February 23, 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.


  • Fork Union Garners Six League Awards, Including Player of the Year & Coach of the Year Accolades
  • FUMA Athletics Recap
  • Feature Stories: Track & Field, Wrestling, and Swimming & Diving
  • Up Next in FUMA Athletics
  • Middle School Basketball Celebrates the Season with a Pizza Party
  • Alumnus Lance Gowans Records His First Career Win in Mary Baldwin's Season Opener

Fork Union Garners Six League Awards, Including Player of the Year & Coach of the Year Accolades

Williams Earns Coach of the Year Title, Johnson Named Co-Player of the Year

RICHMOND, VA – The Fork Union Military Academy Postgraduate basketball team clinched six conference awards, highlighted by the Player of the Year and Coach of the Year honors, as announced by the Elite Prep League on Wednesday evening.

Jaden Johnson, the dynamic point guard, has been crowned the Elite Prep League Co-Player of the Year, while Fork Union's head coach, Bob Williams, secures the title of Elite Prep League Coach of the Year. Furthermore, DeSean Goode has been recognized with First Team All-Conference honors, while Michael Wilson and Carter Wesson have both been named to the Second Team All-Conference. David Burnett has earned Honorable Mention All-Conference honors.

In his third year as head coach, Williams has steered the Blue Devils to a remarkable achievement, securing the regular-season EPL title with a flawless 6-0 conference record. Currently ranked No. 6 in the nation with an outstanding overall record of 28-4, Fork Union approaches the end of the regular season this weekend. The team has already secured a spot in the National Prep Championship for the second time in three years.

Following a commanding 93-70 victory over Chosen One Academy, Fork Union maintains an unblemished 17-0 home record dating back to February 5, 2023.

"I am delighted to see our players recognized for their dedication and achievements on the court," said Williams. "Having five players named to the All-Conference team speaks volumes about the caliber of this team's performance throughout the season.

"I am so proud of Jaden Johnson being named Co-Player of the Year in the EPL. His talent and leadership really drive our team and he make positive things happen on both ends of the floor. He is truly deserving of this award. Jaden is certainly one of the top prep school players in the country this year.

"I am thankful to my peers in the EPL for voting me Coach of the Year. This just means that we had the best team in the regular season. I thanked our players for this, and I also want to acknowledge our assistant coaches Gary Hines, Bobby Lake, and Mike Jasper for their invaluable contributions to our program."

Johnson, who shares the Player of the Year award with Troy McKoy, Jr. of Massanutten, hails from Waldorf, Maryland, and boasts impressive averages of 16 points, six assists, and five rebounds per game. He is the son of Dellisha and Johnnie Johnson.

Goode, son of Megan Corby of Fairmont, West Virginia, has exhibited exceptional prowess as a forward, averaging 13 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, securing his spot on the First Team All-Conference.

Wilson, son of Heather and Michael Wilson of Indian Trail, North Carolina, has demonstrated his versatility as a guard, averaging 13 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, earning him second team honors.

Wesson, son of Jason Wesson of Charlottesville, Virginia, has displayed his sharpshooting abilities, averaging 12 points per game with an impressive 42-percent three-point shooting rate, also earning him second team honors.

Burnett, son of Pamey and David Burnett of Flowery Branch, Georgia, has contributed consistently as a forward, averaging 11 points and six rebounds per game, earning him honorable mention recognition.

Fork Union concludes the regular season on Friday, February 23, at Hargrave Military Academy's First Piedmont Invitational, where they will face Shooting4Greatness at 6 p.m. to kick off the two-day tournament.

As the top seed in the Elite Prep League Championship, the Blue Devils will commence their postseason campaign against either No. 4 Massanutten Military or No. 5 Hargrave Military in the semifinals on Wednesday, February 28, at 11:30 a.m.

Following the EPL Championship, Fork Union will travel to Worcester, Massachusetts for the National Prep Championship, which begins on Wednesday, March 5.

