During the Fellowship of Christian Athletes annual Home Team banquet at the Southern Illinois University Center ballroom, the attendees celebrated the 10th year local anniversary and also the excellence of athletes and coaches in their devotion to Christ.
Brian Summerville, the Carondale’s second-place soccer team, led the gathering in an opening prayer.
Clyde Christensen, the wide receivers coach for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, was the featured speaker for the event. He used Moses as an example of the kind of leadership all the athletes and coaches should have. Christensen said that although Moses wasn’t perfect nor charismatic, he became a “Hall-of-Fame” leader by following God.
In between, words were heard from Harrisburg baseball coach Joe Thompson, former Carterville assistant football coach Kurt Martin, and local FCA leader Roger Lipe, who presented an award to Cobden athletic director Josh Franklin for his involvement in the ministry.
During the banquet, Cobden athletic director Josh Franklin was also an example of exceptional leadership Tuesday night as he was recognized as “Huddle Coach of the Year”. Local FCA leader Roger Lipe presented him with the award.
Franklin humbly accepted the award. He later said, “It's not something you ever do for a reward or recognition. It's something you're committed to. It's humbling when your influence is noticed."
However, he felt the reward he did receive was enough. "Seeing kids developing as Christians is more than any paycheck can pay,” he said. He felt the relationships that coaches build with their athletes is more important than the wins and losses. “If we can make an impact, and teach world values, that's much larger than winning championships.”
One way FCA encourages bondage between the coaches and athletes is through the FCA Summer Camps, which was also a focus during the banquet.
Summerville indicated the best feature of FCA is the audience it caters to.
"The best thing about it is it attracts a lot of athletes," Summerville said after the banquet. He said they could “have fun and still learn about God through sports.”