University of Illinois football coach Ron Zook shared his faith, his coaching philosophy and his passion for helping his players reach their potential as he addressed a crowd of nearly 400 at last Thursday’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes banquet in Greenville.
“I coach football because I’m trying to help people reach their goals,” Zook said. “We want them to do their best athletically, but we also want them to go out into the world and be great citizens and great people.
“That’s why I feel it’s so important to be involved in FCA, because you never know when you’re touching a life. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, it may not be next week. But somewhere down the road, the things we do will make a difference.”
Accompanying Zook to the event was Marcellus Casey, who serves as chaplain for the U of I football team.
Jane Bell of Vandalia served as emcee of the event.
The banquet included athletes, coaches and adult supporters involved in FCA from throughout Southern Illinois.
In addition to hosting Zook, the annual banquet provided an opportunity to honor one coach and one athlete from the area.
Selected as the FCA huddle leader of the year was Luke Hohlt, a guidance counselor and baseball coach at Vandalia Community High School. He is the leader of the FCA Huddle at VCHS.
The recipient of a $1,000 college scholarship for a graduating high school senior was Reed Rucker of Okawville High School. He is planning to attend Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Rucker was one of the student leaders of a school assembly held early this month after two of his classmates were accidentally electrocuted. Daniel Bell of Vandalia was among those nominated for the scholarship.
Representing the FCA in this area are three men, all serving as part-time representatives: Robert “Ish” Smith, Tom Morgan and Jack Trager.
Following the banquet, Smith reported that the event produced gifts and pledges of $78,615 to support the FCA ministry for the coming year in the multi-county area served by the Greenville office.