Scores from the past:

Friday, February 9

  • PG Basketball vs. Hargrave Military Academy (at Massanutten) • W, 74-54

Saturday, February 10

  • PG Basketball vs. The Academy of Central Florida (at Massanutten) • W, 79-74
  • Track & Field at Virginia Prep League Championships • 4th

Tuesday, February 13

  • Junior Prep Basketball vs. St. Christopher's School • L, 19-58
  • Prep Basketball vs. St. Christopher's School • L, 35-70

Friday, February 16

  • Prep Basketball at Woodberry Forest School • L, 44-64

Saturday, February 17

  • Swimming & Diving at VISAA State Championships • 16th
  • Track & Field at VISAA State Championships • 16th
  • Wrestling at VISAA State Champsionships • 21st
  • PG Basketball vs. Experience Prep Academy • W, 95-67

Tuesday, February 20

  • Prep Basketball at Trinity Episcopal School • L, 37-84

Wednesday, February 21

  • PG Basketball vs. Chosen One Academy • W, 93-70

Momolu Wins Fourth League Title, Fork Union Places Fourth at Prep Leagues

Saturday, February 10, 2024

RICHMOND, VA – Senior Harry Momolu of the Fork Union Military Academy indoor track and field program won his fourth career Virginia Prep League title that helped place the Blue Devils fourth overall at the 2023-24 Virginia Prep League Championship this past Saturday.

The Blackwood, NJ native won the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 7.63. His conference championship resume also includes the 2023 55-meter indoor hurdles, 2024 110-meter outdoor hurdles and the 2024 300-meter outdoor hurdles.

As a team, Fork Union collected 18 top-10 finishes, including five trips to the podium.

"The Prep League has become an ultra-elite event," said head coach Winston Brown. "We projected to finish 6th but came up to fourth so a pretty good day for us. Very solid effort from Harry to defend his title from a year ago. Our underclassmen were great as well. David Eaton has arrived as a force as has Aidan Koffa. We had several student-athletes really step up to punch tickets to the state meet this week, including Ben Burtram, Phillipe Lianavwa and Carmelo Spaulding. Phillipe Lianavwa improved by 6 seconds to make it in the 500."

In addition to Momolu's individual title, he helped two relay teams reach the podium. The 4x200 relay quartet of Momolu, Shaun Matthews, Aidan Koffa and Luke Boucher-Zazzaro put together a time of 1:33.33 to place second and the 4x400 relay team of Momolu, Koffa, Alex Jackson and Kaydan Whiteside crossed the finish line at the 3:45.24 mark to place third.

Along with helping both relay teams to the podium, Koffa, a sophomore from Frederick, Maryland, placed second in the 300-meter dash with a time of 36.68.

Freshman David Eaton recorded two impressive finishes in the long distance events. He crossed the finish line at the 10:25.40 mark of the 3200-meter run to place second overall. The Madison Heights, Virginia native also placed fourth in the 1600-meter run with a time of 4:42.37.

Other notable performances included Shaun Matthews placing fifth in the 300-meter dash (39.13), Phillipe Lianvwa placing seventh in the 500-meter dash (1:13.59) and Ben Burtram placing fifth in the pole vault (10-00.00).

A week later, the Blue Devils returned to the track for the 2023-24 VISAA State Championships. Fork Union placed 16th overall.

Fork Union's James Cluff Places 7th at VISAA State Wrestling Championships

Saturday, February 17, 2024

POTOMAC, VA – Freshman James Cluff led the Fork Union Military Academy wrestling program with a seventh-place showing at the 2023-24 VISAA State Championships at Potomac School last weekend.

This past weekend, our wrestling team showcased their dedication and talent at the state championships.

Despite tough competition, only one Blue Devil, Cluff, advanced to Saturday's placement rounds.

Remarkably, as a freshman and mid-season addition from basketball, the Orange, Virginia native placed an impressive seventh in the state at 106 pounds.

"While Fork Union finished 21st out of 30 teams, we are immensely proud of their valiant effort," said head coach Alton Terry. "Despite not achieving our desired outcome, we left with recognition and respect from our peers in the VISAA. This young team's perseverance sets a solid foundation for future success, and we eagerly anticipate returning stronger in 2025!"

Congratulations to wrestling and freshman, James Cluff!

Diving Leads Fork Union to a 16th-Place Showing at VISAA State Championships

Saturday, February 17, 2024

CHRISTIANSBURG, VA – The Fork Union Military Academy swimming and diving program placed 16th out of 31 schools at the 2023-24 VISAA State Championships at the Christiansburg Aquatics Center this past weekend.

Fork Union placed four Blue Devils in the top 16, including a runner-up finish, on the 1-meter board that helped collect 36 of the 57 points for the squad. Senior Everett Mitchell collected 351.65 to place second overall and earn a silver medal.

Freshman Levi Jones followed Mitchell with a seventh-place finish, collecting 302.95 points, while Levi Wikoff took 12th with a score of 269.80. Senior George Gurney rounded out the pack with a 15th-place finish (242.95).

