A Basketball David and Goliath Story: The Aletheia Lions
In the Beginning...
In the Bible, David was a small boy who defeated a mighty giant, Goliath, that all of the people feared, thus earning honor and respect. In much the same way, the mens' Varsity Basketball team at tiny Aletheia Christian Academy in Pensacola, Florida has been likened to little David defeating many mighty Goliaths to become a mighty force among basketball teams in their conference and national association. Why is this important to me? My children attend this amazing school, and my 9th grade son is on this amazing team this year.
I often feel that large public schools get much recognition for their sports programs and the athletes that make up these programs, and they deserve the recognition for their achievements. However, the accomplishments of smaller schools often go unrecognized, however big they may be. This is my opportunity to give some recognition to this group of guys.
Aletheia Boys Varsity Basketball
Who Are These Mighty Lions?
The Aletheia Lions basketball team has worked hard to get where they are today. Their amazing coach joined the Aletheia staff three years ago and began to build a team of young men that could not only play basketball, but had integrity, academic achievement, and strong Christian character. The boys practiced four days per week, leaving out Wednesdays for church activities that many were involved in. During the 2010/2011 school year, hard work paid off. These boys moved through the season with an incredible record of 26 wins and 10 losses. They were invited to the National ChampionshipTournament in Dayton, Tennessee. The other teams took one look at little Aletheia, a team from a school with a high school enrollment of 55 students and decided an easy win was imminent, but Aletheia was unstoppable. Moving from the quarterfinals to the semifinals, then onto the final championship game, the Lions gave it their all. In a major upset, they defeated the hulking favorites in overtime to win their first ever National Championship title in their 19 years of school existance.
Coming into this school year, my 9th grade son was thrilled to have been asked to play UP on the varsity team. Nine seniors were returning plus others who had played with the team last year. Practices started early and the boys gave every practice their all. My son would come home soaked with sweat, tired, sore, but proud of his accomplishments and thrilled to be involved in the comradarie that has developed among the members of this team. Once again, these boys have produced a winning season. They have only lost 5 games, came in first place in a pre-season tournament, a mid-season tournament and last week they won the Regional Championship. That win sent them to the Final Four in the Panhandle Christian Conference this weekend. Once again the boys came out on top. Tuesday my family will travel with my son and the team BACK to the National Chamionship for the National Association of Christian Athletics, where the boys will once again attempt to bring home a National Title.
How do they do it? Well, the boys have a God given talent obviously and they LOVE basketball. I'd like to believe that they would give a little credit to parents for supporting them. I'll be the first to say that I am definately my son's biggest fan and I love watching Aletheia play. These boys have an amazing coach who is not only gifted in basketball, but holds himself and the boys to a high academic and moral standard. But...the boys will all be the first to say that they give glory to God. One of the boys posted on Facebook before today's championship game, "if we win, glorify Him, if we lose, glorify Him". Another boy posted after the game, "All glory goes to God for tonight's victory to win final four".
Little David is not so little anymore, and I couldn't be more proud. Way to go Lions!!