PEMBROKE — It was a family affair for Ron Alexander and Kanyon Lambert’s signing ceremony on Friday.
Although they are not related, the two signed together to play football at Hudson Valley Community College next fall at Stables Fitness in Pembroke with teammates, Lambert’s family and gym regulars surrounding them.
Alexander, a 2016 graduate from Red Springs, where he was standout running back, and Lambert, a senior linebacker from Lumberton, are the first a several players from the area excepted to go to Hudson Valley CC in Troy, N.Y. Having familiar faces around him is the kind of family atmosphere Alexander looks forward to.
“Now I know I got friends that I call my family and I can go do what I have to do,” he said. “Having these guys with me makes it even better.”
Stables Fitness is part-owned by Lambert’s father Kenneth, who was standing over his shoulder while signing his national letter of intent. Both he and Alexander regularly work out at the facility, where their hard work was recognized with the signing to play college football.
“It’s a great thing and I was excited and nervous,” Lambert said of signing in the familiar place with his family. “It’s a blessing though because I went through so many injuries. I went from being a DI athlete to a junior college athlete because of my grades, but it’s still a blessing to get to play at the next level.
“It’s awesome to know that I won’t be the stranger and won’t know anybody.”
Hudson Valley CC is what Alexander hopes is a fresh start after originally signing with St. Andrews University last year as a senior and then moving on to Averett University in Danville, Va.
“It’s been rough for real,” Alexander said. “It’s a junior college so I can push my grades up and play football while doing it. I’m looking for that starting spot and showing out and going somewhere else.”
In 2015, Alexander led the Red Devils in rushing with more than 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns.
The Division III junior college is a stepping stone for both, but Lambert has lofty goals for his time there and also hopes it opens new doors in the future.
“I plan on starting and getting junior college all-American,” he said. “I’m going to go out and show up everybody who doubted me. That’s my biggest pet peeve and it’s a chip on m shoulder.”
Lambert was an anchor for the Lumberton defense that went 4-7 this season, including a 2-3 mark in Southeastern Conference play.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977. Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.