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Former NFL coach speaks at Fellowship of Christian Athletes fundraising banquet
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Former NFL player and coach Dan Reeves tells the story of how his playing career ended with the Dallas Cowboys in 1969 and how that opened doors for him as a coach during Thursday's Coastal Plains and Georgia Southern University Fellowship of Christian Athletes fundraising banquet. Reeves demonstrated how adversity can lead to opportunity through stories and experiences from his playing and coaching days. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Want to help?

   If you would like to sponsor an athlete for FCA camp, contact Boyd Green at bgreen@fca.org or (912) 682-9595.

    The Belle House was filled to capacity with local coaches, players, parents and supporters at last Thursday’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes Fundraising Banquet.

    Young athletes from area schools took a break from passing balls to teammates and passed plates to guests instead, serving the meal catered by Uncle Shug’s Restaurant, an FCA supporter.

    The keynote speaker for the event was former NFL coach Dan Reeves. Reeves coached 23 years for the Denver Broncos, New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons. He played or coached in nine Super Bowls and spent 16 years with the Cowboys organization prior to coaching.

    In 1998, Reeves was named NFL Coach of the Year with a 14-2 record and Super Bowl appearance after going 7-9 in his first season with Atlanta.

    At the banquet, Reeves encouraged players, as well as others in attendance, to live a Christ-like life both on and off the field.

    “Our heavenly Father sees what we do every single day,” Reeves said. “What a great place it would be if we all remembered there’s also somebody watching each step you make and might want to be just like you.

    “I know the kind of influence coaches have on players and what kind of influence players have on each other,” he continued. “FCA is the vehicle that can tell kids who’ve never heard about God. I encourage you to be one of the ones to give what it takes to do that.”

    Boyd Green, the FCA area director, reminded guests of the vision of FCA, to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes. Bradley Ward, Statesboro High School assistant football and baseball coach; Patia Rountree, Southeast Bulloch Middle School huddle coach; and Drew Robertson, SEB Middle School leadership team member, shared testimonies of the benefits and impact of FCA.

    FCA serves more than 1,000 students monthly through on-campus, student-led “huddle groups” or campus Bible study. It is a faith-funded ministry, meaning it is the responsibility of each FCA staff person to raise all of the operating expenses, like Bibles, resources, staff salary and camp scholarships. Six local teams have committed to camp this summer, provided funding is available to meet the camp’s needs.

    “This summer, we will host two football, two softball, a baseball, a basketball and a cheerleading camp,” Green said. “Each camp is three to four days and is open to any team that wants to make the trip.”

    Last summer, three FCA members and Statesboro High School football athletes attended an FCA competitors camp in Black Mountain, N.C., for five days.

    Brandon Maple jokingly said: “The most challenging part about camp was walking up and down that mountain every day,” but then seriously added, “My relationship with God got better every minute of the day; (camp) got my relationship stronger with God.”

    Wesley Budgett said camp helped him become a better leader.

    Another player, John Underwood, after joking that he was hesitant about leaving for camp because “the river was right” for fishing said, “I learned how to compete for God. Camp opened my eyes to honoring God with everything about football, every snap, every play.”

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