Northside High School has made an impact on the football field this year as it has earned its way to the AAAAA state championship game Saturday night at the Georgia Dome.
And there is another field where Northside has been winning, one that has made an impact on Northside High School that is more important than any football game.
Every fall, the Flint River Fellowship of Christian Athletes hosts Fields of Faith, an event open to all high school students. At Fields of Faith, students give testimonies about their Christian faith and what their faith in Christ has done for them.
About 100 students from Northside High School attended Fields of Faith this year and have carried the momentum from that evening back to their school campus. About half of those who attended that night made a decision for Christ.
Since Fields of Faith, students gather in groups of about three or four weekly to hold each accountable in their Christian walk. About 100 students are attending the weekly FCA meetings as well.
Chad Alligood, who is the football team’s offensive coordinator and sponsors FCA at Northside High School, said that the student leaders of FCA at Northside High School -- Tre Scott and Kara Dunbar -- have done an incredible job since Fields of Faith to make the event not just an moment but a movement.
“They are both very devoted Christians,” Alligood said. “They felt like it was real important to follow up on those that made decisions at Fields of Faith and just be there for them and mentor them.”
Since FCA is open to any student at the school, Alligood sees the effect of Fields of Faith and the decisions made there reaching across the campus.
“It has carried over into our student body. When a student athlete, a kid that is high profile at the school, steps forward into a role of professing their faith, it is very exciting,” Alligood said. “The goal of FCA is to have an impact on a school’s campus.”
At the weekly FCA meeting, a student gives their testimony.
“Kids hear grownups talk all the time. At church it is Sunday School teachers, youth pastors. At school, it’s teachers and coaches. I wanted our FCA to be truly student led, so that students could listen to someone that knows where they are, knows about tough choices,” Alligood said.
Tre, a senior and Northside’s starting center, is one of the school’s FCA leaders this year. He spoke at Fields of Faith about his own life and how God has a plan for everyone.
“We have always been a Christian based football team but Fields of Faith really showed our guys that God wants to be number one in our life. We have taken that with us this season and are really growing in our faith,” Tre said.
“You can really see the difference because we are really holding each other accountable to keep God first in our lives,” he said. “It has also been an ice breaker to change people’s minds about Christianity. Some people think you can’t have fun, you can’t compete if you are a Christian. You can have fun, you can enjoy life. It’s even better through Christ.”
For Alligood, who considers coaching a call to ministry, it is important that students see Christ in each other but in him as well.
“I could be the only Christian these kids ever see. God has called me to take care of these students and to mentor them. When I am dead and gone, I don’t care if they look back and say, ‘He was a great coach or He was a great teacher.’ I want them to say that they saw Christ in my daily life. If they can’t say that, I didn’t do my job,” Alligood said.
To contact Alline Kent, email AllineKent@cox.net or call 396-2467