AISA All-Stars

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 3, 2005

Despite the season ending on negative notes for both the Varsity and Lady Eagles at Fort Dale Academy, three seniors had the opportunity to tack one more game onto their FDA athletic resumes.

Chuck Barrett, Laura Skipper and Wesley Atkins were selected to compete in the AISA All-Star basketball game. The three Eagles are also seniors and were part of the winning West Squads. Skipper had the opportunity to start for her squad.

The event was held at Huntington in Montgomery, the site of the AISA State championships.

"I thought they all deserved it," said Reggie Mantooth, coach of the Fort Dale Varsity and Lady Eagles. "It is a good honor and a good reward for a good season."

Mantooth found out last week that his players were receiving an invitation.

"They had some good talent on the floor," Mantooth said. "I thought they all played good but all-star games are difficult to play in because you are only playing with these kids for a short period of time."

Fort Dale was paired up with other schools to comprise the West squad. They took the floor with players from Faith, Morgan, Monroe and Jefferson Christian.

"I actually had not thought about it until after the state championship game when Coach Mantooth told me that I was going to be playing in it,"

said Skipper. "It was pretty cool. I thought it was pretty fun to play with our lifetime rival. They were better than I thought they were going to be. I hadn't gotten along with them too well in the state championship game or any other game we'd played against them."

Skipper's selection to the All-Star team wasn't a shock, but when Atkins found out that she would get to wear a Lady Eagle jersey one more time, the senior was surprised.

"I found out after the state championship game," said Atkins. "Laura called and left me a message to call her back. I had no idea what she wanted. I called her back and she told me that I was going to be playing in the All-Star game that Friday. I was very surprised. It was pretty fun. A lot of the girls that we had thought were just horrible people turned out to be pretty cool people. It was a good way to end my season."

Atkins wasn't the only member of the trio to be surprised with the invitation.

"I was very surprised. I'm real short, a 5'10" forward and we didn't have a great season," said Barrett. "We went 13-13 and usually they don't get teams with records like that."

Barrett found out that he had been selected to the AISA All-Star team the next week after they were knocked out in the first round of the Elite 8 Tournament by Edgewood.

While Skipper and Atkins were able to be on the team together, Barrett was the lone FDA representative for the men's squad. But, that didn't matter to him.

"I knew a bunch of the guys up there already," said Barrett. "I played with most of them and friends with a lot of them. They are some real cool guys. How well we all jelled together. We got up there and it seemed that we had been playing together for a while."

The West Squad was able to pick up the victory in the boys game, 99-93. According to Barrett, they were one free throw away from scoring 100 points.

On the other side of the coin, Skipper and Atkins were able to help their West Squad to victory, 51-48.