Today’s blog post is written by guest author, and CPLS Senior, Jerica Barkley.
Following in the American tradition, football is well loved at Cair Paravel. High school and middle school boys from both the school itself and local homeschooling families suit up in helmets and shoulder pads each autumn in order to tackle each other and form lifelong bonds. The program is nearly as old as Cair Paravel itself, with state championships in 2007 and 2013.
Coach Douglas Bonura has been involved with football for years, playing in college for Taylor University. He began his coaching career in 1998 in Montana, and continued to coach both junior varsity and varsity. In the fall of 2012, his family came to Cair Paravel, where he was hired as a teacher and was asked to coach the football team as well.
“I enjoy coaching because it involves players outside the classroom,” says Bonura, “Boys are physical, making football a natural place for them. There is opportunity for involvement and there and a place to encourage them in life through what they learn on the field.”
Coach Bonura has led the Cair Paravel football program in using the trials of the field to train godly young men for the battle of life. Each difficulty, whether a difficult game, an intense workout, or a sprained ankle, is viewed as an opportunity to rely on Christ. “Modern Christian culture alienates suffering, but, instead of alienating our suffering, we must learn to deal with it,” says Coach Bonura. “They learn to face suffering and fight the battle knowing we have victory in Christ.”
Benjamin Martin (runningback/fullback/defense) and Matthew Will (quarterback), the team’s seniors and leaders, have both engaged in football from a young age and have played on the school team since the sixth grade. Both enjoy the camaraderie and challenges offered by the sport, and are grateful for coaches who continually invest in them and their relationships with Christ. Benjamin Martin says, “Our coaches care about us as both players and people- they make a point of it daily by doing devotions before practice, talking to us around class, and just making it known that they’re available.”
Upon being asked about his greatest takeaway from football, Benjamin Martin echoes his coach. “Football has taught me that life isn’t easy, and as a young man, you have roles as a leader in your home, job, and family, and it’s important to grow and develop into them.” Matthew Will, answered, “I learned that adversity is an opportunity. You never know what life is going to be like, but it’s how you respond to your situation that dictates your life.”