Allendale-Fairfax High School Tigers: Football Season Has Begun!

I was offered a coaching job last fall, and started in January. Months of weightlifting, conditioning, and practices have passed. We went off to camp (at SC State University) last week, my first time at camp in almost 20 years. Despite playing football for 10 years (high school and college), I am not a fan of watching it. But it is fun to be back on the field.

I’ll be coaching wide receivers, and I’ve also been helping with the defensive backs (all our players play on both sides of the ball). You can easily spot me on the sidelines; I’m both the smallest and the lightest-skinned coach.

Schedule

Tonight is our “jamboree,” where we will play Estill High School for two quarters, and watch the other teams in our region play as well. Then, we begin our regular season.

In case you want to make a game, here’s our schedule:

  • August 17:  Home vs Scott’s Branch
  • August 24:  Home vs Wade-Hampton (Military Appreciation Night)
  • August 31:  At Midland Valley (Aiken)
  • September 7:  Home vs Edisto (Senior Night)
  • September 14:  At Bethune-Bowman (Orangeburg County)
  • September 21:  At Denmark-Olar (Bamberg County)
  • October 5:  Home vs Estill (Homecoming)
  • October 19:  At Branchville (Orangeburg County)
  • October 26:  At Whale Branch (Beaufort County)

All games start at 7:30 PM. We’d love to see you at a game! Just let me know (especially if you’re coming from out of town).

A Great Opportunity

I’m excited to be teaching football. But all of the coaches on the team know that the most important thing in the world is not about winning some football games and getting some awards. Heck, I threw out all my old trophies and plaques last year. (My kids were astounded to learn that.)

Yes, we want to win a championship. What a great boost that would be, for these boys and for this community. But I didn’t sign up for this for wins, awards, or supplemental pay. I did it as a way to build relationships with coaches, players, and other community members.

And God has worked through this. I’ve gotten to know some great coaches, and have learned so much from them — about football, this community, and about life.

I’ve built relationships with teenagers, some of whom were a blessing at our summer camp. Many of these guys have gone out of their way to make my kids feel welcome. And when they’re in a group, they are such fun to be around!

And I’ve already been having some great conversations with these teenagers, these young men. Sometimes it’s about their attitudes and anger. Sometimes it’s encouragement when they need to try harder or persevere. Sometimes it’s just shooting the breeze when I give them a ride home. I see God using this experience to open more and more doors into the lives of some kids who need a little extra push.

While I’m perfectly fine if my kids do not play football, the cute guy in this photo already says that he wants to play.

I won’t be praying for victories before any game. But I will be praying for Jesus to be glorified in every good thing that happens this season, and that He would redeem every heartbreak.

Edit: Read the mid-season update on our season, and the end-of-season summary.

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2 responses to “Allendale-Fairfax High School Tigers: Football Season Has Begun!”

  1. Tracy Collins says :

    Thanks for sharing, Joey. We would love to come to a game, but will probably wait until September or October, when the cooler weather arrives! We’ll let you know in advance though. Love you guys!

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