"In my opinion, the competition was tough this year at States,” said head diving coach Samson Miller. “Central Virginia as a whole brought their A-Game. The FUMA boys were unphased and fought hard, achieving our goal of earning four spots in the top 16 for the finals. Gurney closed out a phenomenal diving career with a beautiful list, I will sorely miss working with such a determined young athlete. Wikoff and Jones qualified for the State final in their first ever diving season, which is an incredible accomplishment. Mitchell wound up second after a minor injury which required him to sit out of practice for three weeks leading up to States. Mitchell only had one week to practice before the competition, but never gave up hope. He made the best out of a tough situation and set an excellent example for his teammates. Watson and Vilardo qualified for the State Championships in their first diving season, and their performances made our team proud. Although Gurney and Mitchell will graduate this spring, we have an incredible roster of divers who are extremely passionate about the sport. I'm excited to see what next season brings."

Senior John Cottey led the swimmers, earning two top-16 finishes and leading two relay teams to the finals. Cottey took 10th in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.26 and took 16th in the 100 freestyle with a time of 49.75.

Two relay teams saw the finals, including the 4x50 freestyle relay and the 4x100 freestyle relay. Gurney, Mason Alston and Jaxon Brooks-Powell joined Cottey in the 4x50 freestyle relay and put together a time of 1:34.43 to place 16th overall. Alston, Nico Brown, Brooks-Powell and Cottey touched the wall at the 3:30.19 mark in the 4x100 freestyle relay that placed 12th overall.

In addition to Cottey, Brooks-Powell advanced to the finals in the 500 freestyle. The Palmyra, Virginia native took 16th with a time of 5:08.91 to end an impressive senior campaign.

“The FUMA swimmers stepped-up and raced well at States,” said head coach Jon Larson. “Going into the meet, we were not seeded in any event to make the finals, but we ended up having two relays and three individual swims to make it in. Overall, we had 100% lifetime best swims and that is a rare feat.”

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Up Next in FUMA Athletics:

Friday, February 23

  • PG Basketball vs. Shooting4Greatness (at Hargrave) • 6:00 PM

Saturday, February 24

  • PG Basketball at Hargrave's First Piedmont Invitational • 1:00 PM | 3:00 PM

Wednesday, February 28

  • PG Basketball at Elite Prep League Championship • 11:30 AM
  • Prep Baseball vs. Massanutten Military Academy • 4:30 PM

Tuesday, March 5-Friday, March 8

  • PG Basketball at National Prep Championship • TBA

Thursday, March 7-Saturday, March 9

  • Track & Field at New Balance Indoor • TBA

Coach Keithley Hosts Pizza Party to Celebrate the Middle School Basketball Team

Last Friday, Coach Darren Keithley, head of Fork Union Military Academy's middle school basketball team, orchestrated a memorable pizza party to commemorate the achievements of the team. Throughout the season, the Blue Devils faced formidable opponents, showcasing unwavering determination and sportsmanship on the court, making this celebration well-deserved.

Reflecting on the season, Coach Keithley expressed his satisfaction, stating, "When coaching the younger cadets, it is always rewarding to finish a season with victories under our belt." He acknowledged the stiff competition faced by the team and emphasized the importance of providing moments of respite amidst their rigorous schedules. Gratitude was extended to various individuals and entities whose contributions made the event possible. Coach Joe Billingsley, a postgraduate cadet, was recognized for his dedication and role modeling, while SAGE Dining and Chef Peter were thanked for providing the delectable pizzas. Nevin and BJ's hospitality at the Social Center, where the party took place, was also appreciated.

The accompanying photos capture the jovial atmosphere of the celebration, showcasing the camaraderie and spirit of the team members. As the season concludes, anticipation for the future runs high, with Coach Keithley expressing optimism for the upcoming year and the continued growth of the talented cadets.

Alumnus Lance Gowans Records His First Career Win in Mary Baldwin's Season Opener

Alumnus Lance Gowans, Class of 2023, made his collegiate debut on the mound for Mary Baldwin University in the program’s season opener earlier this week.

The Palmyra, Virginia native threw two innings of relief, allowing a run on three hits while fanning four, to get the win for the Fighting Squirrels.

“To be a freshman and get a chance to play right off the bat is a high accomplishment in itself,” said Fork Union head coach Jacob Grabeel, who coached Gowans his senior year for the Blue Devils. “It was also the first game of the season for Mary Baldwin at their home field which puts pressure on a young player that is new to the program. I am beyond proud of this accompaniment for Lance and I know there is more to come for him at MBU.”

Congratulations, Lance!

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