September 15, 2023 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.


  • Inside FUMA Athletics Website
  • Coaches Spotlight: Chris Panos
  • FUMA Athletics Recap
  • Feature Stories: Prep Football, PG Football & Cross Country
  • Up Next in FUMA Athletics
  • Fork Union to Host 26th Annual Cross Country Invitational at Fork Union
  • Alumni Spotlight: Adam Holmes, FUMA PG Class of 1997

All You Need to Know about Athletics.ForkUnion.com

The home of Fork Union Athletics is powered by a continued partnership with SIDEARM Sports, the leading website provider for all collegiate sports. Athletics.ForkUnion.com is where fans, parents and opponents can find all the information about FUMA Athletics.

You can easily access schedules, live streams and social media from the front page, eliminating the need to navigate to a specific team's schedule page. Each team has their own specific page for rosters, schedules and news articles. Please allow the athletic department time to get all rosters updated for each season.

All home games will be streamed live on Fork Union's YouTube Channel. The link for the games can be found on the schedule pages and under the Inside Athletics tab at the top.

Athletics.ForkUnion.com also has a mobile app that allows fans and parents the opportunity to receive notifications on their phones for schedule updates and alerts. Please download the mobile app for your convenience.

Get to Know PG Lacrosse Coach & Assistant Athletic Director Chris Panos

Chris Panos | Hired August of 2023

Fork Union Military Academy named Chris Panos as the head coach of the postgraduate lacrosse program, Director of Athletics John Blake announced in June of 2023. Panos also serves as the Assistant Athletic Director.

Panos brings an unmatched combination of expertise, passion, and a stellar track record in both coaching and playing lacrosse to FUMA.

With years of experience on the field, Panos has excelled in coaching roles at all levels, from high school to collegiate teams, most recently as the head coach of the NCAA Division I Queens University of Charlotte men's lacrosse program in Charlotte, North Carolina. As an athlete, Panos competed at the highest level in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) for 12 years, achieving significant accolades such as NLL World Champion, NLL All-Star, and ranking seventh all-time in goals scored for a U.S.-born player. Panos was also a three-time winner of the Mann Cup (the equivalent of the Stanley Cup in Canada), and additionally was proud to play for the Team USA Indoor Lacrosse team on four occasions. Since 2007, Panos has also served as President of Panos Lacrosse, building a world-class platform for youth lacrosse training, cultivating the skills and character of the next generation of lacrosse players.

"I'm excited and blessed for my next challenge in building the first ever PG lacrosse program at Fork Union Military Academy," said Panos. "With many professional opportunities to choose from, FUMA really stuck out to me in the interview process for many reasons, including their prestigious reputation for outstanding academics, athletics, character development and college placement, as well as their core values of mind, body and spirit, all while educating, developing and inspiring young men, so for me personally growing up in a military family setting, this seemed like a natural fit at the right time in my coaching career to build a new PG program, give back to the community and make my family proud in the process."

"During my first conversation with Chris Panos, I realized he is the person I wanted to build our PG Lacrosse Program," said Blake. "His college coaching experience and knowledge of recruiting give him an edge in building the program. I'm really excited to have Chris on our team and look forward to helping him build the program."

To learn more about Coach Panos and his plans for FUMA's postgraduate lacrosse program, visit https://www.forkunion.com/pg-lacrosse.

Get to know Coach Panos:

College Attended & Degree: Hofstra University, B.A. Liberal Arts

Did you play a sport in college, if so what sport? Yes, lacrosse.

Describe your current role at the Academy: Assistant Athletics Director and Head PG Lacrosse Coach. I assist Director of Athletics John Blake in all aspects of the athletic department.

What brought you to Fork Union Military Academy? A great opportunity to build the inaugural PG lacrosse program.

What made you want to become a coach? I love being around the game and giving back to the sport I love.

What is your favorite topic/drill to teach your athletes during practice? Teamwork and fundamentals.

Do you have a coaching mentor? Yes, John Danowski, Head Coach Team USA & Duke University.

What makes Fork Union special to you? Building relationships with the cadets and staff.

What is one thing the cadets would be surprised to learn about you? I am a former Professional Lacrosse Player and a NCAA Division I head coach.

