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Call of the Wild Travel with Chad Schearer as he hunts down grizzlies and buffalowith a greater purpose in mind BY JEFF DAVENPORT

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Living a Dream As a kid, Adam Wainwright played those "I'm in the World Series" games. In 2006, he lived it with the Cardinals BY DAVID AUSTIN


Standing in Defiance It's not what it sounds like. Champion racer Sam Hornish Jr. is from Defiance, Ohio, and he's proud of it BY JEFF ARNOLD


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Up Close-with Jackie Maravich BY LORILEE CRAKER - - ----Up Nexti- Eiijah Moore, Austin Krum, Brandi Bianco, Chase Austin BY JIM GIBBS


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Heart and Soul • Bij Victor

Road Warriors • Some people look forward to road trips. Others live them. The military. Some sales people. Athletes and coaches, depending on the sport and circumstance. Seasonal workers. Musical groups. They know the experience of waking up unsure what city they are in. Choices abound for the road warriors. It is a blessing or curse? No roots, or many opportunities? No friends, or friends everywhere? Go willingly, or be dragged? Begrudge or embrace? Life is about choices, about Tim's role calling for constant engaging or being engaged, travel, the Folis have finally about stepping into the situa"settled in," calling Knoxville, tion or getting stepped on. Tennessee, horne. Tim and Ginette Foli are "The more people I can influamong the countless road warence, the better," says Ginette. "And what better way than to riors. Charting their stops across America, the Dominican Republic, go from one place to another? and Puerto Rico for winter ball, I'd do it again in a heartbeat, but it was tough, physically and and overseas for clinics would look like a toddler wildly coloring mentally. For the kids, it was a mixed bag. They had to leave inside and outside the lines. There were eight Major League in the middle of sports seasons Baseball stops as a player, countor in the middle of having a less others in the minors and boyfriend. On the other hand, one that was very shy is now majors as a coach and manager, · easily totaling more than 20. much more balanced, and I They have five kids, the last four believe it is because of the horneschooled. But rather than travel. Meeting so many people, shallow weeds scattered atop the learning the country, rubbing many grounds they've occupied, elbows with famous and notthe Folis are deeply rootedfamous people, hearing great those roots still nourishing and teachers at different churchesfeeding many at every stop. you can't buy that." "Even though we live far apart now, they impacted how we live now," says Christi Eldred, whose husband Cal pitched on teams Tim coached in the 80s. "There are still things she taught me about parenting and leading Bible study that I use every week." Tim Ginette set _.. Beneficiaries. Cal and Christi Eldred and out to be mfluencers. family are among those Ginette helped. Ginette became the more studied teacher while Tim, And you can't buy what now minor league field coordina- Ginette gave countless wives tor for the Washington Nationals, and players, Christi Eldred says. coached and bridged players and "Ginette was a consistent, their wives to Ginette. With loving, available, selfless person," SPORT S SPECTRU M ON TH E WEB : www. SportsSpectrum . com

she says. "When Cal and I first got to the big leagues (1991, Milwaukee), they were opening their horne for Bible studies. She was thoughtful and concerned about our spiritual growth. She took every opportunity to share the Lord with people, especially on our team. She was very encouraging to those of us who were believers to grow. So to start Cal's career with two great mentors-wow. "She was real. She was transparent. She was contagious. She really influenced me in a lot of areas as a morn and wife. I saw that it was never drudgery for her; she was just serving the Lord." Ginette says her plan is simple. "Every person I meet, I look for the opportunity to share Christ's influence in my life, or how He can affect theirs," she says. "Whether it is wives or the people working the concessions or people sitting next to me. I didn't forcefeed my faith, but when a crack opened I shared how Christ was moving in my life, or if a problem was presented I could bring in a solution." If "wind beneath my wings" is corny, too bad. Ginette is Tim's, after the Holy Spirit, of course. "Even back when we were playing ('70 to '85, World Series winner with the Pirates in '79),

wives would come to her and say, 'We're not getting along; " Tim recalls. "She would take them right to the Word of God and ask, 'Where is your relationship with the Lord?' because before changing anyone else, you've got to get yourself right with Him. "Ginette is so well studied! understand our roles, that she knows more than I do and is deeper in her knowledge than I am. I'm not going to fight it to be macho; we're a team, and she's played the more vital part of teaching and counseling people." While the Folis won't know until heaven exactly how much influence they've had, it's nice to get an occasional insight. Not long ago Dante Bichette, the four-time AU-Star outfielder who played from 1988 to 2001, bumped into Tim. Dante had Dante Jr., who competed in the 2005 Little League World Series with his father as coach, in tow. Big Dante turned to little Dante and said, "I want you to meet this man because his wife is the reason you're such a good son today. His wife is the lady who led your mom to the Lord: " That's enough affirmation for eternity. 0

Veteran journalist Victor Lee lives in Knoxville, Tennessee. SPORTS SP EC TRUM - JULY- AUGUST 2007


COUNTDOWN It's Rll About the Numbers


REAL LIFE Six things you didn't /mow about Willy Taveras, center fielder, Colorado Roc/lies {WITH HELP FROMJOSH cooLEY). 0 Christian accountability partner? "We have a great group of guys that go to Bible study together. (Outfielder] Matt Holliday is one of the guys I am close to. He asked me today if I was going to Bible study. I'm a Ch ristian guy, and I like to hear the Word. You go through good times and bad times. You've got to take care of things. You've got to pray. You need someone who's not afraid to come up to you and help you. It's nice having a guy like that. I'm glad I found a guy like that." 8 Best thing about being a major leaguer? "It's like a dream come true. You work real hard, you see the players on TV and you want to be like them. Now, you're here and you feel you belong here. It's a blessing from the Lord." 0 How do you handle fan responses? "Nobody has come to me and tried to be mean. If you aren't playing at home, the fans can be a little rude. But you can't please everyone. I focus on my relationship with God and how I can help the ball club." 0 Most admired Christian athlete? "''m real close with Albert Pujols. He's a great Christian guy and a strong believer. We're real close. We talk whenever we get a chance." 0 Favorite Bible passage? "Psalms 23 and 91. You put everything on God. You rely on God, and He will take care of you." e Favorite off-day activity? "When I'm off, I try to play golf. I'm not too good. I played in the offseason, but I'm not that good yet."

