SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) — Spanish Fort star linebacker Sterling Dixon Jr. made a surprising return to the field last Friday for the Toro’s senior night.
Two weeks prior, the Alabama linebacker commit re-injured his shoulder in a game against Theodore — his father told WKRG that they expected Sterling to miss significant time and potentially undergo season-ending surgery.
The Dixon family received positive news from doctors as an MRI revealed the injury to be ‘minor.’ Sterling, with guidance from doctors, decided to postpone his shoulder surgery until after the season.
“Honestly I just don’t want to let my team down. It’s all about the team for me,” Dixon told WKRG Sports on Tuesday. “I just want to win a state championship. I didn’t want to let the community and the team down. They really rallied behind me and I got ready to play.”
And did he ever. In his return against St. Paul’s, the four-star recruit recorded 12 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and 6 quarterback hurries. Quite the senior night performance on ‘The Hill’ at Spanish Fort.
Dixon leads the Toros in tackles this year — he is the state’s reigning 3A Lineman of the Year — posting 172 tackles and 18 sacks for Mobile Christian last season.
Dixon said that his post-season shoulder surgery will require a 2-3 month recovery.
“The brace is keeping it in place. I’m just out here having fun and just enjoying high school,” said Dixon. “I appreciate the players and the community for supporting me in my decision.”
Spanish Fort head coach Chase Smith said it meant a lot to the program to have Dixon back on the field.
“Just the player he is. He’s a dominant force on defense, but just the kid he is,” said Smith. “He’s just part of our family and to get that good news and see him so happy to be able to participate, you just can’t put words on it.”
With the week 7 win over St. Paul’s, the Toros improved to 4-1 in 6A Region 1 — second in the standings behind top-ranked Saraland. Spanish Fort remains in control of their own destiny to host a round one playoff game next month.
“It was a big deal,” Dixon said of the dominating 35-6 win over the Saints. “I just got to give all the glory to God and pretty much the coaches and the team. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. I appreciate it. We’re going to continue to dominate.”
Spanish Fort will travel to play McGill-Toolen on Thursday at Lipscomb Stadium. The Yellow Jackets are on the four-game winning streak, but will face their toughest region opponents in the final few weeks of the regular season.
“They’re a dominant team too. They’re on a winning streak and I just can’t wait to play them,” said Dixon.
After Thursday’s game against McGill-Toolen, the Toros will finish the regular season with two region games against Robertsdale (Oct. 20th) at home and Murphy (Oct. 27th) at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.