Ford signs with Martin

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Alexis Ford (center) is flanked by her parents Dawn Ford and Ty Curley as she signs her Letter of Intent to attend Martin Methodist College at Pulaski next year on a basketball scholarship. Back row from left is, former MCHS coach Jerrie Henry, Martin Methodist assistant coach Andrea Mize and brother Mitchell Ford. Tribune photo by Mike Inglsbee

Just a few weeks ago Marshall County High School senior post player Alexis Ford had resigned herself to attend Columbia State Community College as a student, but a phone call from her coach to Martin Methodist College at Pulaski changed everything.

"Coach Vincent (Yarbrough) had reached out to me and told me how well she's grown this senior season and what really drew us to her is she has a lot of untapped potential," Martin Methodist assistant coach Andrea Mize said. "Her ceiling is pretty high for someone her height and athleticism, that's something you can't teach."

Steady effort

Ford has been a steady contributor in the post for Marshall County during her Tigerettes career, but a 1-21 record in the 2016 season allowed Ford to fly under the radar and Martin Methodist to pick up an underrated recruit with high potential to contribute early in her career.

"About mid-season you could see that Alexis was really coming into her own and she was at a level of confidence that she just went out and played the game and she just really came along," former MCHS coach Jerrie Henry said. "She's always had it but I just think that she really got more comfortable with herself and you got to see what had been there all along. I think she will do well at the next level."

Martin Methodist is located in Giles County in heart of downtown Pulaski and has grown from a tiny junior college to a four-year institution starting in 1993-94.

The college has undergone extensive renovation since the turn of the millennium and the student body has grown well 1,000 students in the past decade.

NAIA team

The Lady RedHawks are a member of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) Division I level and competes in the Southern States Athletic Conference that includes team from Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana with Martin Methodist being the second smallest school (Blue Mountain College, 505) in the conference and Middle Georgia State University (8,150) being the largest in terms in enrollment.

Alexis Ford, who has accepted an offer from Martin Methodist College, knocks down two points in the post for the Tigerettes. Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca

The Lady RedHawks under current coach Kyle Bent finished the 2015-16 season with 22-12 record a year after setting a school record with 25 wins and finishing in the round of 32 in the NAIA National Tournament.

"We're going to have her play a little bit with our development team so she can get a lot of minutes because college freshman usually don't get a ton of minutes," Mize added. "We'll play her some there and also play some with varsity and that way she'll be playing behind some really good seniors. She'll definitely be pushed to her limits early with practicing with the varsity."

True 'surprise'

Ford, who was also the star goalkeeper for an MCHS soccer team that started the season off with a school record 10 wins, says that although the offer was a surprise, she is going to work hard to make her mark in Pulaski.

"I didn't plan to play anywhere, but they asked me and I was excited to take the offer," Ford stated. "It was definitely a surprise. I'm going to have to put in a lot of work to improve to get where I need to be in the end so I can get some good playing time."