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Keeping the faith, on and off the field

Young believers enrolled in state colleges and universities share their experiences playing high school and college-level sports. They also offer advice to other Christian athletes on keeping their spirituality in focus as they compete.

Jesse Bracht: Played high school football and baseball; now a freshman at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., and Linn Benton Community College in Albany, Ore.; a member of Circle Church of Christ in Corvallis, Ore.  Jesse Bracht

“I would get a lot of grief from kids who didn’t understand why I don’t practice or play on Sundays.

“In order to be an example of Christ’s love as an athlete, you must be willing to sacrifice. I think that true Christian athletes are the hardest workers.

“If they want to succeed and still follow the words of Jesus, they have to first give their lives to him, which means spending more time with him than with sports.”
Mia Mukes: Runs varsity women’s track and field (200- and 400-meter) for the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.; a member of the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City.  Mia Mukes

“I think that being around different people in a different environment helps me realize why I go back to my faith and why it’s important. I’m really grateful for my family and how I grew up because I know that it’s really hard to not have a root foundation in God and the Church of Christ.

“Faith-wise, don’t get discouraged, continue on in what you know. There’s always going to be scary moments, but God is on your side so everything should be fine.”
Kameron Coggins: Freshman softball pitcher for Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Ga.; a member of the Lake Park Church of Christ in Georgia.  Kameron Coggins, (far right)

“One thing that I do — that everyone always remembers me by — is pray before every game. No matter what team we’re playing, I always ask if I can say a prayer … before the game I always tell everybody, ‘Have fun and give all the glory to God’ in the huddle.

Be sure to also check out our story Good News for good sports where Erik Tryggestad takes a closer look at how universities are ministering to student athletes.

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