The current careers offive • • • fonner professional athletes. 0 Manny Sanguillen, former major league catcher. Runs a concession stand outside PNC Park in Pittsburgh specializing in barbecue sandwiches. 8 Kent Botte nfield, former major league pitcher. Continues to carve out a career as a contemporary Christian music artist. His latest album, Back in the Game, came out this spring. 0 Kevin Johnson, former NBA

player. Has become national spokesperson for Stand Up, a national campaign to improve America's schools. Runs St. Hope Academy, which is attempting to revita lize the education system in Sacramento. 0 Jeff Hostetler, former NFL

quarterback. Hostetler is president of Three Arrows Development Company in Morgantown, West Virginia. The company builds spec houses. He also is president of the board of Chestnut Mountain Ranch, a home for at-risk children, and he helps out at the high school whe re his sons play football. 0 Aeneas Williams, former NFL

cornerback. Williams owns several auto dealerships in the Monroe, Louisiana, area. He sells Hondas, Toyotas, Pontiacs, and Chrys lers in his various dealerships.


6 Three Christian NFL players who will be attempting . . . . . comebaclls in 2007. 0 David Pollack, Cincinnati Bengals. Attempting to return from a broken neck he suffered early in the 2006 season. e Josh Booty, Oakland Raiders. Has been out of football since 2003, will try to earn a job as a backup QB in Oakland. His brother, John David Booty, is the quarterback at USC. 0 Andre Wadsworth, New York Jets. Has been out of football since 2000, will try to earn a job as a defensive end. 8


Four former baseball players for the Dallas Baptist Patriots who are now playing in the major leagues. 0 BEN ZOBRIST, infielder, Tampa Bay Devil Rays. 8 LEW FORD, outfielder, Minnesota Twins. 0 FREDDY SANCH EZ, infielder, Pittsburgh Pirates. 0 JASON LARUE, catcher, Kansas City Royals.

* Action Points August 29 • Gel Serious: Ask two or three friends how they feel when they're praised. Then ask them what Proverbs 27:21 means. Enjoy a conversation centered on the source of our success-God! • Go Deep: Read Proverbs 27:1-21. August 30 • Get Serious: Are your body and mind under your control. or do you let life and circumstances dictate your actions? Ask God today for strength to discipline your mind and body. • Go Deep: Read 1Corinthians 9:24-27. What prize do you think Paul was striving for7 August 31 • Get Serious: Take a few moments to root out the trivialities of life that are hindering your spiritual growth. • Go Deep: Read I Corinthians 9:24·27.



"Man is tested by the praise he receives." PROVERBS 27:21

MADE HIS MARK • Mark Mart in entered the 2007 NASCAR season with a modest plan. The ax-\rP:.r-1'11 veteran simply wanted to drive in a select group of races and downshift his into the slow lane. But then it happened. After the first two races Martin was leading in Nextel Cup points! So should he change his plans? Nope. After more than two decades chasing the C Martin felt he had already made his mark. "I don't want to run for the championshi don't want to race for points." he said last March. Even though he was off to one of the best starts. a well-seasoned maturity let know it was time to ease up on the throttle. He knew that fast starts don't always lead a checkered-flag finish. To Mark's credit. he stuck to his plan. He didn't let the kudos go to his head. How would you have responded if you had been in Mark Ma rtin's shoes last You're leading in points and people are singing your praises. It would be pretty easy reconsider and go for the glory, hu h? That situation is a good example of what Solomon was writing about in Proverbs "The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold. but man is tested by the praise .__ . - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - -receives" (v.21) . Two Christian baseball coaches who were i11ducted God's plan is that we humbly and gratefully acknowledge that any success we into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall is all about His glory-not ours. Being pra ised is a test. So where do you go with your success-with the praise you receive? If you're of Fame recently. leaving it at jesus' feet. you've missed the mark! -ToM 0 KEITH MADISON, 8 MIKE MARTIN, Fast Fact; Martin has finished second for tht Cup four times (1990. 1994. 1998. 2002). Neuer University of Kentucky Florida State University AUGUST 30 "The peace of God.... will guard your hearts." PHILIPf'1ANS4.7


Power Up! is published by the creators of Sports Spectrum magazine and is designed to help its readers understand the gospel of jesus Christ and grow in their faith in Him. Managing Editor: Daue Branon Graphic Design: Steue Qier Contributing Writers: jeff Arnold, freelance wrller Rob Bentz, freelance writer Josh Cooley, freelance writer Tom Felten, Web Content Manager: RBC Ministries Tim Gustafson, managing editor. Our Daily Bread Brian Hellinga, host. producer. Discover the Word jeff Olson, Biblical Counseling. RBC Ministries Molly Ramseyer, freelance writer Roxanne Robbins, freelance writer Brandon Webb, major league pitcher Tamika Catchings, WNBA forward Scoll Kennedy, chaplain. Cleveland Indians

-----------------------------------------------------Weekend articles: Brian Adams, minor league pitcher Undsay Adams, freelance writer Natalie Creech, creatiue director. Sports Spectrum Robert Walker, publisher. Sports Spectrum

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One question you may have worulered about. "What is it Like lo jJlay golfwilh Tiger Woods?"

