Campers hear inspirational stories

Published 4:57 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Four speakers who have been very successful in life, shared their inspirational stories of how determination and a relationship with the Lord helped them get through many difficult times in their lives with Bainbridge High School Bearcat football campers this week.

Sharing their inspirational stories with the players were Decatur County School Superintendent Ralph Jones, who led the 1982 Bearcats and 1990 Cairo High School Syrupmakers to State Class AAA championships; Mike Hodges, a state championship coach at Thomasville High School; Larry Green, an All-State running back at Cairo High School who went on to play for the Florida State University Seminoles, and Jodie Sprenkle, who played on state and national championship teams at Valdosta High School.

Jones talked Friday night about the importance of self control in football and life.

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“Self control builds discipline, which is very important in football,” Jones said. “Success is never easy. You must pay the price.”

Saturday night, Hodges reminded the players that football games come down to the fourth quarter.

“You prepare every day for those 12 minutes in the fourth quarter,” he said. “There are four intangibles that you have. The first intangible is moral toughness, and that means doing what is right. The second intangible is mental toughness, the third intangible is physical toughness, and the fourth intangible is spiritual toughness.”

Sunday night Green talked about a life-changing experience he had when he attended a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Conference in Black Mountain, N.C.

“Two of my heroes, Don Scheneck, a linebacker with the Baltimore Colts, and Fran Tarkenton, a former University of Georgia Bulldogs quarterback with the Minnesota Vikings, were at the FCA Conference in Black Mountain and they talked about how the personal relationship they had with Jesus Christ,” Green said.

“After the conference, I asked Jesus Christ to come into my life and my relationship with Him has helped me through some difficult times.”

Sprenke, who gave the final address Monday night, told the players that God made every person special and that they must develop spiritual, moral and mental toughness.