Mineral Area College blessed by special day for athletes
PARK HILLS—Imagine a 6-foot-9 basketball player sitting next to a 5-foot-1 organ player.
No, this is not a punch line to a joke. It was the first annual Athlete Recognition Day sponsored by the Mineral Area College Baptist Student Union (BSU) and Esther Baptist Church of Park Hills.
The BSU invited every athlete from Mineral Area College to a service and banquet held in their honor Jan. 27 on the main campus of the two-year community college. A total of 55 athletes were honored for their leadership on and off the field.
“We have created a culture where we, as fans, worship the name on the uniform,” said Mineral Area College BSU Director Scott Bryant. “We tend to forget that there are real people inside the uniforms who attend class and make huge sacrifices just to be able to attend college. We wanted to give something back.”
Speaker Chris Sisk, public relations director of the Holts Summit-based SportsCrusaders ministry, gave the message. He encouraged players to be coachable.
“You have to be willing to do what the coach says and then sell yourself out to the team,” Sisk said.
The athletes were encouraged by the support that the church and the campus ministry showed them. Laurie Bell, an 18-year-old freshman basketball player from St. Louis, said, “I loved Athlete Recognition Day. It taught me how to have trust in my coach and not argue with him.”
“To reach our communities we must be willing to make sacrifices and reach out to them,” he said. “If we show that we appreciate and respect our athletes, they will be open to what the Gospel says.”
One of the positive outcomes of Jan. 27 has been a couple of the women’s basketball team members inquiring about starting a Bible Study in the dorms where they live.
Bryant noted that future events are being planned to follow-up on this recognition day and reach more students at Mineral Area College.