Red Level Track Athlete Signs with Alabama
A small town, Covington County student is receiving a chance not many from his area receive.
Red Level High School senior Joel Phillips is Bama bound.
On Wednesday, he signed as a preferred walk on to run track for the University of Alabama.
“It’s a blessing because all year, I’ve been working hard,” Phillips says.
Phillips was surrounded by his family and friends.
Phillips says he hasn’t always run track. In fact, he didn’t know if he’d like the sport.
“I didn’t take practice serious. I was just there goofing off,” Phillips says.
He decided his senior season would be different. The hard work he put in yielded a big reward.
“I ran a 15.07 and I won state in the 110 meter hurdles,” Phillips says.
His videos were sent out by the school’s track coach, Tony Ingram.
Ingram received a phone call a short time later.
“Well I’m going to listen to this telemarketer and delete it. Then, I heard “Hey it’s Coach Waters from the University of Alabama track,”I’m like whew,” Ingram recalls.
Joel and his family made a trip to tour the school and the rest is history.
“We are just very excited for him,” Steven Bailey, Joel’s dad says. “He’s been a real blessing to us and just a fine-charactered young man. And he’s put in the work and as he said God’s blessed him with the ability.”
Some Covington County schools have only added track teams in recent years.
Ingram says he couldn’t think of another athlete from Red Level that would go on to play a sport at a D-1 school in years.
“This is why you do this, for kids like this,” Ingram says.
Phillips will graduate from high school on Friday.
He will spend the summer training and begin classes at Alabama this fall.