Soccer teams to serve Texas town
Community service and athletic outreaches planned
Coaches Fortner, Oancea to lead Aug. 8-13 project
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams at Southwestern Assemblies of God University are so full of God’s blessings that they leak.
In fact, the squads will begin the 2012 season with a mission to serve the community of Leakey, Texas in two weeks.
The venture in Leakey (LAY-kee), which is 350-miles southwest of Waxahachie (and northwest of San Antonio), begins on August 8. It will be led by head coaches Mandy Fortner and Clem Oancea and a cast of roughly 50 team members.
The Lions players will spend a day ministering to young children at the town's First Baptist Church as well as hosting a soccer clinic for kids. SAGU players will teach basic soccer skills along with sharing the gospel through games, testimonials, music and devotionals.
The teams also have a Community Clean-Up Outreach by helping people clean and do repairs on their homes and businesses. Ministering to people on the streets is part of the planned strategies for the project.
The Purple and Gold are inviting everyone in the area to an open-air rally in the center of town on Saturday, Aug. 11. Worship, testimonies and special speakers will make up the program.
Located in the Frio Valley, the population of Leakey has a poverty rate of 39% with a median income of $23,056. Most of the residents live in trailer homes or houses over fifth years old.
Outside of school and Little League baseball, the city offers very few opportunities for athletics. Providing a wholesome introduction to soccer is just part of their goals.
Coach Fortner and her husband Derek, who was a record-setting baseball player at SAGU, lived in Leakey prior to joining the SAGU coaching staff.
“Our team together will benefit so many people,” she said. “Families, children and young people will have needs met in spiritual, physical and recreational ways.”
About SAGU soccer
The Lady Lions and Lions soccer teams will return to campus on Monday, August 13, for the official start of their pre-season camp.
Coach Fortner’s team was 4-14 last fall. They welcome a number of returning veterans as well as a solid recruiting class.
The Lions, under new head coach Oancea (WAHN-cha), enjoyed a 10-9-5 mark in 2011. Their encore season could see them become a league contender.
SAGU is a Division I member in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as well as the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).
The men's team won the NCCAA Central Regional and advanced to the Orlando nationals.
Both soccer teams compete in the Red River Athletic Conference, which has 15 schools from four states; Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico.
Both Southwestern teams play the first of their 18-game schedules on August 24. Together they play in Oklahoma City against Mid-America Christian University.
After an exhibition at home with Hill College (Hillsboro, Texas), both SAGU clubs play host to three matches in eight days, beginning on Saturday, September 1.
Eye on the Lions
SAGU will broadcast a pair of home contests this season. The high definition internet livestream schedule, which will be available at no cost to fans, is slated for introduction next month.
Following Lions soccer during home games can also be accessed via Live Stats, a digital play of the account of competitions.
Southwestern plays home games on their campus pitch, which is reportedly one of the best in the RRAC. It is located behind the Sheaffer Full Life Center between the football and soccer practice fields and the new baseball and softball parks.