March 8, 2024 FUMA Athletics Newsletter

The Blue Devil Report from Fork Union Military Academy's Athletic Department is your source for weekly updates on the Fork Union Blue Devils. Here's the latest from @FUMAathletics.

Want to view past issues of the Blue Devil Report? Find them all on our website.


  • Alumnus Casey Kroll '10 Benefits Fork Union Staff Member
  • FUMA Athletics Recap
  • Feature Stories: Track & Field & PG Basketball
  • Up Next in FUMA Athletics
  • Fork Union Announces Summer Camps
  • 2018 Alumnus Invited to NFL Combine this Past Weekend

The Big Man Foundation: Bringing Hope to Coach BJ York and His Family in Their Fight Against Cancer

In the heart of the battle against cancer, where the weight of medical bills and emotional turmoil can seem insurmountable, there shines a beacon of hope in the form of The Big Man Foundation. Founded on the principles of compassion and support, this organization has made it its mission to assist coaches and their families facing the challenges of cancer, and one of its most recent endeavors is the heartwarming story of Coach York and Fork Union Military Academy.

Coach BJ York, an assistant baseball coach at the Academy and father of four, found himself confronting an unexpected adversary when cancer struck his wife a year ago with tumors in her breast, lungs, liver, stomach, and spine. Currently diagnosed with HER2 low breast cancer, Mrs. York is showing positive results from oral chemotherapy pills.

At the helm of The Big Man Foundation stands a remarkable individual, Casey Kroll, a 2010 alumnus of Fork Union Military Academy. Kroll played postgraduate football for Coach John Shuman and later went on to play for the James Madison University Dukes.

At JMU, Kroll met one of the most influential coaches in his life, offensive line coach Jamal Powell, who later became one his coaching mentors following graduation. Kroll and Powell became inseparable as Kroll was hired as his assistant, following him to Coach Powell's dream job at Southern Methodist University in his home state of Texas. Powell took Kroll under his wing, teaching him all he needed to know about the offensive line coaching profession. Kroll also began to know his wife and children more as the Powell family would take Kroll in for holidays when he could not be with his own family, feed him home-cooked meals when Kroll could not afford them and also provided housing when Kroll didn't have a place to live. These are the things coaches do on and off the field to impact the lives of their players to an entirely new level.

Shortly after arriving at SMU, Coach Powell was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disease called Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) and later developed cancer in his colon. His mentor's life was changed. In an instant the lives of his wife and their three young children were flipped upside down. But what is most inspiring about Coach Powell is his steadfast optimism and his determination to continue to fight. It was then he knew he wanted to help coaches and their families burdened by the disease.

"I would not be who I am today without the coaches I have experienced growing up," said Kroll. "Research says that coaches are some of the, if not the most, influential relationships that a young person may have their entire life. Most coaches put everyone before themselves and this foundation provides the resources for coaches and their families to get back on their feet after hardships they may face. Through the awarding of crucial financial assistance during times of adversity and a range of proactive programs focused on coaches' health and well-being, we are driving positive change in the lives of those who tirelessly guide and shape our leaders of tomorrow."

This past January, Coach Shuman and Kroll reconnected and discussed that one of Fork Union's own is living with the cancer burden today and they knew they needed the Foundation's help.

"Words cannot express the depth of our gratitude to The Big Man Foundation for their incredible support during time. The relief of three months' mortgage provided by the Foundation has lifted a significant burden from our shoulders, allowing us to focus on what truly matters: supporting each other through this journey. We are eternally thankful for Casey, the Foundation, and Coach Shuman for their unwavering support," said York.

Through the tireless efforts of The Big Man Foundation, Coach York and his family have found renewed hope and strength in their battle against cancer. The Foundation has awarded the York family with three months of mortgage-free payments. As Coach York and his family continue their fight against cancer, they do so with the unwavering support and encouragement of The Big Man Foundation and all those who rally behind them.

In a world often fraught with challenges, The Big Man Foundation stands as a beacon of hope, reminding us all of the boundless capacity for kindness and generosity that exits within each of us. Through their actions, they inspire us to reach out a helping hand to those in need and to stand together in the face of adversity, knowing that, united, we can overcome even the greatest of obstacles.