• On January 5, 1988, Jackie Maravich lost her kindred spirit and best friend when her husband Pete died while playing pickup basketball in California. She was left to raise their sons, Jaeson and Josh, alone. Jackie • .,_ .... , ,_Turill.. remarried in early 2003. Jackie has kept out of the limelight through the years, but recently she cooperated on a major biography of the man she met while t hey were both students at LSU. The book, titled Maravich, was written by Wayne Federman and Marshall Terrill. ESPN dubbed the biography, which resu lted from extensive research, "The definitive biography of Pistol Pete Maravich."

. .......

Lori lee: Did you ever think you would marry one of the greatest athletes of all time? Jackie: No! When we met, I didn't like basketball at all. In fact, I had no idea who Pete was!

Jackie: As a man, it was his Christianity and how many people's lives he touched before he went home to be with t he Lord. As a basketball player, he was ahead of his time. I don't think people will be able to break some of t hose reco rds, like t he 68 points he had against t he New York Knicks one ga me when he was with the New Orleans [now Utah] Jazz. Lorilee: What was the hardest part for you being a young widow? Jackie: Raising my chi ldren. They were so young at the time, just 5 and 8 years old. I had to put my feelings aside and get them t hrough all of t his and be strong for t hem. The first 5 or 6 months I was kind of in shock, and then it hit me t hat he had gone, and I was kind of a recluse fo r awhile. But I was always trying to protect my children fro m everything-newspapers, people poi nting, etc.- and give t hem a normal life.

to feel God's my life 1ow that He ; has the best I for me." "To drive !Xtel Cup 1

Lorilee: What advice would you give to today's NBA wives? Jackie: The NBA is tota lly different than when Pete was playing. I know t here are a lot of strong Christian wives, so I would say just rely on your faith t o get you t hrough everything.

Fast Fact: Sports Illustrated named Zaharias the Female Athlete of the Twentieth Century. AUGUST 3 I


Lori lee: What do you think is Pete's greatest legacy as a bollplayer and a man?


• The sun glares in my eyes as it peeks over the beautiful Rocky Mountains. morning air is fresh and the atmosphere is poised with anticipation. Mounds of us into the frigid water. adjusting our goggles. stretching our arms. and bouncing with gy. And then begins the countdown. 5-4-3-2-1 and the horn blows. Total chaos as hundreds of kicking legs and flailing arms race into the water. all des1pera1tely to gain position. There is just one word that cycles through my mind triathlon- RELAX! Former NFLquarterback Brian Sipe once said. "The only way to maximize potential performance is to be calm in the mind." Another sports hero of old. Babe Zaharias. said. "Luck? Sure. but only after long practice and only with the ability to under pressure." I believe athletics is the process of bringing your body and under control; of disciplining your mind to relax under disturbing conditions. Paul even told us in his letter to the Corinthians that he beat "his body and his slave" (1CORINTHIANS9:27). He disciplined his body to serve God better. And a books later. Paul said that the "peace of God. which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ jesus" (PHILIPPIANS 4 7). What comfort to know that God can give us a peace that will settle our minds! Today, quiet your soul. breathe deeply, and relax in the promise that God's peace trump any situation you face! -MOllY

Up Close • With

"Only one thing is needed." LUKE 10.42

ACTIVITY: my friends is 1wind. We'll >out to eat, j the house." MOMENT: Jr racing Non funds, ted that God ! the money racing. And :e lncorpormd asked me driver •as really an That whole ;t taught us :ontrol." I WHY: "Race He's a 1 drives a lot Jf race cars, 1 that." USICIAN:

Lori lee: When you look at your sons today, how do you think they are like Pete?

HORSE SENSE • Last january. it seemed that every newspaper in America was tracking the Barbaro, the majestic thoroughbred who won the 2006 Kentucky Derby and the hearts of American sports fans. So when Barbaro got injured 2 weeks later during the Preakness Stakes and eventually euthanized after an 8-month recovery attempt. the national nurnmm of grief was stunning. In an attempt to explain the collective reaction. Post sportswriter Sally jenkins wrote. "His survival seemed like ... a balm for wars. domestic deceit. and the bimbo cocktail party circuit. ruthless wealth and cross-entouraging that we lately call American culture." The hyperbole and media saturation that accompanied Barbaro's death shocking. After all. as great a champion as he was. Barbaro was still just a horse. Spiritually speaking. it is easy for us as Christians to get caught up in the details of life. A perfect example is the story in Luke 10 of sisters Mary and both of whom reacted quite differently to a visit by jesus. Martha scurried f ly about. stressing over the dinner preparation. while Mary simply sat at jesus' and soaked in His presence. Whom did jesus commend? Mary. Life is full of unimportant distractions. and it's easy to lose our focus on Chl'i• Only by adhering to the advice of verses like 2 Corinthians 4:18-which implores "fix our eyes not on what is seen. but on what is unseen"-will we be able to spiritually on target. -}051/UA

Fast Fact: Barbaro's 2006 Kentucky Derby win was by a whopping 6.5 lengths.

Jackie: Today they are 28 and 25. They are both Christians, number one. They love the game of basketball, of course. They both are ve ry sensitive, very giving young men and very considerate of other people. Pete would be so pro ud of t he m bot h.


• "Playing with Tiger Woods is interesting, to be sure. His hitting the ball is a sound I've never hea rd before. But Tiger also has respect for older players like me, and he is always looking to learn . That's why he is t he best."


