Faith and football
By Bernie Moussad for the FCT
There’s more to be learned from the game of football than how to be bigger and stronger than the opponent. Coach Sam Graham has made it his mission to make sure all players get to hear the message of Christ.
Football for Christ was started 21 years ago and takes place all over the state of Alabama. This year, it was decided that the two-day camp would be offered in Northwest and Northeast. When Coach Mark Heaton received the call asking if the camp could be hosted in Russellville, he said was more than happy to host.
Approximately 65 players came to participate in the day’s events. While they were all gathered in a room, they were told a single verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” Philippians 4:13. The players were asked to memorize this verse and remember it whenever they felt like the work they were being told to do was too much. After a prayer, the players were split up into two groups: third through eighth grade and high schoolers.
Coaches got the players warmed up with some stretches and then put them through a few exercises. These activities ranged from running courses and throwing the football to learning how to change direction in an instance.
The younger group learned similar foundational skills but at a level that they could handle.
After all of these workouts, the players were fed and given a sermon by Bo Shed. This was a moment for all of the players to hear a moving message and possibly change their lives. By the end of the camp, 12 of these young students gave their lives to Christ.
After the sermon, the older student athletes went to work on the combine. Each player was given the chance to show his top performance in sprinting, changing direction mid-run and “shucking a ball.”
All of the results will be sent to colleges to help the players pursue possible college football careers.
At the very end of the camp, all of the players were given a Bible.