Although her high school volleyball career ended in November, Lake Dallas alum Ruthie Forson has some awards to add to her collection before she leaves for college.
Forson, who will play volleyball for Southeastern Oklahoma State this fall, was named the winner of the Lay Witnesses for Christ International 2019 Texas Female Christian Athlete of the Year in March. She also took home the Richard Bucknor Maximizing Your Potential Award. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the awards banquet.
Lake Dallas head coach Kristinn Holbrooks nominated Forson for her accomplishments on the court and in the classroom, as well as her positive influence on those around her. Forson helped to navigate the Lady Falcons to a playoff berth and a 25-13 record under the direction of their first-year coach. As a senior, Forson recorded 1,323 assists to finish with 2,365 for her career. She dished out her 1,000th assist of the season on Oct. 15, 2019, in Lake Dallas’ win over Braswell.
"They mean a lot,” Forson said. “I'm very thankful that coach Holbrooks nominated me for them. My religion and my beliefs are something that means a lot to me, so I'm very thankful that I got those two (awards) and to show who I am."
LWCI is a sports-focused ministry that uses the platform of world-class athletes to reach young people through Jesus Christ.
In her essay to Lay Witnesses for Christian International, Holbrooks wrote that Forson and her father Donny, a preacher, share the love for Jeremiah 17:7: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.” Donny was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma in February.
“Ruthie experienced a variety of losses that helped mold her into who she is today,” Holbrooks wrote. “Being the youngest of four, she experienced the loss of her siblings as they all grew up and moved off to college and started other families. She experienced the loss of memory when her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and later passed away.”
Yet, for all of the setbacks that Forson has experienced in her life, Holbrooks said her team’s former standout setter “has a smile that will light up any room.”
The two awards that Forson won in March punctuated a stellar high school career. She was named the District 8-5A setter of the year in both 2018 and 2019, earned academic all-district honors all four years, was named all-state honorable mention as a senior and to the all-area team in 2018.
Away from the court, Forson volunteers for local charities, is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and worked closely with the Best Buddies program while at Lake Dallas.
As she prepares for her freshman season at Southeastern Oklahoma State, Folson said the coronavirus pandemic has “helped me in more ways than I would have thought, because it gives me more time to train and more time to practice.”
The strength and conditioning coach for the Savage Storm has sent workouts to Forson and the team has had meetings over Zoom.
Southeastern has a report date of Aug. 7 for its volleyball team.
“I’m super excited that they already have it, because it gives me more time to prepare,” Forson said. “I know what’s ahead of me now.”
Ruthie is the daughter of Donny and Tamra Forson.