LONGVIEW — Del Barnes played for a state championship during his time as the starting quarterback at Henderson.
He’ll play for something much greater today, he said.
“It means a lot to get the chance to get closer to God and being around the coaches who have dedicated their faith to God,” Barnes said. “I’m just looking forward to learning from them and learning from the players who are also getting to do the thing that we love, and that’s to play football.”
Barnes will compete alongside about 100 recent graduates — representing more than 50 high schools — at the Second Annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes Heart of a Champion Bowl. The game is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. today from Longview High School’s Lobo Stadium.
The event, which features all-stars from the Northeast Texas region, kicked off last year at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium in Tyler. Anticipation for this year’s game has been building ever since the rosters were revealed in February and the annual FCA banquet was held in April.
Players reported to their respective teams on Wednesday and have been involved in community service and spiritual projects, among other things.
Athens’ Paul Essary is the head coach for the Red Team and Lindale’s Mike Meador is leading the Blue Team.
“This is more than just a football game,” Essary said. “This is an opportunity for us coaches to share our Christian beliefs and the things that have happened in our lives to the players. That way they know that miracles do happen and that prayer does change things.”
In the inaugural game, former John Tyler running back Jeremiah Henry ran for 100 yards and a touchdown in the Blue Team’s 24-0 shutout victory. The Blue also got TD runs by Daingerfield’s LaMarce Lafayette and Carthage’s Hunter Holland.
Notes: Ticket prices are $3 for everyone and will be available at the gate. … Officials from Longview will call the first half and officials from Tyler will take over in the second half. … To get to Lobo Stadium from Tyler, take I-20 East and veer off onto Highway 31. Take 31 East to McCann Road. Go several miles through town and take a right on Loop 281. The stadium and high school are about two miles up on the left.
Second Annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes Heart of a Champion Bowl
Coaches — Paul Essary, Athens (head coach); Tim Russell, Harmony; John King, Longview; Jimmy Cantrell, Mabank; Rick Remley, Athens; Ron Callahan, Quitman; Chuck Griffin, Troup; Keith Gardner, Alto; Brian Mauk, Harmony.
Roster — Nate Pickett, WR, Tatum; Jay Regan, DB, Chapel Hill; Sam Carter, WR, West Rusk; Matthew Hosea, LB, Harmony; Nelson Onwuzu, WR, Chapel Hill, Justin Owens, QB, Sulphur Springs; Wyatt Clavelle, DL, Quitman; Zach Basher, DB, Athens; Lamarcus Brown, WR, Henderson; Colby Rucker, WR, Van; James Jiles, WR, Troup; Kevin Garcia, LB, Chapel Hill; Brock Grigsby, LB, Troup; Matt Shade, K, Mineola, Avery Saenz, QB, Chapel Hill; Corban Taylor, QB, Paris; Doentre Wilson, RB, Longview; Stevie Burch, DB, Wills Point; De’Vonte Haggerty, RB, John Tyler; Jordan Burton, LB, Longview; Matthew Hillin, RB, T.K. Gorman; Datrin Moore, LB, Alto; Andre Thompson, DB, Quitman; Tevairus Williams, WR, Paris; Jordan Noel, DB, Tatum; Brodrick Gasaway, DB, Alto; Charles Gordon Jr., RB, Gladewater; Hayden Minter, DB, Maud; Cameron Boyd, DB, Gladewater; Justin Goforth, LB, Paul Pewitt; Macawley Morrow, WR, Quitman; Kasey Johnson, DL, Gladewater; DeAundre Hawkins, LB, Troup; Kenderson Cooks, LB, Marshall; Jarren Gipsonb, OL, John Tyler; Matt Wood, OL, Bullard; John McKenna, DL, Commerce; Austin Boothe, Reese Harred, OL, Sulphur Springs; Larry Carroll, DL, New Boston; Dillon Holcomb, DL, Athens; Jhermikal Partner, OL, Longview; Sir Calvin Wallace, OL, Chapel Hill; Clifford Dial, OL, Ore City; Donald Jackson III, OL, Kilgore; Mark Jenkins, OL, Jacksonville; Dakota Hart, DL, Carthage; Larry Thomas, DL, Longview; Garrett Burnett, TE, New Boston; Konnor Atkins, WR, All Saints; Braden King, TE, Longview; Jenson Jackson, DL, Marshall.
Coaches — Mike Meador, Lindale (head coach); Shannon Wilson, Bullard; Sam Wells, Frankston; Thomas Sitton, Chapel Hill; Jason Holman, Chapel Hill; Rick Palmer, T.K. Gorman; Jared Moffatt, Van; Ted Patton, Rusk; Alex Richters, Marshall; Lee Clark, West Rusk.
Roster — Jessie Plunkett, DB, Mabank; Cody Clayton, WR, Sulphur Springs; Terrance Stevens, LB, John Tyler; James Ellis, WR, Big Sandy; Aneas Sutton, RB, Robert E. Lee; J’Haston Faggans, RB, Longview; Riley Toler, QB, Kilgore; Caleb Williams, WR, T.K. Gorman; Michael Warren, DB, Frankston; Hunter Taylor, QB, Whitehouse; Clay Price, DB, Lindale; Del Barnes, QB, Henderson; Deaveron Dean, DB, Chapel Hill; Nico Barnard, WR, Palestine; Kaymon Farmer, WR, Pittsburg; Jonathan Aldridge, WR, Whitehouse; Keaton Yeatts, WR, Grace Community; Derrick McDuff, DB, Rusk; Stephen Reese, LB, Henderson; Laderrion Johnson, LB, Tatum; Dondra Halton, RB, Kilgore; Jacob McCarter, DB, Eustace; Austin Lightle, K, Hallsville; Erick Simmons, DL, Sulphur Springs; Erik Galaz, DB, Mineola; Landry Lee, WR, Spring Hill; Donte Marsh, DL, Lindale; Tyraiel Hart, LB, Chapel Hill; Jonathan Daily, LB, Hallsville; Devonte Black, LB, John Tyler; Ross Lee, LB, Bullard Brook Hill; LaRance Hale, DL, Tatum; Jason Spurlin, OL, Waskom; Luke Campbell, OL, Rusk; Ashton Pierce, OL, Frankston; Demontez Allen, OL, Paris; John Hamilton, OL, Chapel Hill; Bryan Stephenson, OL, Bullard Brook Hill; Antonio Romo, OL, Lindale; Luke Kaufman, OL, Mount Vernon; Charles Perry, OL, Palestine; Colton Moorehead, OL, Chapel Hill; Trey Boyd, DL, Mineola; Xavier Johnson, DL, Union Hill; Chris Paige, LB, Kilgore; Chaddrick Dansby, Carlisle, TE; Ty’Darious Johnson.
Blue Team — Shani Crow, Van (sponsor); Dara Hendon, Van (coach); Whitney Dowell, Longview; Jasmine Finley, Chapel Hill; Emily Hightower, Van; Brenna Lee, Lindale; Lindsey Kellam, Van; Emily Schoop, Center; Catherine Williams, Athens; Christa Wood, Brook Hill.
Red Team — Kelly Nichols, Bullard (sponsor); Dara Hendon, Van (coach); Sarah Grace French, Bullard; Brandi Joshlin, John Tyler; Allix Smith, Pittsburg; Brianna Solomon, Marshall; Summer Styles, Union Hill; Ayana Taylor, Sulphur Springs; Dani Waymire, Wills Point; Madison Wilhelmi, Grace Community.