Fly­ing for foot­ball

Al­covy grad gets full ride to Air Force Academy

The Covington News - - SPORTS - KAYLA ROBINS krobins@cov­

An Al­covy High School grad­u­ate’s hard work in the class­room and on the field paid off when the United States Air Force came call­ing.

Robert Bullard ac­cepted a full-ride foot­ball schol­ar­ship to at­tend the U.S. Air Force Academy in the fall, an ed­u­ca­tion val­ued at an es­ti­mated $416,000, ac­cord­ing to the Academy’s pub­lic af­fairs of­fice.

The Tigers’ de­fen­sive cor­ner­back ad­mit­ted the Academy was not ini­tially on his radar un­til a re­cruit­ing coach con­tacted him in his ju­nior year of high school.

“The more I learned about the Air Force Academy, the more I learned of all the good things I could get at­tend­ing there,” Bullard said.

He said once he set his sights on the Academy, he fo­cused on con­tin­u­ing to make good grades and stay­ing on top of his aca­demics.

“I wanted to be the best stu­dent ath­lete I could be,” Bullard said.

Even though he was busy with foot­ball and school­work, he still made time for the FBLA Club and the Distin­guished Gen­tle­men’s Club.

“Robert has demon­strated a com­mit­ment to the to­tal school pro­gram here at Al­covy,” said Kirk Hoff­man, Al­covy’s foot­ball coach. “As a foot­ball coach, noth­ing pleases me more than see­ing my ath­letes ex­cel on both the field and in the class­room.

“Robert is in­tel­li­gent, ath­letic, hard- work­ing and friendly. He shows equal per­sis­tence and ded­i­ca­tion in his ath­letic en­deav­ors as he does in his aca­demic work. He has earned and de­serves the hon­ors that he has achieved on and off the play­ing field. I truly be­lieve that Robert will make Al­covy proud as he takes his ath­letic talent to the Air Force Academy next year.”

Bullard said he al­ready has his fu­ture goals mapped out.

“When I go to the Academy, I want to get my de­gree in busi­ness while play­ing foot­ball, which is a love of mine,” Bullard said. “I want to get a good ed­u­ca­tion and

a good job and pro­vide for my fam­ily.”

He will at­tend the Academy prep school his first year then trans­fer to the Academy for the re­main­ing four years. When he grad­u­ates, Bullard will be com­mis­sioned as a sec­ond lieu­tenant in the U. S. Air Force. Ul­ti­mately, he said his goal is to gain a job in con­tract­ing for the Air Force.

Bullard said he hasn’t de­cided if he wants to pur­sue a full 20- year ca­reer with the Air Force be­cause he also has as­pi­ra­tions to play pro­fes­sional foot­ball.

“I know I have the abil­i­ties to make it far,” Bullard said. “In the Air Force, you have to wait two years af­ter you grad­u­ate be­fore you can get into the NFL. So if it goes like I want it to, I can see my­self do­ing that.”

He said when he thinks about it, at­tend­ing the Air Force Academy is a “no-brainer.”

“It’s amaz­ing,” Bullard said. “I don’t have to pay any­thing, I’ll get a great ed­u­ca­tion, and I get to play a sport I love – it’s just a dream come true.”

Mil­i­tary ser­vice is noth­ing new to Bullard’s fam­ily, he said. His grand­fa­ther was in the U.S. Army, and two un­cles and one cousin served in the U.S. Air Force. His mother, Natasha Bullard, said the en­tire fam­ily is ex­cited for her son and his in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity to at­tend the Academy and ul­ti­mately serve his coun­try.

“Robert excels in ev­ery­thing that he does,” said San­dra Owens, Al­covy High School’s prin­ci­pal. “His ac­com­plish­ments at Al­covy High School have opened the door of op­por­tu­nity to at­tend the U.S. Air Force Academy. I know he will be suc­cess­ful there, and this fam­ily plus the Al­covy com­mu­nity are very proud of him.”

Robert Bullard

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