in track at the meet in Greensboro started with a “Breakfast of Champions.”
“I put milk in a bowl. I add three Oreos and eat three at a time. Then, I put three more in the bowl.”
Why three at a time?
“They get soggy if you put more than three,” he explained.
The coaches at Carson admire Stout for more than just his athletic talent. They joke that he actually has a fifth sport: babysitting.
While his mother works third shift, it’s up to Stout to take care of his 3-year-old sister.
How’s that going?
“I’m like the baby,” Stout shrugs sheepishly. “She’s like the adult. She bullies me.”
Stout’s the bully most of the time. It’s tough to move him out of the lane in basketball. It’s tough to block him in football.
That’s where Dulkoski comes in. She can take him off the dribble in hoops. And tennis? He was asked if he could beat her.
“I’m not going to say I can do that,” he grinned.
Dulkoski picks up the shot and realizes it’s not her sport, either.
“I don’t think I’d be the best at that,” she grinned back.
One thing about Athletes of the Year: They can be dominant at times, so much so that everyone in attendance is awestruck.
Remember Jan. 20? East Rowan does.
The basketball game started and so did the “Live With Kelly Show.”
In the first eight minutes, she scored 17 points and Carson led 25-5.
It continued for the rest of the game in a 78-38 romp that put Carson’s record at 16-1. She finished 13 of 17 from the field and finished with a career high 32 points. She’s known for her 3-point shooting and proved it by drilling six of them.
In the zone?
“Obviously, it’s a very good feeling to know you’re helping the team,” she said. “It’s still important to get your teammates involved by hitting those shots to open things up.”
For the record, her breakfast did not consist of a bowl of dairy and sugar.
That’s Stout’s thing. And that’s what was in his belly when he went up for his first throw in the shot during the 3A meet.
The crowd of 100 or so crowded around the venue had no idea what they were about to witness.
Lines were chalked off at 40 feet, 45, feet, 50 feet, 55 feet …
His throw sailed past the 55-foot line, drawing some loud oohs and ahhs. Like the fans, the rest of the field knew.
It was over. This state championship was going back to China Grove.
“I wanted it,” was all he said.
When school starts back, Dulkoski will continue her march as one of the best basketball players in county history. She could become the school’s all-time leading scorer in her first game. She’s only 15 points shy. She already has the school’s best season scoring average (16.3) and holds the school record for points in a season (435).
Fans will be expecting even more entertainment, especially now that she has an Athlete of the Year trophy.
“It’s nice to know my hard work paid off,” she said.
Stout echoed those sentiments. Carson sports are on the rise thanks to athletes like Dulkoski and Stout and next year, they’ll each showcase their secret weapons:
Dulkoski, a 3-point dagger.
Stout, a bowl of Oreos and milk.