Photo | Courtesy McGill-Toolen

In her final year with the Yellow Jackets, Lillie Fromdahl (center) recorded 1,503 assists, 171 digs, 85 kills and 39 aces while helping McGill-Toolen to a 48-5 overall record.


The honors continue to pour in for Lillie Fromdahl, the 5-foot-8 senior setter who helped McGill-Toolen Catholic High School to consecutive Class 7A state championships in volleyball.

Fromdahl, who has signed an athletic scholarship with the University of South Alabama, has been named the Gatorade Alabama Player of the Year. According to a news release from Gatorade, the award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the court.

In her final year with the Yellow Jackets, Fromdahl recorded 1,503 assists, 171 digs, 85 kills and 39 aces while helping McGill-Toolen to a 48-5 overall record. She has been recognized as Alabama’s top volleyball player by several publications and received All-American mentions from PrepVolleyball.com and Under Armour.

“Lillie led our team to another state championship in 2018, and she was at another level throughout the season,” said McGill-Toolen head coach Kate Wood. “Legendary coach Becky Dickinson recently told me that Lillie might be the best setter to ever set at McGill-Toolen.

“She has put a tremendous amount of work into her craft over the past five years while being part of the ‘Dirty Dozen.’ We could not be any happier for her, and we can’t wait to see what amazing things she does at South Alabama next fall.”

A devoted member of her church community, Fromdahl has volunteered locally on behalf of food drives, Vacation Bible School and youth volleyball programs. In the classroom, she has maintained a 3.21 GPA.

“I’ve been playing volleyball since fourth grade, and I just get a sense of calmness being there because I’ve done this before,” Fromdahl said. “I’ve been playing for so many years. And, having such amazing teammates helps, too.”

Fromdahl was a finalist for the Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award, which eventually went to Ellie Holzman of Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans. Fromdahl continues a trend of recent Gatorade Alabama Volleyball Players of the Year from the Gulf Coast, including Kenya McQuirter (2017-18, McGill-Toolen) and Lauren Chastang (2016-17, Bayside Academy).

Fromdahl now has the opportunity to award a grant of $1,000 to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing as part of Gatorade’s “Play it Forward” marketing platform. She is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of a dozen $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.

Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have become leaders in their communities, coaches, business owners and educators. McGill-Toolen, which has captured 21 state volleyball titles since 1974, has had six of its players receive the Gatorade volleyball award for Alabama.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport.


Soccer tryouts

Registration for new players wishing to try out for AFC Mobile, the local premier soccer team, is now open. This year there will be two open tryout sessions on back-to-back Saturdays.

The first will be Feb. 9 and the second Feb. 16. Both tryouts will take place 2-4 p.m. at Herndon-Sage Park (2800 Dauphin St.) in Mobile. Interested players are not required to attend both tryout sessions, but may do so if they wish.

“The open tryout is a valuable tool for me and my staff to evaluate the local talent and perhaps unearth the next rising star in the area for our team. I am really looking forward to seeing how we can potentially add to our dynamic and talented returning group,” said AFC Mobile head coach Steve Wieczorek.

AFC Mobile’s open tryouts are a major part of player identification for the team. Any player who is no longer high school-eligible and is at least 17 years old may try out for AFC Mobile’s 2019 roster.

Interested players must complete the following forms in order to try out: Registration Form, USASA Waiver and Release of Liability, plus Assumption and Acknowledgment of Risks.

If you register online prior to the day of the tryout you attend, the registration fee is $15. Walk-up registration on the day of the tryout is $25. Online registration will not be available on the day of each tryout. Players attending both tryout dates need only complete one set of forms.

Players are asked to bring a properly inflated size 5 soccer ball, shin guards, cleats, socks, black shorts and white shirt.


College honors

• Spring Hill College freshman point guard Jordan McIlwain was recently named the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Newcomer of the Week.

The 6-foot-2 Atlanta native helped lead Spring Hill to a pair of wins. He averaged 18.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and one steal in the two games, in an average of 29 minutes played.

For the season, McIlwain was averaging 16.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists through three games played, while shooting 51.7 percent.

• USA track and field’s Autavia Fluker has been named the Sun Belt Conference Women’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Week. The junior broke her own school shot put record twice as the Jaguars began their indoor season at the UAB Blazer Invitational. Her first attempt of the season was a 15.10-meter (49 feet, 6.25 inch) throw that broke her USA record, set last year. The Bessemer native then shattered that with a 15.32-meter (50 feet, 3.25 inch) effort on her fourth attempt.

Fluker came back the next week to extend the standard at the Vanderbilt Indoor competition. She managed a toss of 15.44 meters (50 feet, 8 inch) on her final attempt.