• 75°

Tigers’ church visits shows team spirit

The Demopolis High School football team visits a diferent church every Thursday, here at the church of Christ at Canal Heights.

The Demopolis High School football team practices the game throughout the week and uses what it learns each Friday night.
Head coach Tom Causey wants to do more for the young men in his charge, and from his first day on campus in 2007, he instituted an idea he got as the coach at Dallas County.
“On Thursday nights, we have a church supper at a different church each week,” he said. “We started doing that when I was at Dallas County. I was trying to find a way to get our kids into church; a lot of our kids didn’t go to church. I was cutting grass one day, I was sitting in a little bitty office there, and the good Lord put it on me and said, ‘Man, take them to church on a school night and feed them during the season.’
“So, we started carrying them to different churches. My wife, Tammy, got involved in it, and she is actually the one who sets up the Thursday night meals with the churches, and they do everything through her. We would love to have different denominations. We go to the Catholic church, Episcopalian, Church of Christ, Baptist, Methodist — we try to cover all of our faiths.”
Causey said that, by going to different churches, it gives the players a chance to see what each church offers. The players hear a devotional, then are served supper.
“There are two reasons we go to different churches,” Causey said. “One, the kids get to learn from other denominations. I don’t know what their ideas are of different religions, and they get to see it for themselves. The second thing is that if a kid doesn’t have a church home, we carry them to several different church homes, and maybe we can find a home for him.
“It’s worked out really good for us in the past. It takes people within the community to step up, and our community here jumped on it when I brought the idea up to them. It’s been really, really good. Last year, we had an altar call in one of the gyms, and 15 or 20 kids raised their hands to give their lives to Christ. That’s a great thing.”
Causey said it is also an opportunity for church-goers to see the players without their helmets, to see them for the young men they are.
“A lot of times, their idea of our kids is what they see on Friday night, and that’s all they know,” he said. “The church members are there, and they are interacting with our kids — our players and cheerleaders. It’s a more relaxed atmosphere than they are used to, when our coaches and players get together. It’s been really good for us.”
Causey said a lot of players take pride when the team goes to their church.
“You’ll hear kids say, ‘We’re going to my church, and we’re going to eat this, this and this,’” he said. “Last week, we went to the First United Methodist Church, and that’s the church I attend, and I told them, ‘We’re going in there, and we’re going to do some singing!’
“They remember what we had to eat at a particular church from last year, and they remember what the message was. We went to the church of Christ the week before, and one of our kids said, ‘This is where they talked about Caleb last year.’”
Winning teams find ways to get inspired to do well on the field of play. DHS head coach Tom Causey has his student-athletes learning more about faith to help them find inspiration that will lead them throughout their lives.