A record-setting amount of votes were cast in the 2018-19 Galveston County girls athlete of the year poll, and it’s Dickinson Lady Gators two-sport standout Dariane Cram who will wear that crown now that the two-week voting period has ended.
Out of the 12,424 total votes cast by the end of the voting period 4 p.m. Saturday, Cram, a soon-to-be senior, was named county girls athlete of the year with the support of 6,019 votes — 1,323 more than the 4,696 votes for runner-up Britaney Shaw, a two-sport star from Ball High.
Rounding out the voting was two-time state track champion Jackeria Woodkins of La Marque with 952 votes, and the program record-obliterating Friendswood soccer ace Olivia Rhodes with 757 votes.
“To have my community and all my family members behind me was really helpful, and I appreciate all the support,” Cram said.
After an injury saw her miss a portion of the beginning of softball season, Cram closed out her junior year in impressive fashion. In the leadoff spot in the lineup, Cram posted a .419 batting average, .554 on-base percentage and .513 slugging percentage at the plate. Patrolling center field, Cram touted a .963 fielding percentage.
“I really enjoyed just being a leader on the team and kind of just having fun,” Cram said. “We didn’t do so hot this year, but we had a lot of fun in the dugout and grew as a team. We know what we need to work on for next year.
“I knew they had confidence in me and I had confidence in myself, and I just went out there and gave it my all for my team because I know they have my back,” Cram added about hitting leadoff.
In the fall, Cram was an integral part of Dickinson’s volleyball team, playing as a defensive specialist with 177 digs on the season.
“I just love playing volleyball to begin with,” Cram said. “It kind of gets me away from softball, and it’s just a fun game to play. I just really looked forward to playing with the girls.”
In both of her sports, Cram said her biggest strength is her effort and her hustle. As a teammate, Cram was described in glowing terms as a player who was dependable and hard working. And, she puts the “student” in student athlete as academic all-state team honoree.
“She’s a team leader; she’s a motivator, even though she seems kind of quiet,” Dickinson head softball coach Timi Radicioni said. “She’s a silent spark to get good things going, a rally going. I have 100 percent trust and 100 percent faith in that kid, a coach’s dream. … She’s on time for practice, stays late after practice, extra hitting, wants more reps. She’s just your All-American athlete.”
Cram has played softball since age 3, and she said she came to volleyball in seventh grade at the urging of a good friend who played. In junior high, Cram said she played pretty much any sport that she could, competing in basketball, cross country, and track and field, in addition to softball and volleyball.
Verbally committed to the University of Texas at Arlington for softball, Cram said she’s looking forward to closing out her high school career on a high note in 2019-20.
“I’m just excited, it’s the last year, to go all out,” Cram said. “We should have a pretty good year in both sports.”