Fort Dale Academy athletes commit to collegiate sports

Published 11:59 am Wednesday, January 31, 2024

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Fort Dale Academy (FDA) held a signing ceremony on Jan. 25 and six senior-athletes penned committed to compete at the collegiate level across five different sports. 

The event, held in the school’s gymnasium, was a proud moment for the school and the athletes’ families.

Eric Folmar, FDA athletic director, expressed his excitement about the event, emphasizing its significance for both the athletes and their peers.

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“It’s a great day for our school and our athletes,” Folmar said. “Not only are these students being recognized for their hard work, but we have a lot of athletes with the goal of performing at the next level and getting to see six from just this senior class is big — for our student body to see that the dreams they have are attainable.”

The athletes, representing a range of sports, showcased their talent and dedication as they committed to the next chapter of their athletic careers. 

Among the signees were offensive lineman Jon Nolan Lawrence, who will be playing football at The University of North Alabama, and catcher Owen McNeal, who is set to join the baseball team at Coastal Alabama Community College.

Adding to the roster of signees is Blair Reid, a standout cheerleader, who will be joining the women’s acrobatics team at Saint Leo University. Madison Freeman, an accomplished outfielder, signed to play softball at Coastal Alabama Community College, while Parker McNeal, a versatile pitcher and infielder, also signed with Coastal Alabama Community College for baseball. 

Rounding out the group, golfer Jackson Scott will be teeing off for Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Greenville.

Freeman described the journey to Coastal Alabama North as the culmination of her hard work and dedication. Christa Childress Dupont, the softball coach at Coastal Alabama North, praised Freeman’s well-rounded qualities. 

“We’re excited to have Madison be a part of our Coyote family next year,” Dupont said. “She’s an all-around good athlete as well as a good academic student with a good attitude. We call it the three A’s, athletics, academics, and attitude, and that’s what we’re looking for.”

Reid said the signing represented the next step in a journey that began with gymnastics training at the age of five. Her family expressed pride and optimism about her future.

“She’s a hard worker and she’s done really well in acrobatics and tumbling…I’m very proud and optimistic about her future,” said Reid’s brother Grant Reid.

The signing ceremony celebrated the achievements of these six athletes and served as a source of inspiration for their peers, showcasing the possibilities that await those who strive for excellence both on and off the field.