Lorilee: Has it been hard for them to live under such a long shadow? Jackie: Sure. My youngest one is playing in an NBA developmental leag ue, and my older one is a personal basketball trai ner. They have put a lot of pressure on themselves and other people have put pressure on them. Tryi ng to play that ga me with that last name is real tough. Lorilee: What was it like for you cooperating on the new biography of Pete's life? Jackie: The book is called Marovich, and it came out in December 2006. I collaborated with two Christian writers for 5 years. I had been approached by different people to do a book, but these wri ters were different. They loved Pete, and I could relate to them as Christians. It was the best decision I could have made. Go to http:/j maravichbook.com to find out more about t he biography Marovich, published by Sports Classic Books. SPORTS SPECTRUM • J ULY- AUGUST 2007


UST 20 07




Up Next • Written and Compiled bq Jim GIBBS


ELIJAH MOORE: A Special Plan • He may not have realized it, but skater Elijah Moore had a Christian testimony long before he became a Christian. In 2001, he took first place in the Vas Warped Tour skateboarding championships held in Dallas, and in 2003, he won the T-Mobile Game of Skates in Dallas, where he defeated well-known skater Kerry Getz. "When I look back over my life and see how God was watching over my life and blessing me, even at a young age, it really blows me away," Moore says. "It sounds hard to believe when I say this, but even as a small boy at the age of 4 or 5 years old, I just knew that there was a creator who made the earth and that there was a God who loved me. When I look back at that time of my life, I'm very thankful that God really revealed Himself to me at such a young age." Moore, 27, is a professional skater with King of Kings Skateboard Ministry. He said that at the age of about 2 a rare skin disease ravaged his face and almost disfigured him for life. "Fortunately, I was very young when it happened so I don't remember it very much at aU," he says. "But several years ago, my sister had the same thing happen to her and, through that, God allowed me to see what it was like when I had it. Thankfully, the Lord healed both of us, and there are no signs of it today." Even at the age of 2, Moore says, it was apparent that the Lord was preparing him for a purpose. "When I was going

through problems with a skin disease, my mom took me to several different pastors and told them aUto pray for me," he says. "Then, one of the pastors said that within the next few weeks God was going to completely heal my face of the skin disorder. In a few weeks it aUwent away, and I was healed. As I got older and my parents told me the story of how God healed me, I began to realize that He had a special plan for my life." In later years, Moore's faith would be tested. "Somewhere between the time I was 18 and 20 years old, I began to drift away from the Lord. I began to ask myself 'What if aU this stuff that I've learned about Jesus is wrong?' At that point, I began to do aU the things that I told myself I would never do.

to during those difficult times were Psalm 37:4: 'Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart; and Proverbs 16:3: 'Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed.' " Soon God began to reveal His plan. "Not long after that, I got a shoe AUSTINKRUM company to sponsor me. Baseball. Outfield. Junior. I went to California to do Dallas Baptist University. some skating for them. From Highland Ranch, I got involved with the Colorado. Age 21. King of Kings Skateboard I was always looking for • Started 45 of the Patriots' Ministry. I've been the next high, and it was 52 games in 2005 and on fire for God never enough. every game in 2006 and ever since.'' "One night, I had been 2007. Hit over .350 for Moore's ways of out partying aUnight, and the Patriots through witnessing are as when I finally came back the first 45 games home, I hit bottom. I cried varied as his ( of 2007. Batted \ ....... j skating routines. out to the Lord and told .368 in 2006. Krum Him that I would do what- '1love the challed the Patriots in lenge of sharing my hits with 89 and stolen ever He wanted me to do with 19 in 2006. and that I would use what- faith with others. I like HIGHLIGHTS: "Getting to try being at a show where I ever talent He had given me and glorify Him with it. can lay it all out there and out with toe USA collegiate national team, which 'com"Two verses that I clung present it to hundreds of petes against other college people. But I also enjoy baseball teams in the US and days when I'm messing in other countries as well." i around in the park on my TOP VERSE: Jeremiah 29:11 skateboard, and I can share HIS STORY: "One of my best the gospel with some kids I friends on the high school don't know. To me, that's baseball team led me to Christ. When I was a sophojust the biggest thrill in more in high school, my g the world." 0

,.... ...,,·.;., ' 1.



Saving souls. At a skating demo in San Diego this spring, 490 people trusted Jesus after Elijah spoke about salvation. Visit www.kksm.org

grandmother became ill with pancreatic cancer. Before that, I had been introduced to the Bible, and my grandmother was really a tower of strength - very strong in her Christian faith. During her illness, God just revealed Himself to me.


Watching her suffer and yet seeing her stay strong in her faith really led me to accept Christ as my Sav1or. ' KEYINGREDIENTS: "''m lucky to go to Dallas Baptist University where not only is Bible study allowed but it's encouraged. We have three Bible studies a week, and that keeps me very strong. We're going through Ephesians right now and it's very good. We just try to dissect books of the Bible and try to understand God's plan for our lives." GOALS: "I hope to make the major leagues someday or possibly go into the health club business or broadcasting." FAVORITE CHILL ACTIVITY: "!live in a house of five guys and we just like to play video games and go to Texas Rangers baseball games when we can. We also have a pool table in the house and we like to play pool a lot." LIFE'S TOUGHEST MOMENT: ··oealing with my grandmother's illness was probably the most difficult time so far, but God helped me through that. It was amazing how God used that situation to bring me closer to Him." SPORTS HERO AND WHY: "Ken Griffey Jr. was my hero as a kid. But today it's Grady Sizemore of the Cleveland Indians. He plays the game the way I try to play itgiving everything he has on every play." TOP CHRISTIAN BAND: Mercy Me