Scores from the past:

Wednesday, February 28

  • PG Basketball vs. Hargrave Military Academy (EPL Championship) • W, 84-64

Thursday, February 29

  • PG Basketball vs. Mount Zion Prep (EPL Championship) • W, 67-65

Tuesday, March 5

  • PG Basketball vs. Link Year (National Prep Championship) • L, 88-96

Wednesday, March 6

  • PG Basketball vs. Bridgton Academy (National Prep Championship) • L, 68-76

Friday, March 8

  • Prep Baseball at Wilson Academy • L, 2-7

Fork Union Named EPL Conference Champions, Earns No. 4 Seed in National Prep Championship

RICHMOND, VA -- The Fork Union Military Academy Postgraduate basketball team defeated Mount Zion Prep, 67-65, in a nail-biting victory Thursday afternoon at the Rockit Sports Complex to be named the 2023-24 Elite Prep League Champions.

The win completed an undefeated 6-0 regular season in conference play as the Blue Devils sit 31-5 overall heading into the National Prep Championship. Fork Union is the No. 4 seed.

The Conference Co-Player of the Year, Jaden Johnson, led the squad with 22 points, six assists and six rebounds. DeSean Goode also tallied 22 points and added 10 rebounds. Michael Wilson recorded 12 points and five rebounds to complete three Blue Devils in double figures.

Fork Union held Mount Zion Prep to a 15.4 percentage from the arc and forced 11 turnovers.

Prior to Thursday's championship contest, the Blue Devils defeated prep school rival Hargrave Military Academy, 84-64.

Johnson, Wilson and Goode tallied double figures in the win. Wilson and Johnson added 21 points, while Goode followed with 20 points.

The No. 4 nationally ranked squad faced Link Year Prep Tuesday, March 5 at Clark University in Worcester, MA for the Sweet 16 of the National Prep Championship. The Blue Devils fell to a very talented Lions squad, 96-88. Johnson led four Blue Devils in double-figures with 26 points, David Burnett followed with 18 points, Goode added 15 points and Carter Wesson tallied 13 points.

A day later, Fork Union faced Bridgton Academy in the consolation bracket and fell, 76-68. Wilson led two Blue Devils in double-figures with 18 points, while Johnson added 10 points.

Fork Union completed its season with an impressive 31-7 record.

"Although the outcome was not what we wanted, it was a great experience for our team to get the National Tournament Sweet 16," said head coach Bob Williams. "There were many college recruiters in attendance which is benefitting our players.

"Link Year (MO) was one of the most talented teams in the tournament. I believe one of the top two teams in my opinion. We got down 15 early. Link shot the lights out. I was pleased with our guys as they never gave up and cut it to four points in the second half. Jaden Johnson, David Burnett and Carter Wesson played very well. Omarion Barber gave the team a big boost off the bench. Hats off to Link Year on a phenomenal game.

"I'm so proud of our team. It was an amazing season with many great accomplishments. Not only a talented group, but a true team in the sense of the word. Our players displayed great attitudes, work ethic and teamwork throughout the season.

"We had lots of fun along the way, beat a lot of very good teams and represented Fork Union the right way. I know our players will be forever grateful for spending a postgraduate year at FUMA."

Three Blue Devils Compete at the New Balance Indoor Track & Field Nationals

Kaydan Whiteside Earns Middle School All-America Status

BOSTON, MA -- Three Blue Devils of the Fork Union Military Academy indoor track and field program traveled to the 2024 New Balance Indoor Track & Field Nationals at The TRACK at New Balance in Boston, Massachusetts. Eighth-grader Kaydan Whiteside, freshman David Eaton and senior Harry Momolu all qualified for the event for the Academy.

"Our trip to Nationals every year is part of what makes the FUMA Athletic Department one of the best in the nation," said head coach Winston Brown. "The commitment to excellence remains strong. Kaydan Whiteside had a tremendous performance and nearly left with three medals which would have been a FUMA record. His best event was the 400 where despite his lack of competition, he was able to put up a number that lasted until the final two heats, which is really great stuff. I thought David Eaton did a great job shaking off the 12 hour drive from the day before to snag a pair of personal bests. Harry Momolu was in a hyper competitive event and the experience will benefit him in the future."

