May 17, 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 Names Nolan De Four as Head Prep Soccer Coach
  • The Harder Route: Wesson Flourishing at FUMA
  • FUMA Athletics Recap
  • Feature Stories: Track & Field
  • Up Next in FUMA Athletics
  • Fork Union Freshman Wrestler Makes All-Central Virginia Team
  • Fork Union Set to Host Summer Camps
  • Fork Union Military Academy Celebrates Signing Day for Bland and McDaniel

Fork Union Names Nolan De Four as Head Prep Soccer Coach

FORK UNION, VA – Fork Union Military Academy is excited to announce Nolan De Four as the new Head Coach of the Prep Soccer program. De Four brings over 12 years of coaching experience to develop the next generation of Fork Union soccer players.

De Four’s passion for soccer extends beyond the pitch. He founded the All In Elite Soccer Academy in 2021 to provide elite training and mentorship to young athletes in the Orange and Louisa communities. Before that, he achieved success at the high school and travel league levels, leading his Orange Fire U-17 team to an undefeated season in 2022.

De Four’s coaching philosophy emphasizes well-rounded development. He combines his expertise in soccer with a background in sports management and a dedication to mental and physical well-being, having obtained certifications in life coaching, nutrition, and mental health in 2023.

A native of Trinidad and Tobago, De Four is a proven leader with a solid foundation in the sport. He holds a US Soccer Federation National “D” Coaching License and a certificate in Academy Coaching from Barcelona F.C.

De Four played at the collegiate and semi-professional levels. He attended school at AIB College of Business where he obtained a degree in Sports and Event Management and Davis College, graduating with a Christian Ministry degree.

Before moving to Virginia, De Four served as a campus pastor with the Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch, and a youth and outreach assistant pastor with the Lighthouse Mission Ministry in North Bellport, New York.

"We are thrilled to welcome Nolan De Four to the Fork Union family,” said Director of Athletics John Blake. “His impressive coaching experience, combined with his dedication to developing young men on and off the field, makes him a perfect fit for our program.”

The Harder Route: Wesson flourishing at FUMA

By: Bart Isley | April 27, 2024

It’s pretty simple logic.

If you can eliminate distractions, sometimes other things will, out of necessity, flourish.

Carter Wesson is certainly flourishing at Fork Union.

“We don’t have our cell phones, so all of our free time is just working in the gym and getting better,” Carter Wesson said. “We all stay here except for one day student, so we’re all around each other for eight months.”

Wesson, a 2023 Albemarle High grad, just wrapped up his postgraduate basketball season at Fork Union and that team bonding led to an impressive campaign for the Blue Devils basketball team as they won the Elite Prep League title, went 31-7 and competed at the National Prep Basketball Championship. It was a major payoff for months of hard work and, for many, revamping their personal habits and approach.

“Our guys didn’t choose the easy route, they’ve got to put the military uniform on every day at 6 a.m. – there’s a lot of basketball, weight room and training,” said Fork Union coach Bob Williams. “They took the harder route. The attitude and the chemistry and the work ethic was incredible. To do what they did was special. It’ll pay dividends down the road, they’re going to be happy that they chose Fork Union.”

Postgraduate basketball is a unique challenge, and Wiliams, a former collegiate head coach at Glenville State and West Virginia University Tech, has attacked it head on after taking over a storied program that was run for decades by the legendary Fletcher Arritt. Instead of recruiting and building players over years like Williams did for a long time and with a lot of success at the college level before stepping out of the college ranks during the pandemic. Postgraduate teams are, by design, fleeting. There’s no retention and players’ goals are to elevate their recruiting stock for the next level.

“I was fortunate to land here, and this is different, you’ve got a whole new team,” Williams said. “You get them for 8.5 months, they can get stronger and I was impressed, they do get a lot better. They get ready for college basketball.”

Fork Union’s 2023-2024 edition found a way to get better while also stacking up wins. The Blue Devils knocked off several junior college teams and collegiate junior varsity squads. After being picked to finish near the bottom of the Elite Prep League according to Wesson, Fork Union went to work. Other teams had players who had higher profile college offers or were already committed to schools held in higher esteem than the players on Fork Union’s roster. That forced Wesson personally to improve but it also put a chip firmly on the Blue Devils’ collective shoulder.

“You’re playing against great guards, so you had to adapt and get faster and figure out how to guard a faster player,” Wesson said. “It’s definitely harder competition, we played against some high major commitments, I got better because of tougher competition.”