Scores from the past two weeks:

Friday, September 1

  • Prep Football vs. John Paul the Great Catholic High School • W, 26-25

Sunday, September 3

  • PG Football at Ferrum College • W, 34-33

Saturday, September 9

  • Prep Football at Trinity Episcopal School • L, 0-42
  • Cross Country at Knights Crossing • 8th overall

Sunday, September 10

  • PG Football at Christopher Newport University • L, 7-8

Tuesday, September 12

  • Junior Prep Football at Benedictine College Prep • L, 0-32

Wednesday, September 13

  • Prep Soccer vs. Virginia Episcopal School • L, 0-10

Thursday, September 14

  • Prep Football vs. Saint Anne's Belfield • L, 7-35

Fork Union Opens Season with Victory over John Paul the Great

Friday, September 1, 2023

FORK UNION, VA – The Fork Union Military Academy Prep football team opened the season with a 26-25 win over Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School Friday at the Stadium Field.

The win gave first-year head coach Eddie Handsome his first-career victory at the helm of his alma mater.

"The victory was felt before the clock hit zero Friday," said Handsome. "I reminded the team about how we came to the phrase LOCKED IN. It's about being focused, present in the moment, and for the players willing to be selfless in their play for the team. They were told, this is only one step in the right direction and for that I am proud of you. We are Fork Union built in BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT and that is why we are LOCKED IN."

Both teams started the day out strong, trading touchdowns in the first quarter. John Paul the Great scored on its first possession of the game, while Fork Union retaliated with a 66-yard punt return by Alexander Abron to trail by one (7-6). The Wolves' defense made a big play at the end of the first quarter on a safety that gave John Paul the Great the 9-6 lead after the first 12 minutes.

Fork Union was the lone team to find the endzone in the second quarter. The Blue Devils made it a 14-9 ballgame when Emerson Smith rushed for eight yards and converted on the two-point conversion.

John Paul the Great took back the lead in the third quarter on a four-yard rush plus a two-point conversion that made it a 17-14 ballgame heading into the final quarter.

Fork Union secured the win on back-to-back touchdowns runs early in the fourth that gave the Blue Devils the 26-17 lead. John Paul the Great threatened with a late touchdown and two-point conversion but it was not enough to overcome Fork Union.

Smith led the Blue Devils offensively, completing 12 of 22 passes for 109 yards, while rushing for three touchdowns.

Defensively, Fork Union held John Paul the Great to 44 yards rushing.

The Blue Devils have dropped the past two games, sitting 1-2 on the early season.

The squad returns to action Friday, September 22 when they travel to Collegiate School for a 4 p.m. kickoff.

Fork Union Defeats Ferrum College in Overtime

Sunday, September 3, 2023

FERRUM, VA – The Fork Union Military Academy Postgraduate football team came up with a thrilling 34-33 overtime win at Ferrum College this past Sunday at W.B. Adams Stadium.

"It was an exciting game this past Sunday at Ferrum College," said head coach Frank Arritt. "We had a good day offensively with Breon Gunnell, Andre Harrison, Da'Quanvion Hill and Nehemiah Vann all getting into the endzone. The offensive line is progressing with each game. Defensively, Jahiel Mitchell had an interception and Zion Hunter led the team in tackles. Asa Locks also had blocks on PAT and a field goal."

The two teams had impressive offenses throughout the entire day in a game that consisted of four lead changes.

Fork Union found itself down 14-6 at halftime and came out in the second half ready to fight. The squad opened the second quarter with an impressive 90-yard scoring drive down field that was eventually capped off by a 30-yard touchdown and a two-point conversion to tie the score at 14.

Following a late third-quarter score by Ferrum, Fork Union took a one-point lead early in the fourth off a 10-yard touchdown by Hill. After an interception by Mitchell, Fork Union capitalized on a 10-yard rush by Harrison to make take a 27-20 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

Late in the fourth quarter, Ferrum forced the extra period with a rushing touchdown to tie the score at 27-27.

During overtime, Ferrum scored first on a rushing touchdown, but the Fork Union defense remained strong with a blocked extra point that eventually was the deciding factor of the victory. Hill secured the win for the Blue Devils on a rushing touchdown followed by a successful point-after attempt by Vann.

The Blue Devils have fallen to Christopher Newport University and Averett University and sit 1-2 overall.

Fork Union returns to action Sunday, September 10 when the squad travels to Christopher Newport University for a 12 p.m. kickoff.

