For many, high school and college are a training ground for real life. The lessons we learn there have the power to shape the way that we see and perceive the world around us. This weekend, NFL players Jerome Couplin III, Defensive Back for the Philadelphia Eagles (#21) and Brandon Coleman, Wide Receiver for the New Orleans Saints (#16) treaded on their old stomping ground at Bishop McNamara High School located in Forestville, Maryland to give back to their community in a very special way.
For the past two years, both Couplin and Coleman have been the faces and hosts of a football Youth Day Camp in the Washington DC metropolitan area. On Saturday (July 9th), the players again hosted this event. Volunteers mentioned that this year's turn out was significantly larger than the previous ones. Children in attendance were between the ages of 8 and15. Their parents were encouraged to stay and attend the free parental educational workshop, where they had a opportunity to participate in an interactive Q&A session.
Couplin shared, "It feels great [to come back home and give back to the community]. It's a great experience; it gives us an opportunity to remember where we came from: not just high school but, being an 8, 10 or 12 year-old who looks up to an athlete in the area or someone you knew who was your favorite player. Being able to be on the opposite side of that is a blessing."
Coleman said that his main goal for the day was "For the kids to have fun." "I wanted them to interact with their peers, learn some football, teach them some lessons on and off the field, and have them hear influential men speak who can be positive role models for them."
Both of these young men are driven, passionate athletes, and whether they are on the field playing the game that they love or on the sidelines, Couplin and Coleman are representations of God's giving heart and His light. When asked how they implement their faith on and off the field, Jerome told us, "I pray before the games. The team and I pray after the games, and off the field as a Christian, I try to walk right, and be the best that I can be."
Brandon shared similar thoughts saying, "I give thanks to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on and off the field. I stay in my Word, and I do my best to uplift the brothers that I play with and that community. It's all about discipleship, that's what God calls us to do; and, though I'm not perfect, that's what I strive to do."
As football season approaches, be sure to be on the look out for these two; they are going places and we are very much looking forward to seeing how the Lord is going to use them for His Kingdom purposes!
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