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FCA huddle encorporates God, sports

As students enter the room with half open eyes, the smell of fresh pancakes and coffee welcomes students to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle meeting on the first and third Thursday mornings.

FCA originated in 1954 in Pittsburgh, PA, by Don McClanen. This organization is for athletes to meet together and learn about God, while learning how to bring God into the sports that they regularly play. Ericlee Gilmore is the commander and chief of FCA on campus and loves getting more people involved in this program.

“I have been a part of FCA since I was in college when I was the president for three years,” Gilmore said. “FCA is student led, and the main theme is how to be a Christian and show it when you are in the competition of athletics.”

FCA has been on campus since 1994 when coach David Barton organized it. Now eight years later, there are still a lot of activities that are put on throughout the year. FCA plays games on Thursday mornings, helping with elementary kid’s sports and, community service projects like the Poverello house and, Sunrise retirement home.

The team of students that helps out with FCA works on welcoming teams to the campus at home sports games. Along with Gilmore, students on campus help out with FCA. Michelle Nachtigall, ’04, vice president of FCA, enjoys every minute of it.

“My favorite part about FCA is being able to spend time with the same kids I pass in the halls every day and getting to know them better outside school hours,” Nachtigall said.
“My role in FCA is to get kids excited about the sport they play and hopefully make it easier for them to show God’s love to the other athletes on their team and also their competitors.”

Another member of the FCA planning commission is Jon Steele, ’03, president of FCA, who helps with the events and helps FCA run smoothly.

“My favorite part about FCA is the fellowship with people in the morning,” Steele said. “Being the president of FCA, I get to lead the huddle. I help teach athletes all they can about being a good witness on and off the court.”

FCA’s mission statement states, “To present to athletes and coaches, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and, serving him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church.”

Another class representative for FCA is Jesse Madsen, ?05, who helps out with activities and also planning.

“I would say that my favorite part of FCA is working with Nachtigall, Ashley Cook, (’04) and Steele on various events, ” said Madsen said. “I was lucky enough to be able to attend FCA camp this summer; it was an incredible experience. I got to grow closer with other student leaders, while drawing nearer to the Lord. It was awesome.”

Besides the members of the FCA crew, many students attend FCA and love to be a part of the events, and fun that comes a long with it. Carson Belmont, ?05, has been faithfully attending FCA this year and enjoys the fellowship with his classmates. He attends FCA every time that they hold it. His favorite breakfast provided there are waffles.

“My favorite part of FCA is the fellowship and the food,” Belmont said. “I think that FCA is a good idea because it unites our Christian athletes on campus.”

Every year FCA huddle participates in the Olympics, which consists of when 20-30 schools from the Valley will bring their FCA huddles to compete in weird and bizarre games. Last year the Olympics were held on campus and around 300 students all around the Valley attended. Emily Goertzen, ?04, attended the Olympics last year and had a great time.

“I had a great time last year, the team I was on really made it worth while to be there,” Goertzen said. “My favorite activity last year was when we had to push the suburban in a straight line, only it was very embarrassing because I accidentally had my foot on the break. Needless to say, we lost that one.”

This year the huddle Olympics will be held at Fresno Pacific University on Oct. 19. The winning team will win scholarships to the FCA sports camp. For more information on FCA visit www.FCA.org. Also for more information contact Ericlee Gilmore at 297- 9464, ext. 140, or visit Fresno Pacific University at www.fresno.edu.

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