I’m a Tom Landry guy.
I’m a Bobby Bowden guy.
I’m a Mark Richt guy.
I’ll stop there.
If you can’t find the theme, I’ll help you.
Great men, great coaches and even better Christians.
I was thinking about Bowden Saturday night at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Victory Bowl game in Waco.
If you have never heard Bowden speak at an FCA function, you have missed one of the best preachers in America. I asked Bowden once if he ever thought about becoming a preacher and he laughed and said, “Aweee, I never felt like I was good enough.’’
He is. Trust me, he is.
He’s one of those guys who believes in Christ and the FCA.
Bowden often tells the story about losing a player years ago when he was coaching at Florida State. One of his players was in a club. An argument started and a man pulled out a gun and shot and killed the FSU player.
The next day Bowden called his team together. It wasn’t just a team meeting to grieve the loss of a friend and teammate. Bowden gathered everyone so he could deliver the gospel to his kids. He gave a sincere and emotional witness to those players, telling them nothing is guaranteed. Your life can end just that quickly, in a blink of an eye. He opened up and moved the hearts of young men that day.
He wanted to give them eternity.
Bowden went home, and about 15 minutes later someone was at the door. It was FSU offensive coordinator Mark Richt.
Richt wanted to know more about what Bowden had said at the meeting, so the two men sat down with the Bible and had a life-changing afternoon.
Today Richt is the head football coach at the University of Georgia. You might not like the Bulldogs, but you can’t help from liking and admiring Richt. He’s a salt-of-the-earth Christian. He doesn’t just talk it, he lives the life, and of course, he is now a big supporter of the FCA.
That’s what happens with the FCA, and what the organization stands for — passing on the gospel and touching lives.
Dan Reeves, the former Cowboys star and NFL coach, is retired now, and he too spends time speaking at functions and contributing to the FCA.
I asked Reeves once about it and he told me in no uncertain terms why he believes in the FCA.
“Young people need the FCA, and they need it now more than ever before,’’ Reeves said.
Reeves didn’t grow up with the FCA.
“No,’’ he said. “I got involved with the FCA when I got to the Cowboys. It was because of coach Landry.’’
Just passing it on...
Landry touched countless lives as a football coach and as a Christian, just as Reeves does now. Just as Bowden continues to do every day in his life as a former coach, and just like Richt, who heard the message that changed his life — and ultimately the lives of others — from Bowden.
Just like Navarro football coach Brian Mayper, who was surprised and honored last Saturday night when he was named the FCA’s Coach of the Year. He made it a part of life on campus when he got the job at Navarro, made it important the minute he got the job.
He’s passing it on in Corsicana.
I’ve known so many high school and college coaches who believe in the FCA, and it would take hours to talk about all the NFL players who believe in what the FCA stands for and support it.
The message is ageless and timeless, and like Reeves says, it’s more important now than ever before.
All those men would have liked the FCA Victory Bowl in Waco.
The game had its moments, but talking to the kids afterward was inspiring. One by one they each talked about how the week had been one the best in their lives, about how they came together to talk about Christ and God, how it stayed with them.
It was moving. It was emotional, and it was riveting for those kids.
Wortham senior Chris Lee, who played linebacker for the Red team, said it best when he said the best part of the week, “was the pep rally and watching the coaches and players get saved.’’
He meant it.
I’ve got a feeling Chris will be passing it on, too.
You gotta love the FCA and what it stands for. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed the game so much and why it stayed with me.
Made me think about Landry and Bowden and Richt...
I’m a Tom Landry guy.
Area schedule for the week
Here's a look at this week's schedule for Golden Ciircle teams and Navarro College. The schedule does not include upcoming bi-district playoff games in softball because times and sites have yet to be determined.
GC Baseball/Softball: Blooming Grove sweeps Rice in baseball and softball
Blooming Grove's Lions needed this one.
Heck, they need all of them.
That's where they're living today on the Blooming Grove diamond, where everyone knew going into Friday's game with Rice that the Lions need to win their final three games to have a chance of nailing down the final playoff spot in District 23-2A.
One down, two to go.
“It's in our hands,'' said Blooming Grove Coach Matt Anderson moments after his kids beat Rice 8-0 Friday night. “As long as we take care of our business we'll be fine.''
GC Softball/Baseball Roundup: Frost girls win district title
Frost's Lady Polar Bears needed to win to nail down the district title and they never trailed, jumping out to a 7-0 lead en route to an 11-7 clinching victory over Itasca Friday on the road. They wrapped up their second district title in a row with a 9-1 record and enter the playoffs next week at 13-1.
CHS Baseball/Softball: Whitehouse sweeps Tigers in baseball and softball
The Tigers lost a tough game to Whitehouse, 11-3 as the Wildcats' ace, Pat Mahomes, who went four innings and gave up all three runs on two hits and five walks
GC Basketball/Baseball: Mildred's Connor Hill sees life clearly
There was never any doubt for Connor Hill, never any question about what he would do or how he would do it.
Sure, there was that meeting with his mother and father and talks with the doctor when he was 10, talks and meetings that came accompanied with worry and concern.
But never from Connor.
He just never dwelled on the fact he played sports with one eye. He didn't worry or talk about it when he was 10 and he never talked about it at Mildred High, where Hill emerged as a star on the basketball court and baseball diamond.
GC Track & Field: Roundup — Frost girls win area meet
The Frost Lady Polar Bears made a shambles of their district track & field meet last week, scoring 206 points, and they were dominate again in the area meet Thursday, scoring 162 points to win the meet at Blooming Grove.
Morgan:The new endangered species
Am I just that old, or have amateur athletics gone absolutely nuts these days? On second thought, don’t answer that unless it’s yes to the nuts part.
High School and college basketball are on the verge of being totally ruined by AAU basketball. Top roundball prospects are identified by the junior high level if not earlier.
GC Track & Field: Area meet Roundup
Corsicana's Gilfillan wins 4A area pole vault title; Frost girls win 1A area team title, Frost boys finish second
GC Baseball: Mildred falls to Riesel, 9-0, on the road
Mildred managed a hit and struck out 12 times in a 9-0 loss on the road that could have given the Eagles some cushion in the 23-2A standings. They are now 5-6 with a game at league-leading Teague Tuesday.
CHS Soccer: Tigers boys and girls top off season with strong showing on All-District teams
That tough and gutsy style of play sent both the boys and girls teams into the playoffs and on Thursday the Tigers were rewarded again for their fine seasons as two boys won special honors,four boys were named to the All-District first team and two girls earned first-team honors.
Michael Roman, who did a little of everything — and did it well — was named the District 28-4A Utility Player of the Year, and sophomore defender Jesus Barreto was named the district's Newcomer of the Year.
- More Sports Headlines
- Area schedule for the week