A local sports legend passed away on Tuesday.
Fred Folger Jr. not only was a gifted athlete at the high school level, the future lawyer also was a standout in the college ranks at Duke University.
Born in 1926, Folger graduated from Mount Airy High School in 1943 as a 17-year-old. He was a star in both football and baseball, and was recruited to Duke for both sports. He soon earned the nickname “Fearless Freddie” because of his play on the field.
He didn’t get long at Duke before World War II interfered, and he went into the U.S. Navy, serving from 1944-46. After his two years of duty, Folger returned to Duke and finished out his undergraduate studies.
In 1947 Folger was named all-conference in what was then the Southern Conference. He also was named team MVP and was selected for the Blue-Gray Classic game played after the season in 1948.
The Folger family said that Fred was sought by two NFL teams: the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers. However, Folger wanted to join the family law practice and turned down the sports opportunities to attend law school.
When Mount Airy started its Sports Hall of Fame, Folger was one of the early inductees in 2003. In 2008, he also was voted into the Surry County Sports Hall of Fame.
In 2013, one of Fred’s nephews was inducted into the Surry County Hall of Fame. Mike Chatham was a standout at Elkin who walked on at UNC before becoming an all-conference selection at tight end.
For more on Folger’s life, see the obituary on page 2.