ESPN Highlights Fellowship of Christian Athletes Football Camp in Tennessee
Sports Network Grants Wish of Standout High School Football Star Jalan Sowell, Who Trusted That God Had a Better Purpose for Him
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Hundreds of high school football players recently had some surprise visitors at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) football camp at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville. They were listening to a former high school football standout—whose career was over at the age of 16—when a camera crew from ESPN showed up to tell the story of Jalan Sowell.
The day started out like any Camp morning, as FCA’s Jason Cline, who serves in Nashville, began telling players about the 2017 FCA Camp theme of “ONE”—that all the players at the Camp had one thing in common.
They all have a story.
This is Jalan’s: In the fall of 2015, he was a standout running back at Mt. Juliet High School—one of the most explosive players in all of Tennessee. But one day, Jalan couldn’t catch his breath, and eventually was diagnosed with chronic pulmonary embolism. His football career as he knew it was over.
But, ESPN reported, Jalan found a different way to stay close to the game he loves. Jalan’s wish was to tell his story to even more people. So, an ESPN camera crew surprised the high school senior, as well as those in attendance at the FCA Camp. And in the end, Jalan got his wish—to produce his own story for ESPN.
At the Camp, ESPN’s Chris Connelly told Jalan that part of his wish would involve filming his story around Tennessee and helping to edit it at ESPN University in Connecticut. Several FCA staff came together to help make Jalan’s wish come true, including Cline and Tim Bryant, FCA Director for Wilson County, as well as Mt. Juliet Head Football Coach Trey Perry.
Just like in Tennessee, coaches and athletes around the country are learning more about their favorite sport and strengthening their faith in Christ at more than 700 FCA Camps across the U.S. and internationally. This summer, FCA Camps will reach upwards of 100,000 coaches and athletes through the Camps theme of “ONE,” based on the Bible verse Philippians 1:27. Seven types of FCA Camps include: Coaches Camps, Leadership Camps, Partnership Camps, Power Camps, Sports Camps, Team Camps and International Camps.
Those who still want to be a part of FCA Camps can find Camps by sport, day or location through FCA’s easy-to-use Camps site. Last summer, new attendance records were set as more than 100,000 coaches and athletes converged at 720 Camp events in 40 states and in 45 countries around the world, where 8,788 coaches and athletes made first-time commitments to Christ and 11,256 recommitted their lives to Christ. The 2016 attendance was an increase of more than 10,000 over 2015.
Read more about Fellowship of Christian Athletes here, visit FCA’s web site at www.fca.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fcafans or its Twitter feed @fcanews.