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Jennings pursues mentorships through sport

For senior Scott Jennings, football has been an opportunity to break past barriers, reach new limits and mentor younger athletes. Although this is only Jennings’ second season, he has become both a strong leader and player.

After participating in football for the first time last season, Jennings positively contrasts this year with the previous one due to the high stresses of losing a head varsity coach.

“Compared to last season, this year has been much simpler, because of the stability provided by the coaching staff,” Jennings said.

While many of the local schools typically have around 2,000 students to choose from for various athletic programs, FC often experiences the opposite. In past years, many athletes have faced severe injuries due to their mass amount of play-time. Fortunately for Jennings, he has not experienced an injury that has prevented him from playing.

“A limited number of players has definitely been a setback for any sport at Fresno Christian,” Jennings said. “Specifically, I think it has really prohibited our football team from being as successful as we could have been. Although, in spite of this, our team was pushed to work harder.”

Due to the small-team atmosphere, Jennings passion for close relationships and fellowship has flourished. His desire to create connections and mentor underclassmen has also been encouraged by the small size of his church, Clovis Evangelical Free. Jennings has attended since he was in the third grade and is heavily involoved in the church youth group, Fire by Night.

“When I was a freshman, I did not really have anyone there to help me work through my problems,” Jennings said. “I grew closer to my youth leaders, and yes that was a great experience, but at the same time I wish I had an upperclassmen mentor when I was younger.”

Although the church is small and the youth group even smaller, Jennings appreciates its tight-knit atmosphere because it allows people to build deeper relationships.

“Sometimes I wish I went to a bigger church, but I do prefer my smaller youth group because you get to know everyone on a more personal level,” Jennings said. “It’s great to be able to be in close relationships with each other.”

Aside from church leaders, Jennings found inspiration in last year’s coach, Bonner Cunnings.

“Cunnings has definitely influenced me the most,” Jennings said. “He taught me many valuable things that made me the person and player I am today. He taught me, most importantly, to never give up and to never quit, no matter the circumstance.”

Being a member of a small team has been a very different experience, especially because of the vast age difference of players. Sophomore Bobby Christopher appreciates Jennings’ ability to look past opposition.

“During practice, Scott is always the comic relief,” Christopher said. “Even in the game, when we’re losing by 55 points, just his presence puts everyone in a better mood. He is really competitive, but he is also respectful and leaves everything on the field.”

Coach Mick Fuller, much like the rest of the team, appreciates Jennings’ personality.

“Scott has a joyful and fun-loving personality,” Fuller said. “He is very easy-going, and gets along well with everybody on the team.”

In addition to Jennings’ desire to mentor younger students, he wants to attend Reedley College after graduation to decide what career he would like to pursue. Jennings would encourage underclassmen with one of his favorite verses.

“Philippians 4:13 reads: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ You can do anything you set your mind to,” Jennings said. “As a Christian, God continues to guide and lead me down the right path, which is the path towards Christ. You can do anything with God on your side, if you put your faith in him.”

The Eagles will play their last game of the season against
Minarets at home at 7:00 p.m., Nov. 11. For more football coverage, read the Oct. 14 article, Fresh athleticism inspires football team or the Nov. 8 article, Football sport shorts: Caruthers (VIDEO). For more information on FCS sports, visit the Fresno Christian Athletics web page.

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