Dooley wins Player of the Year and is still focused on adding even more accolades to his resume

Published 11:57 am Friday, April 19, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Cam Dooley has earned a plethora of accolades during his time at Valley High School. All-State, Division 1 football commit and state champion are just a few of the memorable titles he has collected over the years. On Tuesday, Dooley added 5A Basketball Player of the Year to his already lengthy resume. 

“It means a lot,” Dooley said. “I really couldn’t do it without my team, first off. It feels great to do it with my teammates and the coaches who pushed me throughout my high school career. It’s a great opportunity for me and for the Valley program.” 

Dooley knew he had an opportunity to win the award after being nominated as a finalist, but he had been in this position before. Dooley was up for the award in 2023 after leading the Rams to a state championship. 

Email newsletter signup

Dooley felt like he got snubbed in 2023, and he tried not to get his hopes up this time around but had a feeling that he could be walking away with the trophy. 

“I was really supposed to get that award two years in a row,” Dooley said. “Last year, they snubbed me. This year, I really didn’t think that much of it because I didn’t think I was going to win it. Something told me I was going to win, but when I won my heart dropped and my adrenaline started rushing… I was kind of nervous on the stage because a lot of people were out there.” 

Dooley has found a great support system in Valley. Dooley has always had his parents by his side throughout his athletic journey, but during his high school career, he also received an overwhelming amount of support from the community. 

Dooley is set to graduate this spring and continue his playing career on the gridiron instead of on the hardwood at the University of Kentucky. 

Dooley is going to play college football, and most football coaches are not too keen on their prized prospects playing other sports. The Wildcats have supported, shown up to watch and encouraged Dooley’s basketball career and become another support system for him. 

“They’ve always been there for me since the day they offered me,” Dooley said. “They wanted me to play basketball. They didn’t want me to come early because they knew I had a chance to win a championship again… I’m just glad and grateful that they could support me through basketball and not just football.” 

Dooley has reached the highest of highs during his high school career, but he has also seen his fair share of lows. Dooley and the Rams fell just short of winning a second championship this year after holding a lead late. 

Despite his athletic prowess, Dooley has continually had to overcome adversity. The adversity during his senior season taught Dooley some lessons that he will carry throughout the rest of his athletic career.

“To be a leader [and] do the right thing when nobody is looking,” Dooley said about learning from his senior year. “I had to mature to be in the role I was in. Being the quarterback, I had to mature a lot. I had to be a leader, I had to be an outspoken person.” 

Once you start excelling in any field, people start to look up to you and watch what you do. Dooley has excelled at the highest level for Valley. Along the way, he has become a role model for young athletes in the area. 

Elementary school kids and kids from all over the county showed up to watch Valley play on the hardwood. Dooley became someone those kids looked up to. At first, he did not want that attention, but eventually, Dooley learned to accept the attention and treat those kids like members of his family. 

“I look at them as little brothers or little sisters,” Dooley said. “I feel like nobody really needs to look up to me… When I walked into the gym, they would walk up to me, and it was kind of nerve-racking at first because I never had that recognition before. 

“I don’t really want everybody to look up to me right now, I feel like they can be family, Dooley added. “I’m a regular person. Anybody can come up and talk to me.” 

Dooley is an athlete who is driven to take the next steps in his career. The next step for Dooley will be playing safety at Kentucky. Dooley earned a lot of accolades in high school, but he hopes to earn even more during his college career. Dooley hopes to add All-Defense, All-Sec and become a top 100 player in college. 

“I really just want to go in and work hard and work for a starting spot,” Dooley said. 

Dooley is one of the most approachable and genuine athletes you could ever meet, but he almost never smiles in pictures. Dooley is far from unhappy, but he is unsatisfied. Dooley believes that the day he starts smiling in pictures will be the day he hears his name announced at the NFL Draft. 

“I’m not satisfied with where I’m at in life right now, got some more work to do,” Dooley said. “That’s when I’ll smile right there.”