400 hear Walker, O’Brien-Amico at FCA banquet

April 24, 2013 

College football royalty was on hand along with an Olympic star last week as the Flint River Fellowship of Christian Athletes held its annual spring banquet.

The event, which featured Herschel Walker and Leah O’Brien-Amico was held Thursday at the Miller-Murphy-Howard Building at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter. More than 400 people were in attendance.

The two speakers gave an account of their faith in God and how Christ has changed their lives.

Walker, who led the University of Georgia to the 1980 national championship, won the 1982 Heisman Trophy and played in the USFL and NFL before his retirement in 1997, spoke about how he was picked on as child for stuttering, said Daryl McElwain, area director for Flint River FCA, who was at the event,

Walker said that he started reading a book about someone else who was picked on in life. That person was Jesus.

“He talked about the different direction that his relationship with Christ had given him in life,” McElwain said.

Also speaking about her faith and her passion for God at the event was Leah O’Brien-Amico, who as a member of the United States softball team earned gold medals at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics. She now works in ministry and has covered softball for ESPN.

The spring banquet is a primary fundraiser for the Flint River FCA, which serves coaches and athletes in an area that encompasses Houston, Peach, Macon, Taylor and Crawford counties. It includes 22 middle and high schools along with Fort Valley State University. A large majority of the money raised during the spring banquet will be used to sponsor coaches and athletes to FCA summer camps.

Von Lassiter, director of athletics and head football coach at Houston County High School, will be taking his entire football team to an FCA football camp this summer.

“I think that is important to build values and integrity, and FCA is all about that,” Lassiter said. “Camp is a chance to get better at football but also to grow as a team and to learn the values that FCA teaches.”

Lassiter said that as a coach, it is his goal to teach his players self-discipline in all areas of their life.

“We talk a lot to our players about doing the right thing, even when no one else is around,” Lassiter said. “It is important to teach them high morals.”

For more information about the Flint River FCA and how you can partner with the organization, call McElwain at 397-6831.

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