Soccer. Forward. Sophomore. Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Florida. Age20. • Scored 19 goals in 2006 and scored at least one goal in nine straight games last season. In just two years at Palm Beach Atlantic, she has already scored 39 goals. HIGHLIGHT: "Winning the state soccer championship when I was a junior at Tarpon Springs High School in Tarpon Springs, Florida." TOP VERSE: Proverbs 3:5-6 HER STORY: "I grew up in a Christian home and went to a public high school. There were a lot of girls on my soccer team who were strong Christians, and I also had some other Christian friends who were not on the soccer team. My Christian teammates got me involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and as I began to study the Bible more, I accepted Christ and gave my life to Him." KEY INGREDIENTS: "Being with my Christian friends really helps a lot. Plus, my Christian professors here at Palm Beach Atlantic really challenge me and encourage me to stay strong'in my faith." GOALS: 'Td like to play two

more years of college soccer and then teach elementary school somewhere." FAVORITECHILL ACTIVITY: Scrapbooking with my friends. LIFE'S TOUGHEST MOMENT: "l eaving home to go to college was very difficult. Palm Beach Atlantic is 4 hours away, and I really wanted to go somewhere closer. But after I was here for a few days, I just fell in love with the campus and the people here." SPORTS HERO AND WHY: "Since I'm Italian, I was really rooting for Italy in the World Cup [the eventual 2006 FIFA World Champions]. Those guys were all my heroes." TOP CHRISTIAN BAND: Switchfoot


Auto racing. Mooresville. N.C. Age 17. • Won 64 feature races and 150 heat races from 1998-200 1 as a Go Kart racer. In 2001-2002, he had 16 feature wins in less than two full seasons as a Micro Sprint Car driver in the ages 11 -12 division. Won "Hard Charger Award" for gaining 19 positions in his first- ever USAR Pro Cup. Signed

with Hendrick Motor Sports during 2005. Performed crew chief duties for family-owned team on dirt and asphalt cars during 2006. Recently signed with Rusty Wallace Incorporated as a developmental driver. HIGHLIGHTS: "One of the biggest thrills of my career so far has been signing with Rusty Wallace Incorporated to be a developmental driver." TOP VERSE: "There are many verses that ! like so that's hard to say. But my favorite book in the Bible is Mark." HIS STORY: "My mom read the Bible to me when I was very young and later took me to church every Sunday. It seems that, even as a littie boy, I wanted to have Jesus as the center of my life. As I got older, I began to realize my need for a Savior and I gave my heart and life to Jesus." KEY INGREDIENTS: "I try to pray every day. When a major problem comes up in my life, I just pray intensely about it,

and I begin to feel God's presence in my life and I know that He always has the best in mind for me." GOALS: "To drive in the Nextel Cup circuit." FAVORITE CHILL ACTIVITY: ':Just relaxing with my friends is the way ! like to unwind. We'll go see a movie, go out to eat, or just relax around the house." LIFE'S TOUGHEST MOMENT: "This past year, our racing team was very low on funds, and we really prayed that God would just provide the money for us to continue racing. And then Rusty Wallace Incorporated came along and asked me to be a developmental driver for them, and it was really an answer to prayer. That whole situation really just taught us all that God is in control." SPORTS HEROANDWHY: "Race car driver Tony Stewart. He's a diverse driver who drives a lot of different types of race cars, and I really admire that." TOP CHRISTIAN MUSICIAN: Rich Mullins


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Chalk Talk

Pat Balaace Bac* Ia Yoalt Golf Game BY JEFF O'MALLEY

ven the best golfers in the world are constantly working, practicing, and tweaking their game to enhance their ability and improve their score. AU athletes, professional and amateur, want to become better at their sport. In most aspects of life, it's important to have balance- and golf is certainly no exception. On any given Saturday morning, I observe golfers on the first tee with such powerful swings, but they don't even realize they are off-balance anp. sometimes are quite literally falling all over the place. As they transition through their swing, their weight is moving in various directions, which causes a variety of errant shots. Sometimes they finish on their back foot, on their toes, or even on their heels. Can you imagine throwing a baseball with your weight not moving forward? Someday when you are on the practice range, take three practice balls and throw them one at a time. First, throw one with your weight finishing on your back foot; second, toss another with your weight on your heels; and third, attempt to throw one with your weight on your toes. Obviously, you should notice how much wasted effort it takes to throw the practice ball shorter with less accuracy. In golf we want less effort, with increased power and accuracy, so we finish with our weight on the forward foot.

CREATING BALANCE IN YOUR SWING To accomplish balance, you must have your lo'wer body controlling the majority of your weight shift. This gives you that effortless, yet powerful swing. To create this proper motion, it is crucial that you first be in an athletic position and completely relaxed. • As you slowly take the club

away from the target with your arms, you feel your shoulders turn, followed by your hips, and then your legs. WEB SITE: w ww.S port sS p ec tru m .com

• Your front knee will be pointing slightly back toward the middle of your stance, and the majority of your weight will now be on the inside of your back foot at the top of the backswing. Much like a baseball pitcher, you are coiled and ready. • Now your lower body will begin to move laterally toward your target. and this movement shifts your weight to the forward foot. • Next, your hips begin to uncoil, followed by your shoulders, and then finally your arms.

• When you finish the swing, your weight will be on your forward foot, and your belt buckle and chest will be pointing toward your target. Your back foot will be toe down, your heel facing away from the target. with a nice bend in the knee; your head and shoulders will be positioned just over your forward foot.

To practice this, take a practice swing, hold your finish, and feel where your weight is. It should be on your forward foot, and you should be able to hold this position for a slow count to three. Remember, whenever you play, keep your golf swing in balance! 0

Jeffrey S. O'Malley is the PGA Director of Golf at Pilgrim's Run Golf Club in Pierson, Michigan. He has been a PGA member since 1983. O'Malley has 24 years of teaching expen"ence, instructing golfers from beginners to professionals. For 14 years, he has been an instructor at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes Junior Golf Camp- for the past 4 years as Head Instructor. From 1984 to 1987, he was assistant golf coach at the University of F!orida. He has worked extensively with two-time US Open winner Lee Janzen. Jeff can be reached at jomalley@pilgrimsrun.com.



