Lansing Catholic High School’s state championship-winning football squad was honored at Michigan’s State Capitol, January 22, with the team’s player of the year revealing that he and his fellow players were primarily motivated by their love of God.
“We all know we have God in our minds first, before sports, and then we go out there and play our hardest for our families and for God,” said 12th grader Zach Gillespie, the team’s quarterback who was also honored at the event as Divisional Player of the Year.
Zach and his teammates won Lansing Catholic’s first State Championship in 34 years with a 31-17 victory over Almont High at Ford Field in Detroit on Saturday, November 30. It was achievement that was honored with a reception in the Speaker’s Library in the State Capitol hosted by Representative Sarah Anthony, whose electoral district includes Lansing Catholic High School, with the event being attended by politicians from both sides of the legislative aisle.
“We have had so many blessings come our way in recent months, this is another one, it’s something special and it’s nice to see everybody recognized for their achievements,” said Jim Ahern, Lansing Catholic’s Football Coach who was also honored at the event as the divisional Coach of the Year. He too highlighted prayer as a fundamental ingredient in building both team-spirit and good sportsmanship.
“We always ended every practice with a prayer, when we went out on the field we would always begin with a prayer and concluded the game with a prayer too – it’s neat you can do that at our school.”
Following the reception in the Speaker’s Library, the delegation from Lansing Catholic High School, which included many proud parents, made their way to the floor of the House of Representatives for an official photograph.
“It’s one of the best parts of being part of a Catholic school is that we get to form the whole person,” said school chaplain, Father Paul Erickson.
“It’s not just about the body trained through sports, it’s not just about the mind trained through academics but it’s also about using both those things to help train the soul in the way of virtue and holiness and all those qualities we so desperately need.”
The Diocese of Lansing contains 28 parish elementary schools and four regional high schools. Each Catholic school attempts to assist parents in helping their children to grow in knowledge, wisdom and virtue so that our young people develop into adults who are both happy and holy as they fulfill their God-given potential. To find out more about Catholic schools go to: https://dolcatholicschools.org/