The Flint River FCA hosted their Night of Champions Coaches Conference on Dec. 4 in front of a packed auditorium at Cross Point Baptist Church. The event was planned as a way to help recharge and re-energize middle and high school coaches.
After dinner and remarks from Daryl McElwain, the groups area director Lindsay Scott, a former wide receiver for the University of Georgia who went on to play for the New Orleans Saints, opened up the evening.
Footage was shown of Scotts touchdown in the 1980 Georgia-Florida game, emblazoned into Georgia football history by broadcaster Larry Munsons famous call of Lindsay Scott, Lindsay Scott, Lindsay Scott.
I believe that any success that I have had is far more Gods success than anything that I have done, Scott said. I stand before you tonight to tell you that God has been good to me. Its not about me, its about God.
Also speaking was Willie Reid, a former Warner Robins High School football star, who play at Florida State University and was named the 2006 Orange Bowl MVP. Reid played several years in the NFL.
It became clear to me in our first team meeting at FSU, what the secret to Coach Bowdens success was, Reid said. If you put God first in everything you do, everything else falls into place.
Reid introduced his former coach, Bobby Bowden, who was the main speaker of the evening. Bowden, major college footballs winningest coach with a career record of 377-129-4, is known for his commitment to FCA. Involved with FCA since 1963, Bowden presents the FCA player of the year trophy at the national championship game every year.
Bowden entertained the crowd with several stories about football and Burt Reynolds, one of FSUs most famous alumni, before turning serious.
Bowden first challenged the coaches in attendance who work with boys that have no other male role model. You are the most important man in that boys life. You are the closest thing to a father a lot of them will ever have. I encourage you to set the example for these boys.
He also challenged parents in the audience to take their sons to church.
My mama and my daddy made me go to church. It used to make me so mad. I wanted to stay home and play. They made me go but I sure am glad. If you have a young boy in your house, make him go to church. Dont ask him. Make him. You make him go to school dont you? Make him go to church.
Bowden recounted the story of Pablo Lopez, who was a FSU starting tackle when he was shot and killed in 1986. The incident was a major influence on his team and one of his assistant coaches at the time, Mark Richt.
At the team meeting immediately after Lopezs death, Bowden said that he asked his team, Where is Pablo? and spoke to them about being ready for death and looking toward the future.
The whole goal of life should be preparing for eternity, said Bowden.
Michael Miles, tight end coach at Fort Valley State University, was one of the coaches that attended the evening.
FCA has brought a lot to our program, to our coaches and to our kids, Miles said. It has helped take us places we never thought we would go.
FCA is financed by donations. The Flint River FCA reaches students and coaches in five counties, Houston, Peach, Macon, Taylor and Crawford. To donate either financially to FCA or with your time, visit flintriverfca.org.