Greenville Hurricanes foster family, football, faith

Homeschool football team creates community
FOX Carolina's Carmine Gemei has the story.
Published: Sep. 7, 2023 at 6:00 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - More than 900 kids play one of the several sports offered by the Greenville Hurricanes, and their football team provides an atmosphere to make friends and grow in Christian faith for mostly homeschooled students.

The varsity and junior varsity football head coach, Ethan Knight, explained one of the best parts of this season.

“One of our seniors came up to me and said, hey, every Thursday instead of you, meaning me, giving a devotion, what about one of the players giving a devotion?” Knight said. “I was like, that sounds like an amazing idea. Why did I never think of that?”

After pointing out the football player who made that suggestion, FOX Carolina asked him what he was hoping to accomplish by having a player testify about their faith in front of the team instead of a coach.

“I didn’t feel like our team was super close off the field,” senior Caleb Redding said. “So I was thinking, what could help that? And the first thing that came to my mind was just a player-led devotional every Thursday.”

Knight explained what witnessing one of his players step up in that mature way meant to him.

“That was a pretty rewarding moment to me,” Knight said. “It was like, man, they’re starting to get it now. It’s not just football it’s also showing your faith and everything through this.”

Coach Knight said his players have been more receptive to listening to other player’s journeys with their faith than they have been just listening to the coaches.

Caleb explained his message to his teammates during his first Thursday devotion.

“My message was, do everything for the glory of God. Whether that was small things like not cutting corners on laps or touching the line on sprints,” Caleb said. “Or if that was the big things like don’t do drugs, don’t smoke. Things that we all know, but just to honor and glorify God with everything you do.”

The players have been extremely encouraging since Caleb led the way. He said more guys are stepping up in front of the team to share their Christian journey.

Caleb said his life would be much different if he didn’t have this football team.

“I’d for sure be a lot less disciplined. I think I’d not have that community that I have around me like this group of guys that I’m just really proud of,” Caleb said. “They help me grow and make me a better person, whether that’s physically on the football field or spiritually.”

The Greenville Hurricanes provide a great atmosphere for football, family and faith.