Swearingin got his kicks at SAGU
Senior Spotlight: James Michael Swearingin
Soccer was one of his many outlets
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Sometimes when the best made plans don’t work out you discover unexpected, serendipitous joy in the new direction. That was the case for James Michael Swearingin.
The highly athletic senior enrolled at Southwestern Assemblies of God University expecting basketball to be his ticket to a degree in counseling. Turns out it was soccer.
After earning his way to SAGU by virtue of a homeschool diploma, who could blame James for taking an alternative path, only to realize it was his best route.
He played for three different head coaches during his four seasons on campus. His six goals as a sophomore was the best on the team!
The Lions enjoyed their first-ever winning record in his junior year, going 10-9-5.
That team had five players score in double-digits, led by 38 points (15 goals, 8 assists) from Danny Martinez (Houston, Tx / Cypress Creek HS).
As a junior Swearingin once blasted a goal from over thirty yards away. He drilled it from the right flank, clearing teammates and defenders in the crease as well as the keeper, who was frozen, having anticipated a deflection.
In the post-season they went 3-0 to win the Central Regional tournament of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA), then advanced to the eight-team field at the nationals in Orlando.
While watched them play from the Barnes Student Center, the team posted an 0-2-1 mark in three very competitive games at nationals.
His skills allowed him to play at forward for most of his career. As a senior he learned how rewarding a change in position could be.
Head Coach Clem Oancea (WAHN-cha) utilized his considerable skills on defense as a midfielder. Once again, Swearingin (SWEAR-in-jin) adjusted and found plenty to like.
The colorful Swearingin scored a total of eight goals in his career, including six as a sophomore. He added four assists. Combined, he contributed 22 points.
SAGU won 27 games in his four seasons with the Purple Pride.
During a 5-2 win over Texas College in 2011, the Lions snapped a 2-2 tie in the second half on a Swearingin goal that proved to be the game-winner, an apt description of him!
It was a rare win over the Steers, who had given SAGU fits for years.
Name: James Michael Swearingin
Birthplace: Arlington, Texas
Parents Names: Michael and Susan Swearingin
Siblings Names (age): Jonathan 16, Joshua 17, Jeremiah 20, Aaron 33, Danny 34, Canaan 35, David 36, Charity 37
High School: Homeschool
Favorite Motivational Motto, Theme, or Verse: Mathew 6:33
Favorite Book: The Bible
Favorite Song and/or Movie: The Goonies. I love all music, depending on my mood.
Favorite Restaurant in Waxahachie: 2 Amigos and The Courthouse Cafe
Major at SAGU: Counseling
Career Direction: Don’t know yet. Am trusting God to show me and lead me.
Your Immediate Plans: Take a semester off and help my little brothers with their basketball game.
Q1) What were your reasons for choosing SAGU?
James Swearingin: I chose SAGU because of the Godly environment. It helps promotes growing into the man of God I’m supposed to be.
Q2) Who were your favorite professors and why?
JS: Prof. (Brad) Fairchild (Counseling, Psychology). He always made learning fun. There was never a day that I didn’t look forward to going to one of his classes.
Q3) How would you summarize your athletic accomplishments at SAGU?
JS: I put my heart out on the field for my team. Every time I stepped on that field, I know I gave it my all. That’s the best you can do. I’m proud of where the team has come from, and where it is going.
Q4) What did you enjoy most about the SAGU experience?
JS: The friendships that I have made. I will never forget them.
Q5) What did you most enjoy about chapel?
JS: My favorite Chapel speaker had to be Robert Madu (Teaching Pastor / Trinity Church, Cedar Hill, Tx). He is a great man of God.
The highlight of Chapel has to be whenever they play ‘Gospel’ music. It makes me feel like I’m at a black church and I always have a good time.
Q6) What was the most pleasant surprise you experienced at SAGU?
JS: Playing soccer. It turned out to be amazing. I thought I was going to play basketball, but that didn’t happen.
Q7) Tell us about your best play. What happened?
JS: It was probably in the first college game I ever played (9-26-2009). I scored on a diving header to help the team take the lead (3-1 win over Southwestern College, Ks).
Q8) What aspect of the game will you miss the most?
JS: The competition. I just love to compete! I do it with everything inside of me.
Q9) What would you have liked to have accomplished while wearing the purple and gold?
JS: I would have liked to have won a national championship
Q10) Any post-college plans to utilize your athletic career towards?
JS: None really, though I might want to coach basketball.
Q11) How would like to be remembered as a player?
JS: Someone who was a role model to the younger players, who worked hard and never, gave up no matter what the score. Mostly, a man of integrity.
Swearingin was very active throughout campus life, from ministry events to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to a wide range of intramural sports. His people skills placed him at the hub of the social scene.
Through his years on campus James readily identified with the values of SAGU and its mission, for he brought them with him when he first arrived.