Well •

Trish BeHden

• No windchill factor. No Seasonal Affective Disorders. No flu shots. Ah, the joy of summer weather alone creates a health haven for most. Open the door to embrace this magical time with playtime in God's arena-the great outdoors.

DAILY DRILL Get up. Don your sneakers and go! While walking and jogging may be the least expensive sports, they are also the most convenient. Retire 20 minutes earlier at night to create a new morning slot for an invigorating workout outside. During the day, take time to absorb natural light and fresh air. On the first warm day this spring in Washington, DC, I walked inside a favorite cafe to grab some lunch with great expectation of savoring the sparkling sun and warm air. To my dismay, twenty patrons were plopped comfortably inside, not even one adorning the outdoor seating! In dismay, I walked out with my bag of muesli and cafe mocha and absorbed 20 minutes with Mr. Vitamin D, alone. Before bedtime, dust off that trusty bicycle and go for a ride. This also makes a fantastic family affair. Pick a destination that even involves a summer delicacy such as sorbet, gelato, or ice cream. Enjoy it guilt-free and then bike

WEEI(END WARRIOR Plan a weekend of fun pretending you are visiting a fabulous resort. Search exclusive sport or spa Web sites to browse ideas to create a memorable day of play. Cater it to your particular interests, location, and playmates. For example, if you live in hotter climates, fashion the outdoor portions early or late in the day. Or if you love golf, plan an outing followed 1 4


by a sports massage, delicious brunch, and afternoon nap. And don't forget to check all wires and gadgets with the makeshift concierge (or whoever is the most unplugged person in your party). SATURDAY 8:00AM Sport Spa Smoothie (blend ban· ana/peanut butter/honey/milk/yogurt/ice) 8:45AM Basic Biking {leisure bike to a nearby lake) 9:30AM Sand Running {go 50 meters, rest, repeat-others make a castle when tired) 10:15 AM Snack+ Stretch {on big towels in the sand) 11:00 AM Waterworks {take a dip in the lake or swim for distance) 12:00 PM Pampering Picnic {make a picnic basket of favorites eaten in a shaded area) 1:00PM Home stretch {bike home) 2·5:00 PM Free time {ideas are steam shower with eucalyptus, favorite book, nap) 5:00 PM Decadent Dinner {www.cooking· /ight.com for easy spa meals or takeout) 7:00 PM Spec Tate an outdoor art or sports event in your area


home page to find a listing. Also, there are myriad adult camps catering to all abilities of competitive athlete. For instance, Carmichael Training at www.trainright.com, holds performance camps featuring biking, running, swimming, adventure racing, and motor sports. It is run by Chris Carmichael and endorsed by Lance Armstrong. "It is easier to maintain good

exercise through proper diet, exercise, and emotional balance than to regain it once it is lost." - Kenneth Cooper, M.D. If this quote resonates with you, the health aware, there are many clinics and spas to experience evaluation before the indulgence begins. The Cooper Clinic, www.cooperaerobics.com, in Dallas, Texas, will do just that. Before relaxing, current health status is analyzed with a complete physical exam so you learn sound health wisdom to take home.

For the avid competitor, there are retreats to cater to every whim and age group. At www.sports spectrum.com you can find an e array of camps and mission ideas from baseball to bullriding for f students. Click camps/missions e on the right-hand side of the S

Spas of this nature may be partially covered by your insurance provider, though naturally check in advance. And, everyone should take the fantastic opportunity to explore North America's wonderful national parks-both in the US and Canada. Visit www.nps.gov and www.pc.gc.ca to find a listing of the hundreds of majestic parks available. From exploring the heights of an active volcano at the Hawaii Volcano National Park to snorkeling through coral reefs in the American Samoa National Park, you won't be disappointed. It is a wonderful way to experience God's beauty while creating quality time with whoever is fortunate enough t6 tag along. It is also educational, affordable, and fun. 0

Two Minute Drill: You deserve a break today. So create some time to play. -TRAIN ER TRISH , HEALTHS TY LIST

Trish Bearden creates balance in her clients' lives through exercise, nutrition, Pilates, and massage therapy. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise and Wellness from South Dakota State University and is certified by both the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the American College of Sports Medicine. As a healthstylist, Trainer Trish has enjoyed working in both the inner city and the inner circle in Washington, D.C.


A Review of the Lunge BY CHR IS GABR IEL

he lunge is one of our most basic movements in sports as well as in everyday life. It is an excellent exercise to build strength and flexibility in the hips, quads, and hamstrings, as well as enhance core stability and balance. A review of some basic lunge progressions, as well as identification of common training errors, will ensure that you get the most out of this often overlooked exercise.

The Forward Lunge Begin by standing in a relaxed posture with feet shoulder-width apart. Stride forward, making contact with your heel first, and accept weight onto your lead leg as the knee bends. Make sure the back (trail) leg remains straight and the foot does not rotate. Maintain this position for three seconds; then return to the start position by driving with your lead leg. Doing a lunge in this manner (i.e. keeping your back leg straight) will place more emphasis on the hamstrings and gluteal muscles. Make sure your kneecap tracks directly over your foot, and do not allow it to bend past your toes. Go only as deep as you can control-generally 90 degrees of knee flexion on the lead leg is a good goal. Doing your lunges in front of a mirror or with a training partner can be helpful until you have your form down.

Common errors i

• Allowing your trail leg knee to bend as you return to the starting position, and thus throwing your weight back to help you return. This can be corrected by decreasing the length of your stride until you are strong enough to return to the upright position in a smooth manner. • Allowing the knee of your lead leg to drift inward during weight WEB SITE : www . Sp orts Spec trum.com

acceptance. Ideally, your kneecap should track directly over your second toe as the knee bends. Any excess movement in this direction is called an increased valgus moment and can contribute to pain in the front of the knee (FIGURE 1).

