The unforgettable Eagles team say goodbye

Published 11:07 pm Sunday, November 12, 2023

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The Fort Dale Eagle’s football season came to an end after the semi-finals playoff game against Lee Scott on Thursday, with a loss 3-42. The Eagle’s 9-3 season was an emotional ending for many of the team’s seniors and parents as the boys said goodbye to their high school football years and the coaches and teammates that have become like family. 

Senior wide receiver Alan Alvarez said the team has faced a lot of adversity trying to build the foundation for the up-and-coming football program. He added that head coach Eric Folmar pushed each and every player to be the best versions of themselves on and off of the field.

“I really cannot talk about this season by itself without thinking about the past three years that I’ve spent with these amazing guys and coaches,” Alvarez said. “This season has brought all of us together more as a family than a team. This would not be possible without the unending support from our fans and families. This season was incredible and having a 9-3 record is something that has not been done in a long time. Although it was not what we had hoped for, the amount of success that this team has made will not be forgotten.”

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Folmar said it is never easy when a football season comes to an end, and that regardless of the playoff outcome, he has never been more proud of a group of players than he has been of this Eagle’s team. 

“Most of these guys signed up for a challenge three years ago when being a part of this football team wasn’t the most popular thing to do,” Folmar said. “They took their lumps and that adversity led us to be able to accomplish all of the things we did this year. This senior group set a standard for every class in the future to live up to. This team will go down as one of the best in Fort Dale history and I’m just grateful to have been a part of it.”

Senior running back Joseph Ealum said he could not have asked for a better senior season, and despite the score of the last game, he said he and his teammates left everything they had on the field. 

“To say this year was exciting is an understatement,” Ealum said. “The coaches, players and fans poured out everything and more for us and we couldn’t be more grateful. Our team loves and cherishes each other beyond measure and I believe it’s what made this year so special. I’ve played football for 10 years and I have to say this year tops them all. I love my brothers, and our senior class. We set the standard of Fort Dale Football.”

Ealum’s father Jason reminisced on the years passed being a part of his son’s football journey, and explained that what made him most proud was watching Ealum play with his whole heart.

“There were ups and downs, injuries and rehabs, wins and losses, quiet car rides home and late night talks critiquing the game, but one thing stayed the same and that was his love and passion for the game,” Jason said. “To all the coaches who poured into these kids, thank you. To this senior class, what a ride! I am just grateful I got to be a part of it.”