23 Alabama students offered appointments to United States military academies

Alabama News

US MILITARY concept with branch tapes on woodland camouflage uniform

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U.S. Sen. Doug Jones announced 23 Alabama students have received offers of appointment to United States military academies after he nominated them last fall.

To be nominated by Jones, students had to complete an intensive application and interview process.

“Through their leadership, academic excellence and volunteer activities, this group of outstanding students has shown an exceptional commitment to their schools and communities,” Jones said. “I know each one will continue their outstanding accomplishments throughout their academy careers and in years beyond. It was an honor to nominate these students and I have full confidence they will represent their home state of Alabama and the United States extremely well.”

Applications for the class of 2025 will open in mid-June. For more information about the nomination process, click here.

The following is a list of students nominated by Sen. Doug Jones:

North Alabama

  • Matthew McColl Huttula, of Huntsville, is a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Latin Honor Society and the varsity soccer team and an active member of the Boy Scouts. Matthew is the son of Andrew and Ashley Huttula. Both his father and grandfather served in the Navy Dental Corps, inspiring him to do the same. Matthew is looking forward to attending the United States Naval Academy and developing the skills needed to be a successful Midshipman.
  • Ellis Cade Hatfield, of Athens, is a member of the Athens High School Beta Club, the National Honors Society, and holds leadership positions in numerous organizations, including JROTC and Student Counsel Association. He is also member of his school’s wrestling, track and soccer teams. Cade is the son of Eric and Emily Hatfield. He is looking forward to furthering his leadership and discipline at the United States Military Academy and is excited to go on to serve and protect his country. 
  • Madison Marie Rader, of Harvest, is a senior at Madison High School and is a member ofNational Honor Society, Key Club, Junior Civitan and the varsity soccer team. Madison is the daughter of Catherine and Jason Rader. She is looking forward to attending the United States Air Force Academy and going on to serve her country. 
  • Riley Curtis Worshek, of Huntsville, is a senior at Contemporary Education Academy and is a Scholastic All American. He is also an accomplished athlete—swimming, playing football and competing in triathlons, Riley is looking forward to swimming for the United States Military Academy Black Knights. He is an active volunteer, swim coach, local and international mission team member, and serves on his church praise team. Riley is the son of Curt and Cari Worshek. His future plans include a military career in either Army Aviation or Infantry.

Central Alabama

  • Noah Harper, of Wilsonville, is a senior at Shelby County High School where he plays varsity tennis and basketball. He also is a member of National Honor Society, Beta Club, Peer Helpers, Key Club and Scholars Bowl.  He is involved with community youth basketball programs, is an active volunteer with the Sheepdog Organization and enjoys playing the guitar. Noah is the son of Jacob and Leah Harper. His future plans include obtaining a degree in biochemistry at the United States Air Force Academy and pursuing a career in medicine while serving his country.
  • Nicholas Messina, of Hoover, attends John Carroll Catholic High School where he serves as Senior Class Vice President, an active member of the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta, Vice President of Catholic Students Modeling Christ Club and has also served as a JCCHS Student Ambassador for two years. He is a captain of the JCCHS varsity soccer team, which he has played on for four years. Nicholas is the son of Frank Anthony Messina and Kimberly Ozeki Messina. He is looking forward to attending the United States Naval Academy and serving in the Navy.
  • William Reid Freeman, of Mountain Brook, is President of the Mountain Brook High School Spanish Club, Coding Club, and Mu Alpha Theta. He is an active member in his church, the National Honor Society and the MBHS Soccer Team. Reid is the son of Carolyn and John Freeman. He plans to earn a degree in electrical engineering at the United States Naval Academy and is excited to serve his country in the Navy upon graduation.  
  • Alexander Andreas Sabri, of Vestavia Hills, is a member of the Vestavia Hills High School Key Club, New Student Committee and Rise Committee, and plays on club soccer teams. His interest in pursuing a major in marine engineering and making a last impact on the country sparked his interest in attending a military academy. Alexander is the son of Sammy and Julie Sabri. He is looking forward to the next four years at the United States Merchant Marine Academy and wants to go on to proudly serve his country in United States Armed Forces.
  • Shawn Garrett Goyal, of Birmingham, is a member of the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honors Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Boy Scouts and President of Altamont Outdoors Club. He also is a member of the Altamont High School Debate Team as well as tennis and cross-country teams. Shawn is the son of Dr. Rita Goyal. He is looking forward to pursing his interest in computer science and aerospace engineering at the United States Naval Academy, as well as continuing to develop the skills needed to successfully serve in the military upon graduation.
  • Elliott James Gage, of Chelsea, is an active student at Chelsea High School where he serves as the Class President, Peer Helper President, wrestling team captain, member of Ambassadors, National Honor Society, and the Student Government Association. He also is on the Senior Leadership Team for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society SOY program. Elliott is the son of Jeffery and Julie Gage. He will be attending the United States Naval Academy and hopes to later attend medical school to serve his country as a doctor in the United States Navy.
  • Jeffery Hunter Smyth, of Vestavia Hills, serves as the Vestavia Hills High School Student Government Association Senior Class President, is a member of the Youth Leadership Vestavia Hills and Help the Hill Student Teams, as well as an active member of Briarwood Presbyterian Church. Hunter also competes on the varsity lacrosse and cross-country track teams. Hunter is the son of John and Leigh Ann Smyth. He is excited to attend the United States Military Academy this fall and go on to proudly serve his nation.
  • Maximillian Renfro, of Mountain Brook, is an enlisted soldier in the Alabama Army National Guard, a 2020 graduate of Marion Military Institute and a 2018 graduate of The Altamont School. At Marion, he served as Honor Council Chairman, captained the Ethics Bowl team and achieved the rank of cadet major. He is also the recipient of the 2019 MMI English Departmental Award, the 2018 Hailey Porter Shook Latin Cup and the 2017 Margret Mathew Gage Award in American History. Maximillian is the son of Nathanael and Ellen Renfro. He will study international affairs and grand strategy while attending the United States Military Academy and plans to serve as an officer in the United States Army Military Intelligence Corps upon graduation.
  • Shane Alexander Mackey, of Vestavia Hills, has swum competitively for seven years, most recently served as the captain of the Vestavia Hills High School Swim Team. Shane also is an accomplished pianist and has been an active member of the Speech and Debate and Math Teams. He regularly volunteers at the Lakeshore Foundation and is President of his high school’s Habitat for Humanity Club. Shane is the son of Chet and Yong Mackey. He is looking forward to attending the United States Naval Academy and serving his country through a career in the Navy and eventually NASA.
  • Madison Brooke Adamson, of Hoover, is the team captain for Hoover High School’s girls’ basketball program and also served as the Air Force JROTC captain. She will be the first black American female from Hoover to attend the Air Force Academy Prep School. Madison is the daughter of Ronny and Sandra Adamson. She is looking forward to attending the United States Airforce Academy Prep School , where she will play on the women’s basketball team.