PG Football's Weekly Recap - Week 3

Each week, assistant postgraduate football coach Chip Chace recaps the team's week with a special spotlight. To view this past recaps, please click the link below:

Fork Union Gets Best Start in Years; Team Finishes 8th at Knights Crossing

Saturday, September 9, 2023

ROANOKE, VA -- The Fork Union Military Academy cross country team opened the season with its best start in years, placing eighth overall at the Knights Crossing Invitational at Cave Spring High School.

"It's a great day to get a measure of the progress we have made as team since the same time a year ago," said head coach Winston Brown. "David Eaton was tremendous as he now ranks as the No. 2 freshman in Virginia, all classifications. Sophomores Robert Callahan and Nicholas Coleman earned huge personal bests as did Ben Burtram. For Callahan, Saturday marked a 7-minute improvement since his effort a year ago at the same meet. Fork Union also discovered it has a solid fifth man in freshman Ronan Montes. It was a great start for us!"

Freshman David Eaton led the way for Fork Union with a time of 16:41.90 to place fifth place overall. Sophomore Robert Callahan followed with a top-32 finish with a time of 18:27.30. Sophomore Nicholas Coleman finished at the 19:05.50 mark to place 60th and senior Benjamin Burtram rounded out the top four for the Blue Devils with a time of 19:22.00 to place 73rd out of a pool of 259 participants.

Fork Union placed eighth with a total of 250 points. Bassett High School took the top spot with a total of 120 points. Wilson Memorial, Lee High School, North Cross School, Jefferson Christian Academy, Waynesboro High School and Patrick County placed in the top seven, respectively.

The Blue Devils return to action Saturday, September 16 when they host the 26th annual Invitational at Fork Union. The first race starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Fred Hardy Cross Country Course.

Fork Union to Host 26th Annual Cross Country Invitational at Fork Union

FORK UNION, Va. – The Fork Union Military Academy cross country program is set to host the 26th annual Invitational at Fork Union this Saturday, Sept. 16 at the Hardy Cross Country Course. The Blue Devils will welcome 46 teams to campus.

"Saturday marks the 26th edition of the Fork Union Invitational at Hardy Cross Country Course and the 25th anniversary of the first running," said head coach Winston Brown. "We have 46 teams this year and are thrilled to welcome runners from all over the state. A huge debt of gratitude to our FUMA community for supporting this event as well as our sponsors. Over the years, this event has become a favorite day for so many."

The event begins with the middle school boy's 2.5k run at 8:30 a.m., and ends with an award ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Below is the full schedule:

Fork Union Cross Country Invitational Schedule

  • 8:30 a.m. – Middle School Boys 2.5k
  • 8:45 a.m. – Middle School Girls 2.5k
  • 9:00 a.m. – Girls Colonial Division 5k
  • 9:30 a.m. – Boys Colonial Division 5k
  • 10:00 a.m. – Girls Patriot Division 5k
  • 10:30 a.m. – Boys Patriot Division 5k
  • 11:00 a.m. – Boys & Girls Sabre Division 2 Mile Combined
  • 11:30 a.m. – Awards Ceremony

Below is the course map:

Parking Information

There will be parking located on the course until 8:30 a.m. There will also be parking available in three different car lots: Johnson's Field, FUMA trailhead lot, and the lower end of the course. Please note there will be a $5.00 parking fee at all locations. Please follow the signs stating "Fork Union Cross Country Event" for parking and team loading areas.

Team buses and cars will be directed to take alternate routes to the Hardy Cross Country Course. Buses will unload at the main gate adjacent to the start area and then will be directed to park at either the maintenance lot or the "field of dreams."

Keep in mind, Route 15 at Fork Union Military Academy's campus will be closed and/or detoured for most of the morning due to Fork Union Day. Please be aware of the alternate routes to the Hardy Cross Country Course provided below. Please follow the signs stating "Fork Union Cross County Event" for parking and team loading areas.

Alternate routes to the Hardy Cross Country Course

Southbound on Route 15 - Take a left onto East River Road in Dixie and stay on that road until Bremo Road. Take a right on Bremo Road and stay on it until Cloverdale Road. The first car lot will be on the left about 200 yards from the course. Buses can proceed to Academy Lane and take a right.

Westbound on Route 6 - Take a left on Bremo Road and stay on it until Cloverdale Road. The first car lot will be on the left about 200 yards from the course. Buses can proceed to Academy Lane and take a right.

