Sports

Elevating the ThunderWolves

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dodgeball.jpgPeople don’t normally associate football and ministry, but with the football team less than 100 days away from their first game in 24 years, the months leading in are anything but the norm.

Pastor Steve Chavez from Praise Assembly of God Church, led a team from young adult group, Elev8, to serve Gatorade, water, oranges and granola bars recharging the Pack football team.

Elev8 is a ministry group from Praise Assembly of God Church. The group exists to lead young adults into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ with the motto to “believe, belong and become.”

Head coach John Wristen pulled the team together at the conclusion of practice and introduced Elev8. He told the football players they are here to bring the team refreshments.

“The guys were sweating like crazy and they lit up and ran to the locker room,” Chavez said.

Chavez said he was elated the team of approximately 80 to 90 players and 15 coaches were very receptive to Elev8.

Coach Steve Sewell said it was awesome that Elev8 arrived with refreshments and was reaching out to players after a tough day.

“This is an example of what good people who serve God do,” Sewell said.

Chavez said the guys were very responsive and a lot were Christians asking if it was possible to arrange a Bible study for the team and also requesting prayer for their families back home. Elev8 prayed with the team and individuals.

Sewell has spent a lot of time trying to bring football and the community together. He worked for the Denver Broncos for 10 years in community.

Sewell said that football players are tough guys and it is difficult for them to let their guard down and was amazed that these guys felt comfortable approaching Chavez.

“That is a compliment and it says something about him, he has a gift,” Sewell said.

Chavez was chosen by the coaches to serve as the Chaplain for the football team and said he is honored to serve the team.

Duties as the Chaplain would consist of counseling, mentoring, leading the team in prayer and simply helping with any issues that coaches and players may have.

“Most of these guys are young and away from home and when they get breaking news from home, they need help coping with these issues,” Chavez said.

Being a football veteran, pastor, and having the passion to serve others, Chavez certainly fits the part.

The misconception is that football defines the players.

“A football player is not who you are, (football) is what you do,” Chavez said. “I am so excited about the team, they are a great group of guys.”

Football eventually comes to an end in everybody’s career; as it did for Chavez.

“When football is completely over, living a life of character and integrity is going to be the greatest victory any player or coach will ever have,” Chavez said.

Chavez and Sewell both said they are looking forward to kick-off on Sept. 6, and are anticipating working with players and spending a lot of time with relationship building.

Sewell’s individual goal is to influence the players to become better young men and football players.

Chavez has invited coach Steve Sewell to speak at Elev8 on Wednesday, July 30. Chavez invited the coaching staff and team to attend this service. Head coach, Wristen and Dan DeRose, a major contributor of the Thunderbowl, will be recognized at this service.

Chavez extends an invitation for all to attend Elev8 services every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Praise Assembly of God Church, 2000 Troy Avenue, in the Praise Activity Center (PAC).