Freeman family has legacy of athletes in Oxford programs

Sophomore+Grace%2C+Tatum%2C+Brad+and+senior+Luke+Freeman+pose+for+a+family+picture+in+Wyoming+during+the+holidays.+The+Freeman+family+has+a+history+of+participating+in+Oxford+sports+programs.+
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Freeman family has legacy of athletes in Oxford programs

Sophomore Grace, Tatum, Brad and senior Luke Freeman pose for a family picture in Wyoming during the holidays. The Freeman family has a history of participating in Oxford sports programs.

Sophomore Grace, Tatum, Brad and senior Luke Freeman pose for a family picture in Wyoming during the holidays. The Freeman family has a history of participating in Oxford sports programs.

Courtesy of Luke Freeman

Sophomore Grace, Tatum, Brad and senior Luke Freeman pose for a family picture in Wyoming during the holidays. The Freeman family has a history of participating in Oxford sports programs.

Courtesy of Luke Freeman

Courtesy of Luke Freeman

Sophomore Grace, Tatum, Brad and senior Luke Freeman pose for a family picture in Wyoming during the holidays. The Freeman family has a history of participating in Oxford sports programs.

Grace Logan, Sports Editor

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Oxford is the home of many athletes and has had many families play for the Chargers. One family in particular is the Freeman family. Father Brad, senior Luke and sophomore Grace have all worn the Oxford jersey in some form or another.

“I spent my entirety  of my high school career in athletics,” Brad said. “In the fall it was football, in the winter it was basketball, and spring it would be baseball. It had a huge effect on my life and how I grew up. I grew up in Oxford athletics.”

Brad, now an NFL referee, played sports for the majority of his childhood and was a highly scouted baseball player. He was drafted as an eighteen year old right out of high school for the MLB.

“It was a very tough decision. I mean I was eighteen. I thought the amount of money offered was like the most amount of money in the world. Looking back it wasn’t even that much but it was a dream of mine to play in the minors and eventually in the majors,” Brad said.

The “tough decision” ultimately lead Brad to his commitment to Mississippi State University to play baseball.

“Weighing all the options, it was the best decision I made to go to Mississippi State,” Brad said. “We went to two college world series and I was a part of a great baseball team.”

Despite their father being an all star baseball player at Oxford, both Luke and Grace have been starting players for the Oxford soccer teams, with Grace playing since eighth grade.

“[Brad] told me a bunch of stories about how he played varsity in eighth grade and I played soccer in eighth grade,” Grace said.

With the different sports, Brad says there is not necessarily a parallel in that sense. However, he sees similarities in their work ethic.

“What I do see is that they are both very good athletes, extremely fast and athletic and play with great effort. And that is something I tried to do at Oxford High,” Brad said.

Going into his senior year, Luke decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and try out for the high school baseball team.

“Playing baseball this year means a lot to me but a lot more to my dad,” Luke said. “I kind of tried out just for fun but when I made it, my dad was so excited.”

According to Brad, sharing the experience of playing baseball in high  school creates a full circle.

“Luke has never really been a baseball player, he tried it when he was little and when he told me he was going to go out for it this year, I told him like I’ve told him for everything he’s done if you want to do it, go out and do your best and give it your best effort,” Brad said. “I am looking forward to seeing him stealing  several bases and breaking the base stealing record.”

With his father as an alumnus, Luke has heard many stories about Brad’s time at OHS.

“Those stories have shaped me by giving me examples of what to do and what not to do,” Luke said.

Similarly, Tatum Freeman played collegiate soccer at Virginia Tech. But despite their parents being athletes, Tatum and Brad allowed their kids to decide their interests and their sports avenues.

“My family never put pressure on me to play sports,” Grace said. “They were really big on letting me decide my own future.”

According to Brad, one thing he hopes his kids learn is that sports don’t always have the outcome you expect.

“I hope my kids learn is that just because things don’t go the way you think they will on the field but you continue to try and give your best effort,” Brad said.