Elliott Mealer battles to return to football after family tragedy.
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How Bad Do You Want it?
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OTL: 7-On-7 Football
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There was an unusual high school football game played in Grapevine, Texas . The game was between Grapevine Faith Academy and theGainesville State School. Faith is a Christian school and Gainesville State School is located within a maximum security correction facility.
Gainesville State School has 14 players. They play every game on the road. Their record was 0-8. They've only scored twice. Their 14players are teenagers who have been convicted of crimes ranging from drugs to assault to robbery. Most had families who had disowned them.
They wore outdated, used shoulder pads and helmets. Faith Academy was 7-2. They had 70 players, 11 coaches, and the latest equipment.
Chris Hogan, the head coach at Faith Academy , knew the Gainesville team would have no fans and it would be no contest, so hethought, "What if half of our fans and half of our cheerleaders, for one night only, cheered for the other team?" He sent out an email to thefaithful asking them to do just that. "Here's the message I want you to send, Hogan wrote. "You're just as valuable as any other person on theplanet."
Some folks were confused and thought he was nuts. One player said,Coach, why are we doing this?"
Hogan said, "Imagine you don't have a home life, no one to love you, no one pulling for you. Imagine that everyone pretty much hadgiven up on you. Now, imagine what it would feel like and mean to you for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you."
The idea took root. On the night of the game, imagine the surprise of those 14 players when they took the field and there was a bannerthe cheerleaders had made for them to crash through. The visitors' stands were full. The cheerleaders were leading cheers for them. The fans werecalling them by their names. Isaiah, the quarterback-middle linebacker said, "I never in my life thought I would hear parents cheering to tackle and hit their kid. Most of the time, when we come out, people are afraid of us. You can see it in their eyes, but these people are yelling for us. They knew our names."
Faith won the game, and after the game the teams gathered at the 50-yard line to pray. That's when Isaiah, the teenage convict-quarterback surprised everybody and asked if he could pray and he prayed, "Lord, I don't know what just happened so I don't know how or who to say thank you to, but I never knew there were so many people in the world that cared about us." On the way back to the bus, under guard, each one ofthe players was handed a burger, fries, a coke, candy, a Bible, and an encouraging letter from the players from Faith Academy.
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Maurice Edward Clarett born October 29, 1983 in Youngstown, Ohio is an American football running back for the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League. During his freshman year at Ohio State University in 2002, he helped lead the Buckeyes to a national championship. He is well known for unsuccessfully challenging the NFL's draft eligibility rules requiring a player to be three years removed from high school, and for his tumultuous life outside of football, including his dismissal from Ohio State, several arrests, and later, imprisonment.
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Welcome to the Let It Fly Football Drills & Skills Camp!
Good, Better, Best
Never Let Yours Rest
Until your GOOD becomes your BETTER
and your BETTER becomes your BEST
This intense and rigorous circuit and combine style non-tackle youth football camp in Anthem, Arizona is designed to enhance the overall football skill levels for kids ages 6-18. Drills are targeted to improve eye/hand coordination, footwork, speed, agility, and quickness which will provide athletes the much needed confidence to compete at the highest level during their tackle and flag football season.
We work with youth from Anthem, Black Canyon City, Carefree, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Glendale, Laveen, New River, North Phoenix, Peoria, Prescott Valley, and Scottsdale. These local communities are just a short drive to Anthem, the home of the Let It Fly Football Drills & Skills Camp.