After spending his first three years of high school at Albemarle, Dashon Tibbs transferred to Fluvanna for family reasons last spring. Because of the transfer, he was told by the VHSL that he would not be able to play his senior year.
"I didn't know what to think, because football is everything to me," says Tibbs. "I love football, it's my favorite sport. I never thought that it would ever be taken away from me."
The Flucos appealed the decision, and Tibbs spent the summer with the team while they waited on an answer.
"He showed up every single day to weightlifting and conditioning," said Fluvanna head coach Jason Barnett. "He had no idea if he was even going to play or not, but had that much dedication to come out for his team."
"I felt that I could help the team get better just by lifting with them, practicing with them, getting to know them more, just to be with them and support them," Tibbs says of the summer workouts.
In August, just before training camp started, the word came that Tibbs had been granted an exception and would be able to play his senior season with the Flucos.
"He handled it like a professional, and like an adult would, a lot better than most people would," says Barnett. "He took it in stride and used it as motivation to make himself better, and prove to people that he was the leader, he was the quarterback of our football team."
Tibbs went on to gain more than 1700 all-purpose yards this season, and score 13 touchdowns. The Flucos finished the season just 2-8, but Barnett says Tibbs never wavered in his leadership.
While he remains a strong leader for his team, Tibbs' impact reaches further than the football field. Tibbs started an anti-bullying program called "Stop one, Save one" for a leadership project at Albemarle. He is now working to bring the program to Fluvanna.
"We always learn about bullying going through high school, but you don't really put anything into action," Tibbs explains. "You just say 'oh yeah, I know that.' But if you see it, you can actually stop it and help out."
Tibbs has also challenged himself academically, taking three PVCC classes through Fluvanna this semester. He's currently in Calculus with Analytical Geometry, English 111 and 112. Next semester, he plans to take AP History and AP Biology.
"They get you where you need to be," Tibbs says of his academics. "Sports might get you somewhere, but in the long run, you need your academics."
Barnett says even though Tibbs only spent one year with the Flucos, he left a lasting impression.
"He's one of the pieces that we'll look back on, and use as an example for our younger teams and younger guys, for how we want our football players to handle themselves, not just on the football field but in the classroom and out in the community."