Young Life organizes special club for athletes

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Athletes hurry to answer the questions in hopes of winnnig the prize during the Athletics Young Life Club. (Omar Orozco photo)

Athletes hurry to answer the questions in hopes of winnnig the prize during the Athletics Young Life Club. (Omar Orozco photo)

After a long day of lifting weights, athletes walk into the west cafeteria and behold a feast awaiting them. The hungry teenagers spring themselves to the food and eat quickly. When everybody is almost done eating, Dallas County Young Life Coordinator Cassandra Shed begins to present a bible lesson to the crowd. She talks to the young adolescence about leadership, motivation and the strive to be the best. She advises them to listen to their coaches, teachers and parents. She tells them about the bible and why it’s important to understand the values it holds. Looking around the room, there are over a hundred kids present all focused on what the lady in the orange Young Life t- shirt is saying. But when the serious part is done, the entertainment starts.

“Which president’s face is on the dime?” she asks everyone. People are talking over each other and some are raising their hands impatiently. Finally, somebody shouts out the right answer: Theodore Roosevelt. She then moves on to the next question and when they get too loud, head football Coach Jeff Dicus blows his whistle to calm down the atmosphere. This is what happens every other week at the 5 pm Young Life Athletics club.

Cassandra Shed, the same lady who is in charge of Young Life for 9-12 grade for the last three years, started this special club a few months ago. She initially had the idea when she noticed that a number of kids weren’t eating that were involved in athletics. She said it became a vision of hers to start a special club for athletes later than the normal 3 pm Young Life every Monday.

“I saw that kids that wanted to come to Young Life, couldn’t because of their athletics. I thought to myself, I wanna be able to reach every kid and in order to do that I’m gonna have to do something different,” Shed said. “I need to change the program is what I thought at that time.”
Shed said she felt bad that she was able to feed the 9-12 graders in club and the athletes were going without because they were working out so late.

“I thought, these kids need to eat and I would really love to provide a meal for them,” Shed said.

Now these athletes get a healthy meal every other Tuesday through a generous program called Feeding America. Operation Advantage inc. company drops food off at a church which is then taken to the school for the athletes who attend Young Life club. This is the first year for Young Life athletics and coaches say this organization is “totally optional” for the athletes and about a 140 kids on average show up for the meetings.

“I the entertainment, the hands- on learning, motivation, and learning to be a leader and learning to speak for yourself,” sophomore football player Quizon Jones said. “I am looking forward to doing this again next year.”

Sophomore Devin Alexander has similar thoughts about attending the club.

“This is a great program a good program where you get to bond with people, make friends and have fun,” Alexander said. “I also said he loves winning stuff and being able to eat a meal.”

Dicus said that he and the other coaches push their students to attend the meetings because they are about fellowship and getting a “good little meal” is a plus.

“It’s about us coming together and doing things together and that’s what we’re preaching right now. We are very fortunate that Cassandra Shed giving us this opportunity,” Dicus said. “Every meeting the numbers keep growing and my goal for the next one is for us to have 160 athletes show up.”