Posts filed under ‘high school’
As joy erupts from Warner Temple AME Zion Church on Sunday morning, Ty Walker claps his hands, swaying to the music. The beat vibrates the room. Swells of clapping and singing wash over the congregation. Exultant notes and voices saturate those gathered to celebrate, overwhelming them with a message of love. The music fades, and Ty takes his seat in the back of the church, for this moment no longer a basketball star but a worshipper waiting to receive his sermon.
The Rev. George Maize IV takes the pulpit, his charisma infecting everyone in the room.
“Isn’t it wonderful? You don’t make yourself a saint. God invites you to take on the identity he’s prepared for you,” he says to his congregants. “You don’t have to look for who you are, because God got who you are. (more…)
When Brian Soukup started work at his school five years ago, he introduced himself as the boys basketball coach at Trinity.
He would then be asked, “Do you mean Trinity off Aloma?”
“No. Trinity in Deltona,” he would say.
Soukup would be met with blank stares and a quick reply: “Oh. Never heard of it.”
Today, people know about Deltona Trinity Christian Academy, and perhaps the biggest reason why is its improving athletics program. Soukup will be the first to admit athletics played a role in bringing his school more attention and helping boost its enrollment.
The same has happened at many private religious schools in the Central Florida area. It’s yet another clear indication of how religion and sports are becoming more intertwined. It also shows another side to the issue, one in which there are no conflicts with federal law. The remaining question is: should sports be used to better sell your message? (more…)
Nearly the entire Clermont East Ridge High School football team filed into the weight room for another day of lifting, some wearing gray T-shirts, others tank tops. Coach Bud O’Hara asked them to sit for a moment and share why they decided to join the team.
“It helps keep me out of trouble,” one player said.
“This is a second family to rely on,” another added.
Several others chimed in, describing accountability, teamwork, perseverance, dedication. O’Hara replied “Amen” after each one.
“Anyone else?” O’Hara asked. He scanned the room and saw no hands.
“OK, let’s bow our heads for a moment of silence.”
Everyone in the room, including O’Hara and his assistant coaches, closed their eyes and bent their heads. Until a month ago, O’Hara might have recited a prayer or read a devotional. A Christian man, O’Hara believes religion has a firm place in his program because of the good it can do for his kids. (more…)