Westbrook seniors sign college scholarships

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Photo: Westbrook Christian seniors Aiden Brown, Brady Fouts, Eli Edge, Cooper Greer and Madelyn Machen (pictured, from left) signed college scholarships on May 9 in Rainbow City. (Photo by Grant Campbell) 

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

Four Westbrook Christian seniors recently took a significant step in their athletic and academic careers.
Aiden Brown (Shorter University, football), Eli Edge (Snead State, golf), Brady Fouts (Millsaps College, soccer), Cooper Greer (Samford University, football) and Madelyn Machen (Huntingdon College, soccer) signed scholarships on May 9 in Rainbow City.
Last season, Brown was selected to the ASWA Class 3A All-State second team and the All-Region 6 and All-Messenger first teams at offensive tackle after grading out at 92 percent for the season, He allowed only two sacks and had 35 pancake blocks while helping the Warriors win five games.
“I’m very honored and thankful to have the opportunity to work with Aiden and Cooper, and I know that big things are in store for both of them,” said Westbrook head football coach and athletic director Steve Smith. “Last spring, I came by campus several times before I was officially here, and there wasn’t a time when I didn’t see Aiden Brown working to get better.
Aiden’s very self-motivated with great leadership qualities and characteristics. But my eyes were really opened when we had our first chapel service, and who was leading the service? Aiden Brown. And if I had my eyes closed and didn’t know who was leading the service, I thought it was someone who had 30 years under his belt as a pastor. For all that I was impressed by Aiden with his athletic ability, that meant more to me than anything else.
“Shorter is getting someone who will make their locker room a better place the first day Aiden walks in there, from both a player perspective and a leadership perspective.”
Despite missing several games midway through the 2023 season, Greer finished with 24 catches for 485 yards and seven touchdowns. He made first-team All-Region.
“The best thing I can say about Cooper is that his best football is in front of him,” said Smith. “His work ethic, along with his tremendous leadership ability, are outstanding, and his ability to become a difference-maker type of player for our team was remarkable. The toughness and determination he displayed in coming back from that injury is something that I can’t say enough about. Cooper’s an outstanding young man, and Samford is getting an outstanding player.”
A four-year starter in goal, Machen helped the Lady Warriors to 35-10-4 record and six playoff victories over the past two seasons. The 2023 Lady Warriors made it to the Class 4A state Final Four. In the 150 shots on goal she faced over the past two years, Machen stopped 130 of them for an 87 percent save percentage.
“Madelyn has always been a factor in our games, not just athletically but verbally in encouraging and pushing her teammates,” said Westbrook girls head soccer coach Jody Keene. “You could hear her from anywhere on the field, and she would always run out to midfield to greet whoever scored for us to congratulate them. Maddie’s going to do great things at the next level.”
“Madelyn has shown time and time again what it means to be an elite goalkeeper,” said Westbrook assistant girls soccer coach Mike Morris. “So it doesn’t surprise me at all that she’s here today. But as good a goalkeeper that she is, Madelyn’s 10 times a better person, and what makes her so impressive is her character. Her wise choices and decisions make her a great student, a great athlete and a great Christian.”
Over the past two seasons in goal, Fouts helped the Warriors win 26 games while making to the Final Four both seasons.
“It’s been an honor over these last three years to coach Brady,” said Westbrook boys soccer coach Danny Dunlap. “He’s a skilled soccer player and an even better young man who has always put forth 100 percent effort. He’s made himself into a great soccer player by his hard work. He went to training outside of our program and worked on developing his skills, and just as importantly, he studied the game. It’s been an honor to be associated with Brady, and he’ll accomplish anything he wants to in life.”
As Westbrook’s No. 1 golfer the past two seasons, Edge led the Warriors to consecutive Class 3A state championships, first in Opelika and this year in Florence.
“I’ve known Eli’s since he was seven or eight years old when he was shooting around par,” said Westbrook assistant golf coach Rob McHugh. “When he was at Etowah, Eli was always ‘that guy,’ and he always beat everyone we put up against him. Finally, he comes to Westbrook in the 10th grade, and his dad Westbrook head coach Greg Edge) comes with him. Eli’s been ‘that guy’ since he arrived here, but he’s always had somebody right behind him and pushing him, and he pushes the other guys to make the whole team better. God has given Eli the ability to play golf, and because of that, Eli will get the opportunity to do things and see places that he never would have figured he would have just a few years ago.”

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