Lee Academy’s Stonestreet signs with Delta State
By Josh Troy
Lee Academy senior linebacker Sam Stonestreet continued a family tradition when he officially committed to play college football at Delta State University on National Signing Day last week. Stonestreet’s parents, grandmother, and grandfather all graduated from Delta State. He said he would live on campus but looks forward to having his family nearby. “I’ll be able to come home a lot,” he said. “They’ll be able to come visit me. That will be nice.”
The Statesmen finished 11-2 last season to win the Gulf South Conference Championship. “I’ve kind of always had my eye on Delta State evey since I was a young boy,” Stonestreet said. “It was close to home. I like the environment there. They have a really good football team. They have a really good program facility, coaching staff, and academically as well.”
In addition to playing linebacker for the Colts, Stonestreet also saw action at running back, tight end, halfback, and any other position where he was needed. But there was never any question Stonestreet would play linebacker for the Statesmen. “I’ve always played linebacker,” he said. “It’s the position I’ve played all my life, and it’s the one I’ve really been trying to make the next level at. That’s what I’m the best at. Really, I’m an athletic guy, so I could play anywhere they need me to. I did blocking, running, and catching.”
Stonestreet is a catcher and outfielder for the Colts baseball team and throws the disc for track and field. However, he first played football in fourth grade and knew he wanted to continue his career in college. “I love it,” he said. “I am passionate.” Stonestreet was a MAIS All-Star and earned all All-MAIS honors at the linebacker position his senior year. He finished the season with 133 tackles, two interceptions, two sacks, and at least three touchdowns.
Stonestreet said his best game his senior year came in a 40-0 victory at home against Marshall Academy to clinch the district championship. He had an estimated 12 to 13 tackles and one touchdown in the win. Lee Academy finished the 2022 season 7-4 to win the district championship but lost in the first round of the playoffs at home against Tri-County Academy.
During Stonestreet’s junior year in 2021, the Colts won one game and missed the playoffs. Only two seniors were on the 2021 roster, but the team brought back more experience in 2022 and capitalized on a district championship. “That junior year really prepped us for this year,” he said. Stonestreet was happy to end his high school career on a positive note.
“It was certainly nice, winning one game our junior year and then only losing three or four our senior year was really nice,” he said. Stonestreet enjoyed his time as a Colt. “I cherish it,” he said. “I enjoyed my time here. I enjoyed everything, the highs, and lows.”
Stonestreet spends much of his time playing football, but he is a student first, as he currently maintains a 4.0 GPA and scored a 30 on the ACT. “I always have to cut out time to study and make sure I’m doing my studies, getting everything done, doing all my homework,” he said. “I always said work before play. I always get my work done before I do anything, make sure I keep up with my academics so I can play sports.”
Stonestreet is a little shorter than 6 feet and approximately 200 pounds. “I’ll definitely have to get a little bit heavier,” Stonestreet said. “It would be nice to get taller, but not very practical,” he jokingly continued. Stonestreet is prepared for one of his toughest offseason workouts in preparation for the 2023 football season with the Statesmen. “It’s really great,” said Stonestreet of the workout program. “They have a lot of intense workouts, meal plans and everything.”
PHOTO CUTLINE: Lee Academy senior linebacker Sam Stonestreet with Delta State University. Seated from left are Stonestreet’s brother Harris, Stonestreet, Stonestreet’s sister Liza and Stonestreet’s brother Michael. Standing from left are Stonestreet’s parents, Stoney and Mary Evelyn.