Bishop Dunne Senior Dailen Sutton: Scholar Athlete Ready to Soar
With a 4.12 GPA and three interceptions in a playoff game against Midland Christian, senior Dailen Sutton had a lot of college football programs looking at him last semester. “I always wanted to play football like my dad but was tragically undersized,” he remembers. “And then after my sophomore year, I began to grow.” Now 6’1” and 175 pounds, he’s the “total package.”
Harvard, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania all offered Dailen scholarships, but he’s decided to play for the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. “I went to visit there the second week of January and just knew it was the place for me,” he explains. His paternal grandfather was in the military and his father, Bobby, played football at Tarleton State, so he’s got both in his blood. “My dad went with me on the trip and was really excited for me,” Dailen says. The Air Force team is losing three of four defensive backs to graduation, so Dailen feels he’ll be ready to play. “I’ll be competing for the boundary corners, and hopefully after a year of play, the free safety position,” he says.
His parents met in college where his father, a wide receiver for the football team, got hurt and met his mother, Natalie, an athletic trainer. “They became friends, and then later, something more,” he explains.
He attributes his high grade point average to his parents and two older sisters, 20 year old Hailey, playing soccer for Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and 23 year old Paige, a graduate of Southwestern University where she also played soccer, and is now at UT law school. “My mother is a science teacher and my sisters worked hard for their grades,” Dailen said. He remembers his classmates at his former school being happy to get a “C” on a test, “and I’d get an 87 and know my mother wouldn’t be happy about that,” he says with a smile. “She’d fuss at me until I studied harder to bring my grades up," adding: "She’s happy now.”
She taught him that academics come first. Dailen realized he wasn’t getting the education he needed a year ago, and felt he needed a change. “My father and I came to visit Bishop Dunne last January, and I shadowed with Micah Simon. He was laid-back and funny and I felt right at home, like everybody here is one big family.” Dailen didn’t wait to transfer. “I came here to school the very next week.”
He knew immediately he’d made the right decision. His favorite class was also his hardest class, junior English with Mrs. Shreve. “She was great. I never learned so much, so quickly, in my former public school,” he said. He began to work out with the football team, and went on the overnight junior retreat, and event he described as “amazing,” and “something a public school would never do.”
Born and raised in Texas, Dailen grew up in Red Oak and is looking forward to the opportunity to travel in his future, both with his Air Force football team, and in his career beyond graduation. “I’d love to be a pilot, but will concentrate on getting my core courses out of the way before I declare a major,” he says. Stoneybrook College in New York, Columbia, and Holy Cross all offered him a scholarship and a chance to go to college in another state, but Dailen feels he’s made the right choice.
In the meantime, he plans to enjoy his final semester of high school, and finish well, with happy memories of a football State Championship and the knowledge that his graduation with his classmates – his Falcon family - will lead to a brighter future.
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3