By Leila Dycus staff writer

The Morgan County Varsity Football team is back from Fellowship of the Christian Athlete Camp and more bonded together- with only two weeks left until school resumes the Bulldogs are sharing their experiences from camp. “At FCA camp we got to bond with each other, we got to learn more about God, we got to learn more about the coaches and the coaches taught us very valuable lessons,” said MCHS football player Case Segrest. The Bulldogs traveled south for FCA July 14, 15 and 16. The three-day camp included practice games, lessons taught in the chapel and time for the team to bond with each other and their coaches. The theme of this year’s camp was being all in. “I believe that we got a good bit out of that and it kind of gave us a spring board to talk about what our Bible verses are this year, Philippians 2:4, which paraphrased is we’re not only responsible for ourselves but we’re responsible for each other,” said MCHS Head Football Coach Bill Malone. On Monday and Tuesday night, the team heard from some great speakers about the process of being all in. Coach Malone went on to say that these speakers had a way of communicating the message to the 17 and 18-year-old boys. “I learned you can always have a connection with God even when you’re not at church like when you’re playing football,” said varsity football player Jason Dowdell III. On the Bulldogs first day at camp the team played in four games. Their record for the first day was three and one starting out their camp in a promising way.

On the field the Bulldogs looked great. The coaches were really pleased with the way Maclane Zant played defense. Zant came in and primarily played cornerback for the Dogs. Coach Malone said that he did a really awesome job and had eight or nine different pass break ups. Sam Couch also had a great camp as he came back in at almost full speed. Malone said that Couch provided the team with a spark that they needed. “I took away from FCA camp that we came together more as a team and learning the whole new playing style than it was last year,” said Dowdell III. Brantley Frost, Quincy Jones and Jailyn Ingram also had great camps. Coach Malone said that the team did well. The Bulldogs played six games on the second day of camp taking their record to six- three- and one. On the field the boys played great but it was their off field experience that they enjoyed the most. Tyler Benford and Quincey Jones said that the team bonded and came closer as at team through their experiences at FCA camp. The boys spoke about how they enjoyed getting to know their coaches better in their team meetings. Coach Malone spoke to the boys on their first night at camp and Coach John Robbins spoke on their second night. “What coaches try to is to get kids to respond and the better you know someone the better your relationship, the deeper your relationship the more you can expect from someone,” said Malone.

“I believe that the time we were able to spend with them whether at supper or riding the bus really gave the kids the opportunity to see us in a relaxed atmosphere as compared to someone who’s always chomping at them.” Going away to FCA took a lot of support of parents and members of the community. Without members of the community a number of boys would not have been able to go to camp this year. Parents played a huge role in their children being allowed to go to camp and have this experience as a team. “We’re grateful that a number of people in our community see the need to send these boys of to not only be able to bond with one another but to be able to find something bigger then themselves to hold on to,” said Malone. With only two weeks until school is set to begin the football team is turning their focus to conditioning. The team will continue to stick to their offense and defensive work but is stepping up their work in the weight room and running. The coaches are excited that the school year is coming- in two weeks the boys will put on full pads and the season is just around the corner.