Wesson, who was the Jefferson District player of the year and a Class 5 all-state pick for the Patriots, has taken his game to another level in several different ways. Already a known impact shooter, he brought that talent to Fork Union’s lineup immediately, shooting 43 percent from three including a 5-for-6 outing against Louisburg.

Then he started steadily improving, learning how to defend faster players as he said and then expanding his offensive game, an improvement that he’d already shown signs of over a four-year career at Albemarle where he steadily expanded his skill set.

“Now he’s scoring with the left and right and he’s improved so much,” Williams said. “He has adapted to that and put it in his game. His defense just kept getting better and by the end of the season.”

Wesson’s personal improvement dovetailed with Fork Union coming together as a team. Early wins against the Naval Academy junior varsity and then Louisburg Community College let Williams know he might have something special brewing with this group.

“I was like ‘maybe we have something good here,’” Williams said. “The chemistry ended up being off the charts, we got guys that bought into what I was teaching. They’re high character people, that’s the way they were raised. We had 11 really good players.”

The Blue Devils beat archrival Hargrave in the semifinals of the Elite Prep League championship and then followed up with 67-65 victory over Mount Zion Christian to capture the title, Fork Union’s first in the recently-formed league. The Blue Devils earned a bid to the National Prep Championship as the No. 4 seed but got tripped up in the Sweet 16.

Pushing toward and achieving that collective team goal of a league title helped Fork Union reach a ton of individual goals too. The Blue Devils’ entire starting five has found their home at the next level, with Jaden Johnson headed to Old Dominion, David Burnett bound for the Naval Academy, DeSean Goode going to New Orleans, Michael Wilson headed to North Greenville and Wesson choosing Montevallo, a Division II school in the highly competitive Gulf South League.

“I went on a visit there in mid-March, didn’t know much about it,” Wesson said. “Everyone was really friendly. I had a gut feeling that’s where I was supposed to be.”

Taking a postgraduate year turned out to be a strong move for Wesson and the other members of Fork Union’s squad, but in what has become a fluid, unpredictable college basketball landscape, it may just be another step on the road.

“Even now, our whole starting five has committed but we still think we’re under recruited, we were beating these teams with better offers,” Wesson said.

There appears to be some serious truth to Wesson’s analysis. The transfer portal and Name, Image, Likeness (NIL)-influenced recruiting has transformed the collegiate game in what feels like the blink of an eye. Take it from Williams, a seasoned collegiate coach.

“They’re taking transfers over the high school guys,” Williams said. “There are guys who are Division I players, but they have to go postgrad or decide to go D-II, you’ve just got to get in and work yourself up, it’s like the minors. We talk about it a lot, that (this class) was in high school during a pandemic, now on top of that you have the transfer portal and all that. You’re going to have to be patient with your recruitment. Everyone is being recruited at a level lower than they actually are. It is what it is. You’ve got to go with the opportunity.”

Wesson and the rest of the Blue Devils definitely went out and seized the opportunity, rapidly forming a bond that led to both championship basketball, a strong team bond and attaining individual opportunities at the next level.

That’s what seizing an opportunity and making the most of eight and a half months can do – it can change the course of your life.

Scores from the past:

Friday, May 3

  • Prep Baseball vs. St. Anne's Belfield • L, 5-7

Tuesday, May 7

  • Prep Baseball vs. St. Christopher's School • L, 2-4

Wednesday, May 8

  • Prep Baseball vs. Highland School • L, 0-22

Thursday, May 9

  • Junior Prep Baseball at Woodberry Forest School • L, 5-6

Friday, May 10

  • Prep Baseball at St. Christopher's School • L, 0-8

Saturday, May 11

  • Track & Field at Prep League Championships • 4th

Monday, May 13

  • Junior Prep Baseball vs. Fairfax Homeschool • L, 6-8

Wednesday, May 15

  • Prep Lacrosse at Fluvanna County • L, 2-15

Fork Union Finishes Strong at the Prep League Championships

Saturday, May 11, 2024

RICHMOND, VA – Senior Harry Momolu led the Fork Union Military Academy outdoor track and field team to a fourth-place finish at the 2024 Virginia Prep League Championships, hosted by St. Christopher's School.

