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FCA holding spiritual night for athletes

Those looking for a “spirited” evening need look no further as the second annual Circle of Champions event will be held Tues., Aug. 18, at the Kiwanis Building.

Last year, 700 students, athletes and parents attended the event where the six county high school football teams, cheerleading squads and bands were recognized.

Andalusia High School, Straughn High School, Opp High School, Red Level High School, Pleasant Home High School and Florala High School will be in attendance.

Each school’s band will play its fight song after all senior football players, cheerleaders and band members are announced at 7 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., the pre-season all-county teams will be announced.

Pleasant Home football coach and event coordinator Robert Bradford said he’s expecting a big crowd this year.

“We’re expecting over 1,000 people to be there,” Bradford said. “We’ve got every school in the county committed to come and that includes their band, their cheerleaders and their football team.

“It should be a great kickoff event for the year and getting everybody ready to go for the football season.”

COC is a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) sponsored event that aims to build athletes into “champions.”

The keynote speaker is going to be Pensacola native Alex Lincoln, a former Auburn University linebacker and San Francisco 49er. Lincoln was drafted in the 12th round of the 2002 NFL draft.

“(Lincoln) is going to come and talk to the kids on how to become a champion, how to be successful and what it takes to make it in a very competitive athletic field,” Bradford said. “He’s also going to share his testimony on what God has done in his life as well.”

The event will last for two hours and admission is free to everyone that attends.

Bradford said, in addition, the event is a good time for a lot of the players to see who else is on everybody’s teams.

“A lot of the times the players don’t get a chance to see who’s playing for Straughn, for Andalusia or for Opp because we’re always playing at the same time and not playing each other,” he said. “The band is the same thing. The bands play that night, so it’s one of the few chances the bands get together and you get to hear the fight songs and the cheerleaders watch each other cheer.”

After Lincoln speaks, all teams will gather in a circle, join hands and pray for the upcoming year.

“It’s basically a big party to kick off the top of the year,” Bradford said. “The kids last year were very impressed by it and they really enjoyed it.”