The·Lateral Lunge Begin with feet together in a relaxed stance. Then stride directly sideways to either the right or the left. Contact the ground with your toes first, then shift most of your weight back to the heel as you assume a squat position with the lead leg. Make sure your trail leg remains straight. As your knee bends, lean forward from the hips and reach your arms forward. This will help you stay balanced and keep the weight on your heel. Maintain this position for at least 3 seconds, then drive with your lead leg and slowly come back to the start position (FIGURE 2).

Common errors • Keeping too much weight on the balls of your feet, which will allow your kneecap to move out beyond your toes. Remember to sit back in a good squat position. • Athletes who are new to the lunge will also tend to keep their torsos too upright and not reach forward enough with the arms. This can keep them from getting to a good bottom position.

Advanced Progression: The Super Lunge The Super Lunge is an excellent way to dynamically stretch a variety of major muscle groups. Begin by stepping into a standard forward lunge while allowing

your trail leg to bend until the knee touches the floor. Now rotate your body and lean forward to place the elbow and forearm of the lead leg side onto the ground (FIGURE 3). Finally, place a hand on the ground on either side of your lead leg for stability, while you straighten both your lead and trail legs. Pull your toes up on the lead leg, and you should feel a nice stretch in the hamstrings (FIGURE 4). You have now completed one cycle. Return to standing, then step forward with the original trail leg and repeat while moving forward across the floor. 0

Chris Gabriel is a board certified clinical specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy at the Epicenter Sports Performance Specialist Enhancement facility at OrthoCarolina in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has a master's degree in physical therapy from the University of Pittsburgh.




Uvlag ftR Otben â&#x20AC;˘ My wife, Brooke, and I try to be servants as Jesus once served mankind, and because God calls us to be servants. We don't serve others for personal gain. My favorite Bible verse I always keep close to my heart is Hebrews 12:2, which says, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus." He came to serve us, and since I try to live like Christ, I'm called to serve too. When I was a kid, knowing the impact that major league players had on me, I always said if I were in that position I would do everything to get involvedknowing that there was a platform there. So God has given my wife and me that platform. For me, it started when I was in the minor leagues with a program the Disabled American Veterans run-a celebrity program to visit people at VA hospitals or set up visits with patients or outpatients. Right from the start, I felt it's something that allowed me to thank those who serve our country firsthand. It's just awesome to go and talk to some of the veterans and just thank them ... and also talk a little baseball. If they're not into baseball, then we find something in common to talk about. My wife does as much, if not more, to reach out in the community. Four years ago, Brooke happened to come across an article in a magazine about Rock and Wrap It Up! (www.rockandwrapitup.org), an organization that takes leftovers from concerts and gives it to shelters. Well, there was always leftover food in our clubhouse, so instead of wasting it, she thought, "How can we use it and not let it go to waste?" That article really opened up doors. Rock and Wrap It Up! was able to expand into the sports world; they got a lot of teams to come aboard, and those teams send their leftover food to local shelters. Not only has Major League Baseball and the other major team sports gotten involved but also minor league baseball. In addition to the leftover food in the

clubhouses, all the leftover stadium concession stand food gets sent to those who need it. It's continued to grow, and it all started because Brooke made a phone call to them, trying to get the food from our clubhouse to be used and not wasted. In addition, I always try to make myself available to my teammates, be it

something as small as getting something from the clubhouse for one of them during the game. What I try to do is to be an example to others. I've found that the more I'm able to give, the more I receive. I remember the first time I did the hospital visits. I walked away feeling that I'm the one who got ' more out of it than those I visited. That's the way God created us to be. We get so much out of it anytime we give. It feels good to give. C) A. Mike Maroth is a veteran pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. He was drafted by Boston after pitching at the University of Central F1orida in 1998. In July 1999 he was traded to Detroit. His best year was 2005 when he won 14 games for the Tigers. Brooke and Mike have two children, Nolan and Tate. Mike was voted in 2006 and 2007 as the Detroit nominee for MLB's Roberto Clemente Award, given for community service.



Pro and Con 1111aseball playen fwoaD. the 1. . . . . .d ena1su.c:h as Maw-k McGwbe, .._....y BORda, aad Saauu.y Soaashould be baw.ed fwoaD. the Hall of 1\une-11 '·

• Baseball has always had a pretty nebulous relationship with cheating. When a noodle-armed geezer like Gaylord Perry scuffs, spits on, or otherwise alters the ball, he is remembered as simple folkloreas a sort of wink-wink, boys-will-be-boys part of the fabric of baseball. However, when Barry Bonds (allegedly) jams a needle full of Human Growth Hormone into his backside, it is cheating. And it is cheating, but so is scuffing the ball, corking the bat, slathering the bat in pine tar, and all of the other things baseball apologists forgive on a pretty regular basis. So, should McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, and everybody else who mysteriously gained 50 pounds of rock-hard muscle ........................................... and started blasting baseballs out of "BASEBALL WAS stadiums be kept out of the Hall of ALL TOO HAPPY TO Fame? Probably, but my question is this: How do you keep them out? TURN ABLIND EYE Is it sad that in my son's generation baseball conversations will center AND LET SOSA, around "who's on the juice?" rather McGWIRE, AND BONDS than "who's your favorite player?" Of course. It's tragic. REVIVE IT." The fact of the matter is that we have all become armchair chemists over the course of the last decade, deciding which lantern-jawed (and now, bull-foreheaded) Baseball Hero got to the top by saying his prayers and taking his vitamins, and which one got there by saying his prayers and visiting his neighborhood chemist to grab the latest undetectable designer steroid. Baseball was 'experiencing its death rattle in the late 1990s and was all too happy to turn a blind eye and let Sosa, McGwire, and later Bonds revive it with an unprecedented barrage of power. Their epic home run battles were fun for everybody, myself included. They kick-started a renewal of the nation's interest in baseball- and now the nation, and baseball, are paying the price. Keeping them out of the Hall of Fame would be embarrassing, but letting them in will be even more so. And it's just what Major League Baseball deserves. 0

