(Aug. 21, 2013) – More than 40 student-athletes and and 20 parents gathered recently at Velocity 5 in Sterling to celebrate a very Special Forces track season.
During the unique event, joining the group was Boston University sprint coach Gabe Sanders, who spoke with the rising senior prospects and families one-on-one about scholarship possibilities at the prestigious university. Also offering college advice was All-American GMU star sprinter and Special Forces alum, Adrian Vaugh.
The audience also heard speeches from former outstanding Special Forces alums on the topic of moving past life’s hurdles to success. The guest speakers were standouts blazing trails in every way: Jazzlyn Finney, Emani Fenton, and Devon “Ylou” Brown.
Finney told of the need to focus on a positive and strong mindset to take every talent to the highest level. Finney is off to UVA for graduate studies after completing a stellar track career and setting records at Heritage High school and VCU culiminating with an appearance at the NCAA finals.
Known more for their legendary football prowess, Fenton and Brown followed as they spoke of overcoming obstacles and staying grounded through every success and failure.
Brown stated with passion to a mesmerized audience, “Don’t let your press clippings define you! Because you’ll feel bad on an off day and believe the hype on a good day! Just keep working. ”
Fenton stated how he has seen the highs and lows as a star for Special Forces, the AYFL, Babe Ruth, O’Connell, Flint Hill, and Cornell as an outstanding defensive back before stints as a business consultant for PWC and becoming one of the youngest coaches in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Brown is considered a CYFL legend before going onto O’Connell with Fenton and shattering records at Stone Bridge High School at running back and moving onto stardom at Wake Forest and West Virginia with bowl appearances and a Big East Championship.
Special Forces Executive Director and coach Nick Savage added, “The thing I’m most proud of in all three cases – Jaz, Emani, and Ylou all graduated as outstanding students and they haven’t forgotten where they come from. I think that’s a powerful message to the kids. They are giving the kids a navigator and a road map to success.”
The festive night culminated as former Special Forces hurdler, CEO Brittany Rose was selected as the Special Forces Entrepreneur of the Year for her business “More Than Cheer LLC” located in Loudoun and her recent selection as a Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader.
Joining Rose as recipients were Performers of the Year and All-Americans D’ante Yarborough, Galissia Cause, Myles Howard, Lamia Beard, Beau Everett, Sabrina Sokol, Lorenzo Laurenzano, and Erin Kelly.
Savage closed, “This by far was arguably our best year ever with 24 moving onto championships with a qualifier in every sanctioned event, 4 All-Americans, multiple medal winners, and 25 new team records, some records which have been on the books since 2000 held by some great alums. We are really proud of the team and excited for their futures at every level on and off the track or field.”