Whiteside earned his All-America status in the middle school 400-meter dash, clocking a 53.38 time. The Asheville, N.C., native also placed sixth in the long jump with a 5.41m performance and eighth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.49.

Eaton competed in the freshmen 800-meter and the freshmen 1-mile events. He placed 54th in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:07.61 and 75th in the 1-mile race with a time of 4:43.36.

Momolu competed in the 60-meter hurdles and recorded a time of 8.59 with over 200 competitors.

The Blue Devils will return to the track on Saturday, March 23 when they kick off the outdoor season at the Fluvanna County Invitational.

If you haven't already, please download the Fork Union Athletics Mobile App for all game day information right at your fingertips!

Up Next in FUMA Athletics:

Tuesday, March 19

  • Tennis at Blue Ridge School • 4:30 PM

Wednesday, March 20

  • Tennis at Collegiate School • 4:30 PM
  • Prep Baseball at Hargrave Military Academy • 4:30 PM

Thursday, March 21

  • Tennis vs. Prince Edward High School • 4:00 PM
  • Prep Baseball vs. Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy • 4:30 PM

Friday, March 22

  • Prep Lacrosse at Norfolk Christian Academy • 7:00 PM

Saturday, March 23

  • Track & Field at Fluvanna Invitational • 9:00 AM

Monday, March 25

  • Tennis at St. Christopher's School • 4:00 PM

Tuesday, March 26

  • Prep Baseball at Fishburne Military School • 4:00 PM
  • Tennis at Woodberry Forest School • 4:00 PM

Wednesday, March 27

  • Track & Field at St. Christopher's School • 4:00 PM

Thursday, March 28

  • Tennis vs. Carmel School • 4:00 PM
  • Prep Baseball at Christchurch School • 4:30 PM

Join Us for an Unforgettable Summer at Fork Union Military Academy!

Looking for an exciting and enriching summer experience for your child? Look no further than Fork Union Military Academy's renowned summer camps! Whether your child is interested in sports, bonding experiences, or improving their skills, we have something for everyone.

Football, Strength & Speed Camp:

  • When: June 14-17, 2024
  • For: Day and overnight boys from ages 7 to 17

Get ready to dominate the gridiron with our Football, Strength & Speed Camp. Led by experienced coaches, this camp focuses on enhancing players' football skills, strength, and agility, giving them a competitive edge for the upcoming season.

Father-Son Weekend:

  • When: June 21-23, 2024
  • For boys of all ages and their fathers (or other adult male family member).
  • Overnight Camp

Kick off the summer with our special Father-Son Weekend, where fathers and sons can bond through a variety of fun activities. From outdoor adventures to team challenges, this weekend promises memories that will last a lifetime.

Fork Union Basketball School - in its 39th Year:

  • When: July 15-19, 2024
  • Day and overnight options for boys and girls (girls must be day campers) from ages 5 to 18

Calling all basketball enthusiasts! Our Basketball School, now in its 39th year, offers top-notch coaching and skill development for boys and girls of all levels. Join us on the court to sharpen your skills and take your game to the next level. This camp offers overnight and day opportunities.

Visit our website here to learn more and secure your spot today. Don't miss out on the opportunity for your child to have a summer they'll never forget at Fork Union Military Academy!

2018 Alumnus Invited to NFL Combine this Past Weekend

Millard Bradford runs second fastest 40 time among safeties

Texas Christian University's Millard "Nook" Bradford was invited to the 2024 NFL Combine last week. Bradford not only was a standout safety for the Horned Frogs, the Helotes, Texas native played on the 2018 postgraduate football squad at Fork Union Military Academy. He was ranked the No. 1 prep school player in the country at the Academy and ranked as the nation's No. 54 safety prospect coming out of O'Connor High School. Bradford chose TCU over Arizona State, Virginia Tech and Houston.

This past Friday, Bradford impressed NFL scouts in the 40-yard dash, finishing second among the safeties with a time of 4.42 seconds. It was second only to Taylor-Demerson, but it’s still likely to make an impression on the scouts in attendance.

Bradford was a key part of the TCU defense the last three seasons and was a big part of the 2022 team that made it to the national championship. All told, he finished his career with 231 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, a sack and four interceptions over five seasons.

The NFL Draft is set for Thursday, April 25 through Sat, April 27, 2024.

Good luck, Bradford!

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