  • Anna-Grace Dumas, of Dothan, is an active member of the National Honor Society, Student Government Association and the Latin Club at Houston Academy. She was the drum major for her high school marching band and plays clarinet and saxophone in both the concert and jazz band. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and baking. Anna-Grace is the daughter of Anthony and Patricia Dumas. Her future plans include earning a degree in ocean engineering at the United States Naval Academy and becoming a Surface Warfare Officer.
  • Taylor Hayes Edwards, of Midland City, is a student athlete and musician at Houston Academy. He plays varsity tennis—winning back-to-back state championships—while also serving as lead trumpet and band captain in the school’s marching, concert and jazz bands. He is active in the National Honor Society, the ARK Service Club, and competes on the school’s Scholar’s Bowl and Math Teams. Hayes is the son of William and Jennifer Edwards. His plans include obtaining a degree in aeronautical engineering at the United States Air Force Academy, which will help him achieve his goal of becoming a pilot in the United States Air Force.
  • Joseph Caroll Barnes, of Demopolis, currently serves as the President of Student Council and captain of the varsity soccer team at Demopolis High School. As an Eagle Scout, he has also served as a section chief for the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s National Honor Society, and is involved at Trinity Episcopal Church in Demopolis. Joseph is the son of J.D. and Amanda Barnes. He plans to pursue a degree in international affairs while attending the United States Military Academy and is considering a career of service in the military or government.
  • Bailee Lodusky Segars, of Dothan, is a college freshman at the University of Alabama Birmingham, where she is studying computer science, plays D-1 ultimate frisbee and is an active member of the UAB Associate of Computing Machinery chapter. In high school, Bailee was President of Northview High School’s MCJROTC program and the varsity rifle captain. Bailee is the daughter of Paul and Patricia Segars. She will continue studying computer science at the United States Military Academy and her future plans include becoming a Cyber Security Officer.

South Alabama

  • Kaylee Grace LaPorte, of Mobile, is a graduate of James I. O’Neil High School and attended West Point Prep School. She was company commander for her school’s JROTC program, President of Youth in Government, a member of the National Honor Society and the lead teaching assistant for the chemistry department. Her father graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1993 and her brother will graduate in 2020. Kaylee is the daughter of Grover and Scharla LaPorte. Her future plans are to major in chemical engineering, and possibly branch engineering, at the United States Military Academy
  • Eden Caroline Blackmon, of Mobile, is a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club, Pride Club, Football Game Day Volunteer and Secretary of the Green Club at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School. She serves on the Mobile County Youth Drug Education Council Advisory Board and volunteers with Mobile BayKeeper. Eden is active in St. Mary Catholic Parish and has served in many capacities, including Pre-School VBS Coordinator. Eden is the daughter of Samuel and Christy Blackmon. While attending the United States Merchant Marine Academy, she plans to study marine transportation. She credits growing up in The Port City as the impetus for wanting to become a Merchant Marine.
  • Collin Laird, of Silverhill, has participated in a variety of organizations including National Honor Society, Rho Kappa Honors Society, FCA and was also captain of his school’s football and basketball teams, and a member of the tennis team. He also attended Marion Military Institute with a Falcon Scholarship from the United States Air Force Academy. Collin is the son of Russ and Marsha Laird. His future plans include becoming a fighter pilot and serving the country at any capacity he can. He is looking forward to the experiences and academic rigor of the United States Air Force Academy.
  • Ollen McCrae Brown, of Fairhope, serves as President of the National Honor Society at Bayshore Christian School where he is also a Student Ambassador and student government leader. He is also active in varsity athletics—competing on the soccer, baseball, cross-country and basketball teams. Ollen is the son of Jason and Adriel Brown. He plans to major in mechanical engineering at the United States Naval Academy and serve as a United States Marine.
  • Buddy Joseph Arensberg, of Mobile, is a member of the National Honor Society, physics team and varsity football team at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School. He is also active in his community, serving as a student tutor and volunteering at St. Mary’s Church. Buddy is the son of Patrick and Connie Arensberg. He plans to study engineering at the United States Merchant Marine Academy and upon graduation, proudly serve his country.