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Madison Academy senior Evan Craighead will soon ship ahoy for the U.S. Naval Academy after receiving an athletic scholarship from the Midshipmen to play football. He has been busily prepping for the move from high school to college and collegiate athletics. Photo Contributed

Evan Craighead Looking To Join U.S. Naval Academy

MADISON- “I’m looking forward to the future that’s in front of me,” said Evan Craighead, the senior at Madison Academy who is about to make major changes in life prepping for his move from high school to college athletics. The Mustangs’ linebacker has signed an athletic scholarship to play football for the U.S. Naval Academy.

“There have not been any immediate family members in the military and after I took my official visit in early Feb. I knew where I wanted to attend college,” said Craighead. “I took my time on making my decision on a college as I was looking for my best opportunity to play and to win.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound linebacker entertained possible college scholarships from Yale, Air Force, Troy, U.N.A., Jacksonville State, Alabama A&M and Florida State before deciding on the Midshipmen knowing he could also include a career choice within his choice of college. The four-year lettermen at Madison Academy has visions of becoming a naval officer when he completes his education. “Yes, I’ll have my career set- sort of a business decision on my part,” added Craighead.

The son of Carlos and Joycelyn Craighead began his preparations for this moment at age four when he first put on a football uniform playing for his father in the Tennessee Valley Football League in the areas of Madison County’s Hazel Green community. He continued playing and joined the Mustangs’ program in the eighth grade. At first he played a multitude of offensive and defensive positions. In his junior season he settled for a rover/linebacker position and played in the defensive box in many of the squad’s schemes to stop their opponents’ running game.

In his just completed senior season, Craighead posted 105 tackles, nine for losses, including three for sacks, along with two interceptions in 11 games. He was team captain and was a varsity letter winner in each of the seasons he was eligible to do so.

Prior to his saying ‘ship ahoy’ to his home surroundings coming in July, Craighead will attend a special Naval prep school in Providence, Rhode Island. The school is designed to prepare student-athletes to the world of the U.S. Military and he will play a non-varsity schedule of football games against some top JUCO programs. After a nine-month stent in the prep school, he’ll move to the Naval Academy for what he hopes will be an extraordinary stent as a college football player and then onto a rewarding career.

“I’m a little uncomfortable, but not afraid of what I’m about to take myself into,” said Craighead. “One interesting fact is I’m not comfortable swimming, but I believe I’ll be fine.”

Craighead is staying home during the pandemic as his mother is director of quad management at Huntsville Hospital and has strongly suggested he remain in the confines of their home as much as possible. He’s working out as often as he can utilizing two 40-pound dumbbells along with an array of exercises he’s used for years in his athletic endeavors, which included playing baseball through his junior year. He goes through several football skills workouts and adds runs through his neighborhood.

The 18-year old Craighead will also depart the area without his girlfriend, Cameron Spence of Huntsville High. She accepted an athletic scholarship to play volleyball at Samford University. He said they have a plan to communicate on every possible occasion and both understand they’re both chasing their dreams.

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