Fellowship and football at F.C.A. Camp

MARIANNA, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Fall high school football practice is only ten days away, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (F.C.A.)team camp is the first chance the attendees have putting on pads for light contact drills, but the focus is on more than merely football.

Chipley, Port St. Joe, Baker, Munroe, Marianna, Rutherford, and Arnold take part in the first of three F.C.A. sessions in this area, spending three days and two nights at the conference center.

The event prides itself on building character, with this year's theme being "strength" on and off the field.

"Unlike other football camps that focus on the individual, we focus on the team," F.C.A. area director Sean Aland said. "One of our main pushes is we expect all players to die to self to serve everyone else; not just on their team but on their team, on their campus, and within the community. So we're about character development and building stronger character."

The camp is structured to give each team 30 minutes against every other team present, a unique, team-oriented format that coaches say helps them improve before practice begins in earnest.

"Everything you're doing at the school here in the summer is shorts and T-shirts," Rutherford head coach Loren Tillman said. "That's all good, but this gives us a chance to just stay sharp on the 'thump' aspect of it and then go against other teams."

Staying overnight also serves as an important bonding exercise.

"It's the one place you can as a team get away from where you live, get all your guys together one place in dorms and cabins, and get your coaches together," Arnold head coach Josh Wright added. "It's a great opportunity to get closer as a team and Blue Springs has always been a wonderful place to come to."

Two more groups of Panhandle teams will participate in F.C.A. camps next week.