Northbound on Route 15 - will need to turn left just off the Bremo Bridge and take Bremo Road to West Bottom Road. At West Bottom Road, take a left and continue to Cloverdale Road. At Cloverdale Road, take a right. Academy Lane will be roughly two miles on the left.

Awards Ceremony

  • Trading pins awarded to the top 50 participants
  • Running t-shirts awarded to the top 10 participants
  • Plaques awarded to the top three teams in each division
  • Hats awarded to the best 5th man in each division
  • Jacket to the champion in each division

For more information on Fork Union Athletics, follow the Department on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Please make sure you continue to check the athletic website on a weekly basis, for all game updates.

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:

Friday, September 15

  • Prep Soccer vs. Hargrave Military Academy • 4:00 PM

Saturday, September 16

  • Cross Country vs. The Fork Union Invitational • 8:30 AM

Sunday, September 17

  • PG Football at Bridgewater College • 1:00 PM

Tuesday, September 19

  • Junior Prep Soccer vs. Miller School • 4:00 PM
  • Prep Soccer at Benedictine College Prep • 4:30 PM

Wednesday, September 20

  • Junior Prep Football vs. Collegiate School • 4:00 PM

Thursday, September 21

  • Junior Prep Football at Veritas School • 4:30 PM

Friday, September 22

  • PG Football at Wagner College • 1:00 PM
  • Prep Soccer at Highland School • 4:00 PM
  • Cross Country at Woodberry Forest School • 4:00 PM
  • Prep Football at Collegiate School • 4:00 PM

This October, Fork Union Military Academy will mark the celebration of our school's founding in 1898 with a number of special events starting on Friday, October 13 and ending on Sunday, October 15.

Check out the schedule below:

Friday, October 13, 2023

  • 3:00 PM | Prep Football vs. Fredericksburg Christian Academy
  • 5:00 PM | BBQ Cookout with live music from Bennett Wales, Class of 2009
  • 7:00 PM | Fireworks Display

Saturday, October 14, 2023

  • 8:00 AM | Fork Union 4-Miler - Register for this event here.
  • 11:30 AM | Lunch
  • 12:30 PM | Military Spectacle featuring our Band and Drill Team
  • 1:30 PM | Snead Hall and Memorial Hall Cornerstone Ceremony
  • 6:30 PM | Gala at The Westin Richmond

Sunday, October 15, 2023

  • 10:00 AM | Church Service at the Stadium Field
  • 11:00 AM | Ribbon Cutting at Press Box & Sabre Square
  • 11:30 AM | Group Photos at Stadium Field
  • 12:00 PM | Lunch
  • 1:30 PM | Parade and Change of Command Ceremony

After the parade there will be a 125th Photo Opportunity for all in attendance, followed by a reception on Sabre Square.

To learn more about the 125th Celebration at Fork Union Military Academy and to register for events, visit the link below:

Adam Holmes, Director of Athletics & Head Football Coach at Gray Collegiate Academy.

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Adam Holmes, FUMA PG Class of 1997

Adam Holmes is a postgraduate football alumnus from the Class of 1997, who played for former head coach John Shuman. Holmes is a Manning, S.C., native and signed with the University of South Carolina following his Fork Union graduation.

Holmes is now the Director of Athletics and head football coach at Gray Collegiate Academy who is the reigning South Carolina Class 2A State Champions and currently rank No. 1 this season.

Let's get to know Coach Holmes:

  • How did you end up at Fork Union Military Academy? My high school coach, Chuck Mars, coached at Fork Union.
  • Has Fork Union impacted your life in any way? It impacted my life in every way. It taught me how to be a man, persevere, and gave me an opportunity to go to my dream school.
  • Describe what it's like to be the AD/Head Coach at a football powerhouse: Well, it was a process of building a program, but the joy is to see where we were and where we are now. Helping these young men achieve their dreams is something that cannot be described.
  • Describe your coaching philosophy: We believe in discipline and playing like its your last game. Our culture is: Trust - Care - Commitment.
  • Do you incorporate anything you learned at FUMA in your daily coaching life? The things I was taught at FUMA were invaluable and I use them in some way everyday. How to be a man, work for a dream and never let anyone tell you that you can't do it.
  • What advice would you give to an inspired FUMA athlete? Trust your coaches. Trust the process and if you give your all to the program, they will get you where you need to go. I would say it's the toughest process but your best experience of your life.

Good luck this season, Coach Holmes!

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