Many applied, but only the most highly qualified made the grade.

Count Christian Freudenberger among those who are in select company.

A senior at Northern Lehigh High School, Freudenberger has accepted his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy.

"When I received my letter of appointment, I was thrilled that my dream had come true and all my hard work had paid off," Freudenberger said. "The chances of getting into the Academy, I knew were slim, because of their standards of excellence are so high. I am proud and honored to accept this appointment, and look forward to serving my God and country as an Officer in the Navy."

What makes that feat even more impressive is the fact that of the 16,000 hopefuls who applied for the Academy this year, only 1,200 were accepted.

In the end, Freudenberger, who had several opportunities to play football at various colleges, turned them all down for the opportunity to serve his country.

Freudenberger said he decided to apply for the Academy after he took driving classes with the Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit.

It was at that time when he met CLIU instructor and Academy graduate Robert Gilbert, whom Freudenberger said piqued his interest in the Academy.

Soon thereafter, Freudenberger said he participated in a six day summer seminar held at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, where he lived and trained with the Academy's Midshipmen.

Freudenberger, who received his nomination from state Rep. Charlie Dent (R-15), said his induction day will by July 1, at which point he will report to Annapolis.

Currently second in his class of 187 students, Freudenberger has a 6.055 grade point average, and takes classes at Penn State Lehigh Valley in the Emerging Health Care.

Perhaps equally as impressive is his litany of academic/athletic accomplishments, which include Class President, National Honor Society member, and National Society Of High School Scholars member.

Other notable achievements include Football Scholastic Athlete of the Year, Colonial League Football 1st Team Offensive and Defensive Lineman, and All-Area and All-State Offensive Lineman.

In addition, he was captain of the football team, played in the McDonald's All Star Classic, won the Bulldog Leadership Award, won the Donley Excellence Award, played the leading role in the high school musical, is president of the Spanish Club, is a staff member and writer for the year book, is a Lehigh Valley Hospital volunteer, and is a Special Olympics volunteer.

Freudenberger said he believes his time at Northern Lehigh has prepared him well.

"My time at Northern Lehigh was mostly spent getting my grades up and lifting in the weightroom for football," he said. "I'd like to thank my parents, and all my teachers and football coaches."

Freudenberger said his future plans are to be a Medcor Doctor and to become a medical missionary.

He is the son of Jeff and Gail Freudenberger, and has a younger brother, Noah.