The music was blaring, neighborhood spectators were watching, high school, college, and NFL coaches were greeting and encouraging, the stage was set for the FREE 2016 Baltimore City Football Combine.
On June 12th, close to 100 teenagers were present in the heart of Sandtown, with their sights set on college, looking to showcase their skills and enjoy a great athletic experience.
What took place in the next 2 hours was as much of a learning opportunity as it was a performing opportunity. As local high school teens tested in the events of: Bench Press, 40 yard Dash, Shuttle Run, and Vertical Jump, they were briefed by Raven’s coaches and local community leaders about the importance of: perseverance, hard work, decision making, and Godly wisdom.
Mr. Foster, a father of one of the athletes couldn’t help but expressing his gratitude for this opportunity for his son. “Not a lot of people provide these opportunities for our teenagers. He [son] has never been a part of something like this, and he’s going to remember this for a long time.” This love shown to his son moved Mr. Foster to want to stay around and help to clean up everything.
Mr. Foster was right. The truth is that many Baltimore City high school athletes don’t get to experience an event like this. Many “local” combines don’t seem so “local” to many of our teenagers, as they are often held in various counties (other than Baltimore City) which make travel nearly impossible for teenagers without vehicle access. Along with the difficult commute, almost all combines charge a registration fee which isn’t realistic for our teenagers who live in poverty stricken households to pay.
As Mr. Foster was leaving, he asked us for a shirt. I smiled and gladly gave him one. I realized how excited he was to jump in and be a part of something that was serving our youth with excellence, and went BEYOND just the sport. Will you be a Mr. Foster for what God is doing through 10:12 Sports and jump in to help