Fonnesu to Play Soccer for Randolph College

Fonnesu to Play Soccer for Randolph College
Posted on 04/27/2016

Hickory’s Fonnesu to Play Soccer

for Randolph College


Anthony Fonnesu started playing soccer when he was only three years old. Since that time, it’s been non-stop.  Though soccer reflected his dad’s native culture in Belgium, Anthony’s parents never pushed one sport over the other.


“I actually played just about everything until I was ten years old,” said Fonnesu, “but then I chose to stick with soccer.”


And sticking with soccer seemed to work for Fonnesu. His years of dedication paid off as he will play soccer for Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia, starting this fall.


“I chose Randolph because of the soccer program, the small class size, and the strong support that is scattered throughout the college through professors and staff. Since the school is in the Division 3 NCAA, I am not able to obtain an athletic scholarship, but I did however, receive a sizeable academic scholarship and signed a letter of intent to play soccer,” said Fonnesu.


Fonnesu will be coached by Brian Waggoner at Randolph and play forward for the college team. He will soon receive a summer workout packet designed for weekly training in preparation for the fall season.


Born and raised in Hickory, Fonnesu attended Oakwood Elementary, Grandview Middle and is currently a senior at Hickory High. At HHS, he started his intense soccer career as a sophomore, playing outside back. The following year, HHS Coach Brian Jillings, moved Fonnesu to play as a forward.


With great respect for his high school coach, Fonnesu shared reflections of learning under Jillings: “Coach Jillings taught me to always follow up a shot because one in three goals are rebounds. On a deeper note, Coach Jillings always told me I was a player that could make it to the next level. He supported me in any obstacle that I encountered and he had an open door if I needed anything,” said Fonnesu.


“I am very excited about Anthony having the opportunity to continue playing soccer at Randolph College,” said Coach Jillings. “He was a dynamic player for us and an absolute nightmare for opposing defenders.  Every time he picked up possession of the ball, he was a threat going to goal. 


“Anthony has tremendous strength and balance making it extremely difficult for defenders to contain him one on one.  He could dribble around a defender or if they backed off of him, he could rip a shot from distance,” said Jillings. “He scored big goal after big goal for us and was always there for us when we needed a source of inspiration.”


According to Jillings, Fonnesu will have no trouble adjusting to the collegiate level. “He already has instilled in him many of the necessary attributes: coachable, passionate, relentless, always willing to learn and a team player who truly cares about his teammates,” said Jillings.  “In addition to his on-field exploits, Anthony is as good a character as it gets off of the field.  He set a standard of excellence that all of our young student-athletes should look to attain.  I've been blessed to work with him for four years here at Hickory and will miss him immensely but I'm excited to see how his career will continue to unfold at Randolph; the sky is the limit.” 


During Fonnesu’s Hickory High career, he was selected All-Conference, NCSCA All-Region, twice; and he was honored with the 2015 NCSCA All-State selection. His 2015 stats include 25 goals and 10 assists (team's leading goal scorer) and six game winning goals. Fonnesu’s career stats include 39 goals and 22 assists for 100 points in three years as a varsity player for Hickory High.


In addition to playing for Hickory High, Fonnesu played soccer for CVYSA for nearly nine years and he has played with Lenoir Force in Lenoir for the past year.


Passionate about the sport, Fonnesu aspires to play professionally upon college graduation. “Soccer is a great sport that requires teamwork, determination, and hard work,” he said. “If you work hard, you will eventually succeed.”


The son of Robert and Beth Fonnesu, Anthony Fonnesu believes the strong community behind his athletic endeavors has made a big difference in his life: “Hickory High and the town of Hickory as a whole has allowed me to grow as a person, a player, and become more confident in my abilities,” he said. “I am excited to attend Randolph this fall because it mirrors the same community atmosphere as my hometown.”