When Central Texas athletes gather to participate in their respective sport’s all-star game as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Victory Bowl festivities each summer, it becomes much more about the experience than the games themselves.
Bringing sports venues across Central Texas to life June 5-6, the 12th Annual FCA Super Centex Victory Bowl all-star games will feature graduated seniors from over 100 high schools in 12 counties from the Heart of Texas area. The teams will be coached by local head coaches and made up of players and cheerleaders who were nominated and selected by each of the Victory Bowl coaching staffs.
This year, the Victory Bowl service projects, practices and contests will bring together 92 football players, 24 volleyball players, 20 cheerleaders, 36 baseball players, 30 softball players, 75 band members and 30 area head coaches.
“It’s kind of a lull in the athletic calendar, so there’s a little bit of a window and it’s something to cheer for and watch and be a part of,” Heart of Texas FCA director Ben Johnson said. “It engages so many communities in Central Texas. Everybody’s got their representative, so that’s awesome.”
Benefiting the Heart of Texas Fellowship of Christian Athletes, rosters for the Blue and Red squads were recently revealed for the football, softball, baseball and volleyball games, as well as the cheer squads.
“This is a great honor for these student-athletes,” Clifton athletic director Chuck Caniford said. “Having been a part of Victory Bowl week in the past, I know that they are going to have a great experience. The FCA does a great job of making the week very special for these kids, and it will be fun to watch them enjoy this experience.”
The baseball and softball games will be played simultaneously June 5 at Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton. The volleyball contest has been slated for 12:30 p.m. June 6 at Waco University High School, while the football game will be 6:30 p.m. at Waco ISD Stadium.
Student-athletes representing the Heart of Texas will be:
Blue Team football players Caleb Ince of Cranfills Gap, Zade Kendall of Meridian, Darius Williams of Mount Calm, Dalton Martin and Javieon Simmons of Valley Mills, and Vance Trotter of Walnut Springs, facing Red Team players Dakota Price of Aquilla, Justin Ketcher of Axtell, Nathan Quattlebaum of Bruceville-Eddy, Dakota Mynarcik of Bynum, Coley Davis of Clifton, Giovanni Mendez of Covington, Jed Whitney of Crawford, Cade Kneuper of Hamilton, Ryan Irvin of Hico, Logan Morris of Hubbard, JaVonn Reed of Itasca, Tonny Sanchez-Yanez, Kyler Martin and Chris Bledsoe of Mart, Michael Ramos of McGregor, Isael Uribe of Oglesby, Donavon Blakes of Riesel, Juan Saucedo, Devin Wilson and Shawntay Owens of Whitney.
Playing in the volleyball game, Blue Team representatives will include Emma Rodriguez of Blum, Alexis Garner of Bosqueville, and Taylor Fouts of Valley Mills playing against Red Team members Rachel Kallus of Abbott, Ana Maddox, Anne Williams and Peyton Elmore of Crawford, and Delaney Woodell of Whitney.
Taking the baseball diamond will be Blue Team players Will McClellan of Bosqueville, Matt Rosas of Meridian and Cory McNai of Valley Mills taking on Red Team members Matthew Pevehouse of Abbott, Dylan Vardeman of Blum, Mason Brandenberger of Clifton, Colby Diduch of Grandview, Chance Hasse of Hubbard, Jhobe Smith of McGregor, Cody Stone of Moody, Lane Kemp of Riesel, and Jack Hamilton of West.
Ladies playing softball will be Blue Team player Jessica Johnson of Valley Mills, along with Red squad members Kenna Mynar of Abbott, Audrey Anderson of Clifton, Makey Dunbar of Crawford, Madison Knox of McGregor, Ellena Munoz of Moody, Jacie Ehlers of Riesel, Audry Holloman and Jordyne Reese of West, and Kenzie Seely of Whitney.
The cheer squad representatives will include Blue Cheer members Vianey Lujan of Cranfills Gap and Madisyn Hicks of Meridian, as well as Red Cheer members Sutton Finney of Clifton, Baylee Casillas of Covington, Kelsey Compton of Crawford, Jaydyn Gillham of Hubbard, Abby Killian and Lainey Hale of Hamilton.
Heart of Texas coaches participating in the 2020 Victory Bowl games will be Blue Team football coach Sam Moody of Valley Mills, and Red Team coaches Delbert Kelm of Crawford, Jarrett Shipp of Gholson, Charles Steele of Covington, and Josh Conner of Bynum; Blue Team volleyball coach Steve Hogan of Valley Mills and Red Team coach Hadley Joiner of Bruceville-Eddy; Red Team baseball coaches Kyle Crawford of Abbott, Randy Smith of Crawford, and Cody Brown of Axtell; Red Team softball coach Jessie Thompson of Hamilton; Blue Team cheer coach Patricia Leach of Hamilton and Red Team cheer coaches Tammy Bush of Riesel and Patricia Leach of Hamilton.
With multiple days of preparation and activities for some of the top athletes and cheerleaders in the area, the teams will gather on Wednesday at University High School to meet their coaches, get equipment, pose for photos and practice for the first time. Other activities on the agenda for the week included a team pancake-eating contest, a pep rally, and several service opportunities.
For some players, the Victory Bowl represents the first step from high school to competing at the college level. And in particular, the football game features a diverse group of players ranging from Class 1A’s six-man football all the way up to Class 6A.
But at the very least, it’s one last chance to step onto the field and compete in their respective sports.
Photos courtesy of FCA VICTORY BOWL
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