By Amber Autry, CFNN Reporter

Jaylen Hudson

Jaylen Hudson graduated in 2019 from Cape Fear High. He was known around our school for his friendly personality, bright smile, and amazing football skills.

He is now at Wake Forest University furthering his academic and athletic career.

“I am happy with the path I chose, and I wouldn’t change much about the decisions I’ve made,” said Hudson. 

In ten years Hudson sees himself playing football in the NFL, or having a career centered around football in some way. 

His greatest memories from being at Cape Fear are the football games.

“The atmosphere of the rivalry games like Terry Sanford,” said Hudson. “I just loved it and all the support we got as student athletes from the band to the stands. Bringing home trophies and bragging rights.”

Hudson is also proud of his accomplishments on the swim team. He excelled in this sport, even with it being his first year. 

Hudson is someone I admire a lot. I haven’t known him long, but I do know he is a person that anyone and everyone can count on.

Benjamyn Elliott

Benjaymn, Benny, Yung Oatmeal, Benjadinho, Ben, the man of many names, graduated from Cape Fear in 2019. 

Ben was famous at Cape Fear for his great academic success while excelling greatly in athletics and on top of it all, having a funny and well-rounded personality. 

Ben is now continuing his athletic and academic career at The University of Mount Olive. This school’s small class sizes, accessible campus, and feeling of family from the staff are the things that encouraged him to choose UMO as his school.

“My career goal is to play professional soccer at a given level in the U.S. or abroad,” said Ben. “Working my way into a PDL side in the U.S. will be my first step in that direction.”

Ben has a back-up plan just in case. He wants to earn a Bachelor of English and a Bachelor of History, and make a living out of investigative journalism and history education.

His greatest accomplishment at Mount Olive has been making it into the honors program.

One thing Ben would change if he could go back is his graduation date. He would graduate with the class of 2018 to get a head start on his education and athleticism.

His greatest memory from Cape Fear is his first AP class, freshman year with Mr. Lucas. “The seniors, mature young adults I met there, and the lessons learned as well as jokes will stick with me forever. That was one of my first steps to becoming an educated young man.”

In ten years Benjamyn sees himself, “Playing professional soccer in an obscure European country, on the pitch with beautiful mountains in the background.”

Ben is someone who I have known for a very long time. He has always been there for me anytime I need anyone to talk to. We don’t talk often anymore now that we have both gone our separate ways, but I know if I ever reached out to him for anything, he would be there.

Alex Fonseca

Alexander Fonseca was known by everyone at our school as the Dream Clean man with a plan. He graduated in 2019.

He is one of the most interesting people you could ever meet. He’s also the only person who is already successful not even a year after graduating high school.

Fonseca chose not to attend a University right after graduating which was a shock to most people, but now all can see he made the right decision. He is considering to attend FTCC or NCSU in the future. He is currently doing real estate, along with pursuing a career of an entrepreneur. 

Fonseca wouldn’t change much about the path he has chosen.

“Everything worked out better than I could have even imagined,” said Fonseca. “I fell into a path that suits me very well.”

His greatest accomplishment so far after high school is getting his real estate license.

In ten years he hopes to be involved in several businesses with the flexibility to travel often. 

Fonseca’s favorite memories at Cape Fear are his times with Mr. Lucas.

“Chris Lucas and I used to argue quite a bit, those (peaceful) arguments are some of the best memories of my life as they were both very humorous and very educational,” Fonseca said.

Fonseca is like family to me. He has always been someone to be there to help others. If something needs repaired, pressure washed, or painted, Alex will gladly do it without question. He’s a hard-worker and an amazing friend. 

James Haire

James Haire, also known as Mr. Haire by me and his other students, graduated from Cape Fear in 2001. After high school he attended Campbell University.

Though his initial path was music, he switched to pharmaceutical sciences and excelled greatly in this field. He even went on to graduate school before he realized it was not something he loved doing and he was only in it for the salary it promised.

Now James is the choral director at Mac Williams Middle School.

“If I could go back, I would change that as it delayed my career and meant I owed a lot of money on student loans for a degree I was not using.  But it could be that facing the reality of not doing something I loved for a career is what it took to realize what I should be doing. Things have worked out. I love my job.”

He is very proud of his work. He puts on phenomenal concerts every year and shares his music while connecting with his students. “Doing so at a school I attended is also pretty special.”

In the future he plans to continue directing choirs and teaching music.

His greatest memories from high school revolve around soccer and music. “I remember a huge away win at Terry Sanford,” said Haire. “Playing Vehicle and Spyro Gyra songs in stage band.”

These are just a few of the great memories he made here at our school.

A piece of advice he has for all seniors is that if attending college, students should take a conservative route when considering student loans.

“Local public universities – UNCP, FSU, FTCC – offer excellent value, even if you are just using one as a springboard for transferring later,” said Haire.  “Do not put yourself in a position to pay back huge loans. Once you are out of college, you will be ready to move on to bigger things with minimal financial burden.”

James Haire is someone who has had a great impact on my life. He has been one of my greatest influences when choosing my career path, teaching. 

Leslie Groves

Leslie Groves graduated from Cape Fear in 1993. After high school she attended FTCC for two years and studied nursing, but that is not the career path she chose to pursue.

She instead decided to try sales and is now a successful woman, wife, and mother. If she could go back and change anything she would have chosen to go to school for Construction Management or Business because it would have set her up for her current career sooner.

Groves is someone who receives a lot of recognition for her hard work and achievements, but those are not what she considers to be her greatest accomplishments. Before everything, she is a mom.

“My biggest and most cherished accomplishment is my children,” said Groves. “I have had several promotions and accolades, but they are the best thing I will ever do.” 

In the future she plans to continue in the Home Building Industry and possibly open a small family business. Her most treasured memories from high school are the Friday Night Lights.

“Football Season is my biggest memory,” said Groves. “We were not real good then but everyone still came out to support our school. The school pride was awesome.”

Advice she can give to seniors is to work hard and stay positive.

“If you really want something, go after it and work for it,” said Groves. “It feels so much better getting it on your own verses it being given to you.”

Groves is someone I know personally and is a very admirable, selfless person. She is very successful and could definitely be referred to as a “boss lady.”

She is constantly working from home and putting so much effort and time into her work to be able to support her family. She is an amazing worker and mother.