For CJ's football team, being a part of the program is more than running plays on the field. It is also about developing young men as future leaders in school, in their relationship with God, and in the community.
Recently, several Eagle football players attended a SportsLeader Rosary Rally at the University of Dayton. Other football players from area Catholic high schools, including Alter, Bishop Fenwick, Carroll, Sidney Lehman, and Springfield Central Catholic, also attended the event.
According to their website, SportsLeader is "a virtue-based mentoring and motivation program for coaches of all ages, youth through professional. It is for boys, girls, young men and young women. It is for schools and teams, whether public or private, who are interested in a structured, intentional and specific method and curriculum to help teach virtue."
Eagle Head Football Coach Marcus Colvin added, "their goal is incorporate more faith formation through sports."
The SportsLeader program was created by former Ohio State football player Joe Lukens and Louisville St. Agnes football coach Paul Passafiume. The organization's website credited the pair for developing the program because "they saw the world of sports drifting away from its original ideals; at the same time, they realized that sports...can play a pivotal role in the virtuous development of young people." The organization is now run by Lou Judd with assistance from Chaminade graduate and former Notre Dame Coach Gerry Faust '53.
"It is always great to interact with Faust," said Colvin.
He also added that attending an event like this helps build the team's bond not only with each other, but with the other Catholic high school players.
"Faith is such a unifying part of life. We prayed alongside Carroll, Alter, and Fenwick, three teams we need to defeat in order to be champions in football this year. Later this season we will compete against each of those teams for 48 minutes, but this opportunity provided us one hour where we were just a unified group of student athletes praying the Rosary; that was pretty special."