Momolu dominated the hurdles, winning both events for the second year in a row. He also helped the victorious 4x400 relay team, earning himself Most Valuable Runner honors. His performance added three more medals to his collection, bringing his career total to seven Prep League titles in just two seasons.

"Our team gave it their all throughout the meet," said head coach Winston Brown. "We achieved 25 season bests and had four event champions! The meet began with a fantastic win by Daouda Niang in the discus, setting the tone for the day. Our 4x800 relay team of Jayden Ginty, Gordon Currey, Godwin Vander Weide, and Malachi Walsh shaved a whopping 29 seconds off their season best, qualifying them for states. Harry Momolu was unstoppable, and our sprinters, Luke Boucher-Zazzaro, and Isaiah Kittrell, had a breakout performance. We scored points in 15 of the 17 events, a testament to our coaches' hard work. Our distance runners also continued their improvement, scoring in every event. The day ended with an unforgettable 4x400 relay victory, where Kaydan Whiteside edged out St. Christopher's Maddox White with an impressive 50.03 split. Momolu, along with Mekyi Shepard and Shaun Matthews, provided crucial contributions in this win."

In addition to Momolu, the Blue Devils secured 11 top-five finishes, including four gold medals. Senior Daouda Niang won the discus with a throw of 149 feet, four inches. The 4x400 relay team, consisting of Momolu, Shaun Matthews, Mekyi Shepard, and Kaydan Whiteside, triumphed with a time of 3:28.13.

Freshman David Eaton impressed with a pair of fifth-place finishes: a 2:04.12 in the 800-meter and a 10:24.97 in the 3200-meter.

The 4x100 relay team secured a podium finish with a time of 43.65, placing third overall. Luke Boucher-Zazzaro also had a strong showing, finishing fourth in the 100-meter dash at 11.00 seconds.

Fork Union collected 70 points overall, just four points short of third-place finishers Collegiate. St. Christopher's tallied 109 points to place second, and Woodberry Forest School took the trophy with 162 points.

The Blue Devils return to action Saturday, May 18 when they travel to Sports Backers Stadium for the 2024 VISAA State Championships. The meet starts at 10 a.m.

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:

Saturday, May 18

  • Track & Field at VISAA State Championships • 10:00 AM

Cluff Named to the All-Central Virginia Wrestling Team

RICHMOND, VA – Freshman James Cluff of the Fork Union Military Academy wrestling team has been named to the All-Central Virginia Second Team, announced by the Daily Progress.

I am incredibly proud of James' dedication and hard work this season,” said head coach Alton Terry. “Despite starting to wrestle mid-season, he showed exceptional commitment and determination, earning a well-deserved spot at States. James made the tough decision to forgo the national band competition in favor of wrestling, and his efforts paid off as he impressed many with his performance at states. His achievement of making second team All-Central Virginia as a freshman is a remarkable honor, and I am eager to see his continued growth and success in the future.”

Cluff, a first-year cadet from Orange, Virginia, is the son of James and Mayira Cluff. His freshman campaign was highlighted by a ticket to the VISAA State Tournament and finished with a seventh place ranking to make a trip to the podium.

Congratulations, James!

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!

Fork Union Military Academy Celebrates Signing Day for Bland and McDaniel

FORK UNION, VA – Fork Union Military Academy is proud to announce that seniors Ayden Bland and Aaron McDaniel signed Letters of Intent to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level during a ceremony held Tuesday morning at the Estes Athletic Center.

Bland, son of Julia Lambert and Travis Bland of Palmyra, Virginia, has committed to join the Saint Francis University track and field program. A dedicated member of the Fork Union track and field team for three years, Bland has consistently demonstrated a strong work ethic:

"Ayden came to us from Fluvanna County and has been a vital part of our program," said head coach Winston Brown. "Despite facing some challenges this year, he has had a tremendous career here at Fork Union. His commitment is unmatched, balancing academics, athletes, and a job after practice. His strong character will be an asset at Saint Francis, and we wish him all the best."

McDaniel, son of Latisha and Joe McDaniel of Fork Union, Virginia, has committed to play football for Elizabeth City State University. Enrolled at Fork Union for the past two years, McDaniel has consistently impressed coaches with his talent and dedication.

"Aaron is a tremendous young man with a bright future ahead of him," said head coach Eddie Handsome. "We have no doubt that he will excel at Elizabeth City State both on and off the field."

Congratulations, gentlemen!

Are you interested in playing college lacrosse?

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