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Six FDA students named AISA all-stars

From left to right:  Seniors Stephen Hartley, Colby Stone, Kendall Lambert,  Anjoy Castleberry, Reed Crosby and Samuel Bowen will represent Fort Dale Academy Friday as AISA all-stars.

From left to right: Seniors Stephen Hartley, Colby Stone, Kendall Lambert, Anjoy Castleberry, Reed Crosby and Samuel Bowen will represent Fort Dale Academy Friday as AISA all-stars.

The best of the Alabama Independent Schools Association (AISA) will clash as east meets west Friday for the AISA All-Star football game Friday at Cramton Bowl.

And as is custom in recent years, Fort Dale Academy will be well represented on the field and sideline.

The Eagles, who finished the season with a 6-5 record and were eliminated from the postseason in the first round by Class 3A state champions Bessemer Academy, named four players to the West team.

Only Monroe Academy had more representation on the West team with five players.

Seniors Colby Stone, Reed Crosby, Samuel Bowen and Stephen Hartley will represent the Eagles on the West squad.

Crosby said that despite the challenge facing the West squad, he’s both excited and honored to be named to the team.

“All of the state championships come from the East side,” Crosby said.  “Their three teams—Class 1A, 2A and 3A—won the state championship, so we’re actually going to be the underdogs on the West side.

“But it’s an honor to get to play with the best of the AISA.”

Two additional Fort Dale student-athletes—Anjoy Castleberry and Kendall Lambert—were also named all-star cheerleaders.

Unlike the football selections, who were chosen based on their year-long performance, cheerleaders had to try out for the all-star distinction.

Lambert said that the tryouts were a harrowing affair, but the honor was worth it.

“It’s really scary, and we had a lot of tryouts that week,” Lambert said. “We did three different tryouts for different events at camp, and that was probably the most important.

“They take 54 of the seniors that try out and they select 24, and they have a cutoff. You come in with a “you make it or you don’t” mentality.  You have to be the best of the best to win.”

The all-star game, which is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m., comes in the early phases of basketball season, and Fort Dale’s Stephen Hartley and Anjoy Castleberry will be pulling double-duty in preparation for both.

Hartley said that the two responsibilities aren’t as contradictory as one would think.

“It’s an honor to be selected for the all-star game, but you’re also running a lot for basketball,” Hartley said.

“So I think it’s better because you stay in shape to go to the all-star game while you’re playing basketball.  It’s just really an honor, and I’m ready to get up there and meet other players.”

The all-star game is set for Friday at Cramton Bowl beginning at 7 p.m.