By Savannah Cooper | Staff Writer
From the outside looking in, Monday nights this intramural season have been a time for recreational and competitive flag football games, but for a certain group, it’s been time for putting their faith and student outreach into action.
Three years ago, George W. Truett Theological Seminary assembled a flag football team of sports ministry students. With the exception of a some players moving away or graduating, that core group still remains.
Gavin Daniels, captain of the team, plays center. He’s in his third year at Truett as a sports ministry student and in his second year as a student manager of Baylor softball. Daniels said he looks forward to playing because it gives the team a chance to minister to students and build connections for later on.
“Most teams we play against are pretty open to us and we just start conversation by asking what year they’re in or their major. It’s fun because it’s an opportunity for us to minister to the students on campus,” Daniels said. “We’re in our own little bubble in Truett and so it’s nice to be able to come and be a part of campus and be a witness to some of the students here and hopefully have some sort of an impact. Sometimes when we play intramurals we’ve had some of the guys say, ‘Hey, we’re coming to Truett next year,’ so that’s been kind of cool to build those connections.”
Faith and sports institute student Aaron Everic is their quarterback, and he’s been with the team since the beginning. Everic has been able to grow closer and create relationships while furthering inside jokes with his teammates.
“It’s our third year playing and it’s been fun to create relationships and have this be a bond of guys that have moved away or have graduated and then welcome in some of the first years and some guys we didn’t get to play with last year and create new relationships,” Everic said. “There’s been a lot of development, inside jokes and camaraderie and a lot of development in the ways we interact not only with ourselves, but in the ways we interact with the referees and the teams we’re playing on the field and their fans.”
Such inside jokes include their team rally stick that stays in Daniel’s backpack every game.
“Our first year playing for my birthday, as a Star Wars nerd, all my friends got me a lightsaber and I decided to bring it to games,” Daniels said. “This has been our rally stick throughout the last three years and it sits in my backpack every game.”
Over the years the team has been named This Is How We Truett, Sintimidation and now The Church Fathers. Everic said their name this year is based off of their progression through adulthood.
“Last year just about every single one of us got hurt, whether it was pulled muscles or blown knees, but we’re all graduate students so we always assume we’re the oldest team by average out here,” Everic said. “So this year we felt with our third year we’re really starting to get up there against the 18-year-olds so we decided we needed to go with something more appropriate.”
Daniels said that this team strives to be a point of positivity for people each game.
“We just try to be some sort of a positive point of that day especially when we’re out here late at night and we might be tired it’s just good to have that moment and just stop and take a minute to get to know somebody,” Daniels said.
The Church Fathers finished their season 2-2 with a 26-6 win but did not qualify for the playoffs.