‘A good way to be remembered’

Published 8:53 pm Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Barbara Allison is pictured with EA’s James Fuqua, one of two football players she helped send to football camp.

Barbara Allison is pictured with EA’s James Fuqua, one of two football players she helped send to football camp.

The last thing Barbara Allison saw before leaving the house the night her son Noah died, was a picture of the 17-year-old Escambia Academy transfer student and football player with University of Alabama Coach Nick Saban.

The photo was taken at a football camp last summer in Tuscaloosa, which ended just five days before Noah Allison’s 2011 Chevrolet Camero collided with a semi-truck.

That camp has great significance for Barbara because she and her son, who were already close, grew closer.

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She said the two exchanged texts, ate together and chatted during their time in Tuscaloosa.

“We started to talk about football together,” she said.

As a way to honor her son’s memory, Allison started The Real Deal scholarship program this year, which pays to allow a student from EA and a student from Charles Henderson High School in Troy and their parents to go to the camp free of charge.

Noah transferred from CHHS to EA.

“I wanted to be able to two players to the camp and allow their parents to stay in Tuscaloosa,” she said. “I want it to be similar to the experience I had with Noah.”

The two students invited to this year’s camp, which started Sunday, were EA’s James Fuqua, of Brewton and Charles Henderson’s Richard McBryde.

Allison attended the camp as well as is helping to look after the players she helped to send there and “followed them around like a mother hen.”

“It seems familiar,” Allison said. “It feels good and I don’t normally feel good. It feels like I’m supposed to be here.”

Allison provided most of the funding for the scholarships, with additional funds coming from the South University Pro Bono Club, which is a legal studies group at the school where she works as a professor, marketing teacher and program director for the business school. She said she wanted players selected for the scholarship to exhibit traits such as perseverance, teamwork, integrity and humility.

EA coach Hugh Fountain, whom Noah followed from Charles Henderson, said the Real Deal Scholarship was a good program and a fitting way to remember Noah.

“Noah was the real deal type of kid,” Fountain said, explaining that he was a good team leader who was always on time for practice.

Fountain said he recommended Fuqua for the camp, not only because he exemplified some of the traits that made Noah a special player, as do many of EA’s players, but because he has a great opportunity to play at the next level.

“He has a lot of upside potential,” Fountain said. “It will benefit him.”

Fountain said he was honored when Noah and CHHS teammate Tehron Stallworth followed him from Troy to Canoe.

“It’s rare that that happens,” he said.

Fountain said the program is a great way to honor Noah and help others.

“It’s a great way to honor a tragic loss,” Fountain said. “It’s a good way to remember his name.”