Friday, August 2, 2013
A new local team will enter the world of 11-man football starting this fall.
The Augusta Eagles, a homeschool-based team with a number of players from the North Augusta area, will move up from the ranks of eight-man football. On Thursday, the team also received a donation from the North Augusta Rotary Club for $500.
“Each year one of our annual projects is the Rotarian Golf Classic,” said Brett Turner, Rotary Club treasurer and past president. “The majority of the money we raise is used for local groups that need support. One of the things that we support is Golden Harvest Food Bank, but we also try and split that up. We got a request from the Augusta Eagles Sports Association, and we felt like there was no better avenue to use that money than for these kids.
“It would allow them to participate, get some exercise, which we all need these days, and give them a chance to learn about competition and teamwork,” Turner said. “I think it’s important in life to learn how to work together as a team and to work with others.”
Receiving the donation on behalf of his teammates was defensive lineman Trey Moore. His father, Wayne, is a part of the football committee for the Augusta Eagles Athletic Association.
“We operate, because we have to, on a shoestring budget,” he said. “All of the equipment still has to meet all of the high school football standards and regulations. We solicit corporate donations, and the North Augusta Rotary Club was one of those types of donations.”
The team will compete in the Glory for Christ League and the opportunity to play football, or any sport, is one that would not have otherwise been possible for home-schooled students years ago.
“It is competitive, and every player has to earn their right to play,” Wayne Moore said. “The most important things are, ‘how did we play and did we honor God in the way we played?’ We pray for no injuries on either side, and we cap the evening with prayer after the game, regardless of the outcome. We thank Him for the opportunity to play and the learning experience that it is.”
The team will play its home games at Lion’s Field in North Augusta. Sharing that field with them will be Fox Creek High School and Curtis Baptist School in Augusta. The Augusta Lion’s first game will be an exhibition against Fox Creek on Aug. 16.
Having had the experience of starting a program, Russ Schneider, the Fox Creek Predators’ head football coach and athletic director, felt that his team could give back the kindness that they once received.
“I remember it like it was yesterday, starting out from scratch,” he said. “I had some other coaches reach out to help me and help us get going. I felt like I owed that back to anyone wanting to start up a program, and I want to share that responsibility and chip in. I think it will be a good night, and I know they’re really excited for it.”
The Augusta Eagles’ athletic director is Tim Alba and their coach is Sam Lilly. The team will conclude its season against Augusta Prep at home.
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at the North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since January 2013 after previously working at the Aiken Standard. He is a graduate of Alvernia University and currently attends Drexel University.