BY GLENN BRANUM
If you have ridden by Springwood Drive in the Woodland Heights subdivision on most any afternoon in the last few years, it is likely that you heard the pounding of a basketball on the concrete.
And more than likely, it was Sawyer Fossett in his driveway practicing his shooting skills.
A prolific 3-point shooter, Sawyer has spent many an hour honing his craft and that hard work has paid off. He is on track to become Fort Dale’s all-time best 3-point shooter.
Sawyer already holds the school record for most 3-point shots made in a game with eight, a record he shares with Cam Norman.
Sawyer was a perfect 8 for 8 from behind the line on the night he tied the record.
Three games into his senior season, Sawyer needs 28 more three pointers to break the record for career 3-point shots made of 144, currently held by Brett Paulk from 2000-2004.
And since he has hit 54 and 51 3-pointers in the last two seasons, the record is certainly obtainable.
Sawyer has been named to several all-tournament teams in his career, as well as being his team’s leading scorer and offensive MVP the last two years.
Opposing teams have recognized his shooting prowess, and now guard him specifically for his 3-point shooting.
That has forced him to move his shot release to several feet behind the 3-point line, to the point of an NBA three pointer.
But because of his work ethic and hours spent working on perfecting his shot, he has maintained an impressive 33% shooting percentage over his career from beyond the arc.
“I fell in love with basketball when we moved to Greenville and I got to play peewee basketball at Fort Dale,” said Fossett. “I felt like shooting came naturally for me”, he added. “Since then, I have spent a lot of time in the gym and in the driveway working on getting better.”
According to his coach Marshal Watts, “Sawyer has been an ideal competitor for a long time for us.”
“He understands and does everything the right way whether I am looking or not. He definitely leads by example,” said Watts.
“In addition to his offensive skills, he understands our defensive rotations as well as anyone. All that being said and despite all his accolades, he is better as a student and person, and he is a pleasure to coach”.
A young man strong in his Christian beliefs, Fossett is firm in how his faith plays into his mentality and to sports.
“I believe that my faith has kept me grounded and kept me humble,” Fossett said. “I think you should always respect your opponent. I don’t trash talk and I don’t believe in showboating out there.”
In addition to athletics, he is also an exceptional student. He applies the same hard work principles from basketball to his academics and is currently in the top three of his class and is a contender for Valedictorian at graduation.
He plans to attend Auburn University after graduation and major in accounting. “I’d like to go into public accounting and be a CPA one day,” he said.
Fort Dale Headmaster David Sikes had nothing but praise for his senior student. “Sawyer is an outstanding student and even better young man.”
“He does everything with excellence and hard work. We are extremely fortunate to have him at FDA. He is a leader in all aspects of his life”.
As for basketball goals, Fossett has high hopes for the team this year. “We have seven seniors this year, and most of us have played together since peewee and have been on varsity the last three years,” he said.
“We finally have a senior laden class, and it is a talented group. I think we can contend for and win a championship,” he added.
“As for personal goals, I would like to have a fun senior season and to break the career 3-point record”.
Those goals are in sight for both Fort Dale Academy and for Fossett this season. One only needs to drop by and watch a game this year and see for themselves.