A room full of parents, players, coaches and Fellowship of Christian Athletes volunteers got together Sunday to prepare for the third annual FCA Heart of Champions Bowl.
The game, which features high school football stars in East Texas, is scheduled for June 15 on Earl Campbell Field at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
“I am excited and pleased that the Heart of a Champion Bowl continues to expand throughout the Northeast Texas area,” said Robert Bardin, event coordinator and area representative for the Tyler/Longview Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. “This year we have between 60-65 high schools represented in the game.
“Last year we had 50 schools; and the feedback we have gotten speaks to the type of quality event this has become for Tyler-Longview and the surrounding areas.”
The teams were announced during a ceremony on Sunday in the Galilee Room at Green Acres Baptist Church.
The first year at Rose Stadium the crowd exceeded 5,000 but dropped off a bit last year with the game at Lobo Stadium in Longview, Bardin said. The game was played in Longview while new turf was installed in Tyler.
Bardin said the game is an opportunity to play against some of the best East Texas football players and also share the word of Christ through sports and athletics in general.
“The fact that, through the talent of the players, cheerleaders and coaches of Northeast Texas, we get the opportunity to honor God in all we do and to share the story of the ministry of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes on middle school, high school and college campuses in our area.
“It was great to see the players in their school jerseys today and see the hard work that has taken place behind the scenes for this to come together. We have close to 40 of these players who will be going on to play football at the next level. For the rest, it will be one more opportunity to put on the pads, jersey and helmet in order to play the game they love.”
Bardin added, “June 15th can’t get here quick enough because there was a lot of excitement and kids really looking forward to this game.”
Harmony’s Tim Russell will serve as the Blue head coach.
“This event is a really great event for all the parents, players and coaches,” Russell said. “The kids create a great bond when they get together and maybe the best part is a great chance not only to learn some football but they get as much spiritually out of the week I think as anything.”
Jared Moffatt of Van will be the Red Team head coach and mirrored the comments of Russell.
“I got to work this game last year as an assistant too and two major points set this FCA All-Star game aside from the other all-star affairs,” Moffatt said. “… I know we are going to emphasize — Number one … this game is a great opportunity for these kids to show off their talents and build a bond with the teammates. Secondly … it’s a great chance for the players to hear testimonials and scriptures from the coaches, different stories and situations that changed their lives early on, and maybe that will prepare them all for the next level.”
Players sponsorships for the program are available for purchase, and all ticket sales will be at the gate on game day.
For more information, contact Bardin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 903-752-9339.