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Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
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Former Sontag students share focus on academics
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Courtesy Photo: Franklin County High School seniors Hakeem Alderman (left) and Adonis Edwards paid a special visit to Sontag Elementary to speak with students about the importance of academics. Above with Alderman and Edwards is Sontag Principal Denny Robey (far right).

Friday, February 14, 2014


Sontag Elementary welcomed two former students last week to speak with current students about the importance of academics.

Hakeem Alderman and Adonis Edwards, both seniors at Franklin County High School, spoke with the young students about their academic commitments and athletic achievements.

"Both young men presented themselves as remarkable role models for the Sontag student body," said Principal Denny Robey, who shared memories of Alderman and Edwards from their years at Sontag.

"Hakeem will always be remembered at Sontag for his talent show performance," said Robey. "He wanted to dribble the basketball for his talent. I tried to encourage to do something else, but he insisted. When it was his turn, the act was 90 percent about dancing and 10 percent basketball. The audience loved it."

Alderman, who has played basketball for Franklin County throughout his high school career, spoke about the important role his coaches and parents played in

helping him prioritize academic studies over sports.

Alderman said he plans to enlist in the U.S. Army upon graduation, and his goal is to be trained as a medic.

Robey told the young students about the close friendships Alderman and Edwards forged at Sontag and the countless hours they spent on the playground and basketball court during recess.

"Adonis was always the playground leader," Robey said. "Students are not always the best referees, but no one ever questioned Adonis. And everyone wanted him on their team. Playing fair all the time is hard to do. Even at that young age, it's a mark of character and Adonis always showed that quality."

Edwards, who has also played basketball for Franklin County all four years of high school, has excelled in both basketball and football. Like his teammate, he told the young students how his coaches and parents helped him learn to focus on academics instead of sports.

Two state colleges have offered Edwards basketball scholarships next year.

"They were both student leaders when they were at Sontag, and those qualities have only strengthened through the middle and high school years," Robey said.

"I could not have found better diplomats to talk to young children. Their conduct, accomplishments and advice exceeded all expectations. They are two exceptional young men, among many at Franklin County High School, that everyone can be proud of."

Alderman is the son of Mae and Henry Lee.

Edwards is the son of Andre and Tiffany Edwards.

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