Area athletes meet challenge

Published 7:18 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2005

By By Matthew Nascone
Life is more than football on Fridays. Two area athletes found out what can happen if this fact is realized.
Bruce Smith from Escambia Academy and Jared Simpson from Northview High School were recognized at the Challenger Banquet in Pensacola for their work ethic on and off the football field.
"Bruce has worked hard all year and it was great to see him receive the award," EA head football coach Heath Gibson said.
Smith and Simpson were given the Challenger Award at the banquet held at the Pensacola Civic Center. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes hands out the award to one athlete from each school in the Florabama area.
Gibson said about 30 schools are represented in the north west corner of Florida and neighboring Alabama schools.
"Every year we go to Pensacola and they recognize an outstanding Christian athlete from each football team," Gibson said. "They take one person from each team who displays Christian ethics and values and who is also a leader on his team."
Gibson said the coaches are given the decision on who is the Challenger Award recipient for their respective teams.
NHS head football coach Cody Keene said the voting is done a little different on his team. Keene said Simpson's teammates nominated him for the award.
"He was voted into this award by his teammates as the person who best displays Christian morals in his daily life and that is more important than being picked by me," Keene said. "He tries to do whatever he can to help his teammates."
The main speaker was the founder of the F.C.A., Rev. Carey Casey. Other speakers at the banquet included current football players from Auburn University, the University of Alabama and Florida State University.
"It was enjoyable to hear all those football players get up there and talk," Gibson said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox