FORT SCOTT, Kan. -- The Fort Scott Community College football program has produced several players in the last several years that have gone on to successful careers in four-year college programs throughout the country.
A handful of these players have had the opportunity to make a living playing professional football in the NFL. But, football is not the only thing that the players are learning during their time at the Fort; they are also learning life lessons through the programs Friday Night Devotionals.
Greyhound Head Coach Curtis Horton started the Devotional program when he first came to Fort Scott in 2006 while being an offensive coordinator for then head coach Jeff Sims.
"I feel it is important for the players to know that even though football is a major thing in their life it is not the most important thing and for 30 minutes a week we want to express how important it is for them to understand that football will eventually end and the mission of the program is to help the boys understand the importance to have Christ and to do the right things in life," Horton said when asked about why he felt the program was needed and important.
The program is held at the college every Friday evening for home games. When the team is on the road accommodations are made for the program to be held at the hotel or motel that the team is staying in.
During their recent away game to Garden City, the devotion time was held in Dodge City hotel's lobby, which even though was crowded, it was a time that the players will surely remember throughout their lives.
The thirty-minute program is a mixture of speakers, videos, and readings of scripture. The speakers have ranged from past players, FSCC adminstrators, religious leaders, coaches, local citizens, ex-professional football players, and even a Texas State Senator. Topics from the devotional speakers have ranged from effort, dedication, desire, teamwork, faith, love, and the will to survive through adversity.
First year linebacker coach Matt Glades has seen the importance of the devotion program as a player and now as a coach.
"As a coach, if we only coach the players on the "X's and O's," we have failed as coaches. As a player, I feel it brought us together closer as a family unit and not just a football team, and if you mess with one ‘Hound you mess with the pack," Glades said when asked about the importance of the program.
The goal of the program is to show the players that no matter what line of work you go into and/or where your life leads you after their football career ends, it is important to have a plan in life and to know the difference between right and wrong.
Sophomore quarterback Owen Jordan feels the program is a great thing.
"Without our faith, we wouldn't have anything and with this program it helps us understand what our faith does for us," Jordan said. "The devotional time has done so much for me in my two years at FSCC because it has helped me grow not just as a football player but as a person."