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• Questions like this make me long for the days of Al Kaline. BasebaULibrary.com notes that Kaline, a Detroit Tigers Hall of Fame outfielder who played from 19531974, "gave his Detroit teammates and fans his classiest best-in-baseball skill, leadership, and determination each inning he played." Kaline is a good name. It is a significant point. Read the names in our question. Toss in a couple more like Canseco and Palmeiro. Contain the damage as best you can and try to clean up the game through the investigation of former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, who has been hired by the baseball commissioner. I'm concerned about the good names of baseball. Derek Jeter is a child of the "steroid era." He stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 195 pounds. He's never weighed 145 in pinstripes, and he's never gone gonzo in the home ············----------------------------run category. Does that make him okay? "BAN THE BAD Does he get to keep his good name? NAMES FROM THE Cal Ripken Jr. is another good name. HALL OF FAME. When he made it into the Hall of Fame this year and was asked about steroids, HONOR PLAYERS he said, "Maybe I can be the most nai:ve LIKE KALIN£ AND and most ignorant person around." Ban the bad names from the Hall of RIPKEN." Fame. Honor players like Kaline and ....................................... . Ripken. But where is this investigation headed? Are there five names to be banned or 500? How much blood is tainted? Senator Mitchell, your country needs you! I once heard a professional football coach quote Proverbs 22:1 to a gathering of dignitaries in his hometown. "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches," the coach said. He told his friends that evening that he desired that kind of reputation. In Ecclesiastes 7:1, a good name is said to be better than precious ointment. Cooperstown should try to hold to that standard. Keep in mind that when I point one finger at a "bad name," there are three pointed back at me. There's a fine line between Palmeiro and Palmeri. And I once wrote in this space that the mind of Barry Bonds honoring his father can be viewed as noble. In the spirit of preserving what is good in America, God bless you, Senator Mitchell. 0

Would you hke respond? Go to www.sportsspectrum.com and chck on Pro-Con for your chance to give your opinion on this topic.


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hat do you do when a 7-foot-tall, 500-pound grizzly bear is charging directly

at you? Run? That's probably not the best choice, since grizzlies are capable of running at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. Top speed for a human? About 15 mph. 11 Chad Schearer, professional hunter and outfitter, did a most unusual thing during just such an attack. He lowered his head and prayed. 11 What happened next was nothing short of a miracle- something Schem·er recognizes every time he retells the story. 11 "I was black-bear hunting and was walking down a trail, when all of a sudden I came around a curve in the trail , looked up, and saw a bear," Schem·er says. 11 "Immediately, I was excited because there was a bear. It was then that I saw the hump in the back, and I realized it was a gri zzly," he says. 11 "When I saw that bear, I knew it wasn't good, I was too close. I looked down, and it was on a fresh elk kill. Before I knew it, that bear jumped over that elk and was on a dead charge at me," Scheat·er recalls. 11 "He was nmning directly at me, and he stopped within about 7 yards. When he stopped, he let out a 'woofing' sound and threw dirt in the air. Then he bluff-charged me again. At that moment I thought it was the end," Schearer says. 11 "A bear biologist friend of mine says that if a grizzly bear comes at you fast, show him submission, look small, don't give eye contact. And that's what I did. That bear started circling me, and I watched him until all of a sudden he gets behind me and I can't see him. At any moment, I'm thinking that I'm going to be mauled. 11 "The bear stopped, and he's breathing heavy, just within yards of me. It was like I had this hedge of protection around me, and God said to me, 'It's not your time.' The bear slowly walked back to the elk kill, and I moved very, very slowly backward and got out of there. I thought that was my last hunt," Schearer admits.


Tif(j / • Schearer contends that regardless of the

outcome of that Man vs. Wild exchange, he was ready to die. "I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior when I was I0 years old. Now I have eternal security that no matter what happens, I have a home prepared for me in heaven. It also means I want to do all I can to tell others about the great gift that 1 have received through my salvation." Chad, along with his wife Marsha and their two boys Walker and Wyatt, run Central Montana Outfitters. Marsha is an accomplished hunter and guide in her own right. She has been featured in magazine articles and on television hunting shows. Schearer, a World Champion Elk caller and a highly sought-after guide, hunts nearly 200 days a year. In addition, he shares his vast knowledge of the outdoor industry with hunting enthusiasts at sport shows, private hunting clubs, retail out-


lets, churches, and as the editor of Blackpowder Guns & Hunting magazine. He has appeared as a special guest on radio talk shows, news programs, and has been featured in hunting videos. He co-hosts a TV program called Blackpowder Guns and Hunting. Schem·er is respected by national outdoor product manufacturers and currently serves as pro

staffer for several of those companies. Schearer loves to use his passion for the outdoors to talk about his faith in Jesus Clu·ist. Recently, he had one of those oppmtunit(es while hunting for Cape buffalo in Zimbabwe, Africa. "I was with a professional hunter named Rory Muil," Schem·er begins. "Rory was born and raised in South Africa. One day, as we were talking, I noticed that Rory's ear had been sown together. He also had several scars on his arms, so 1 asked him what had happened. He told me that he had been attacked by a leopard. The leopard bit into his skull, rendering him unconscious. A fellow tracker got the leopard off him and saved his life. Rory told me that as he lay in Harare Hospital in Zimbabwe, he realized that the attack could have ended his life. "Later, while on our hunt, Rory told me that another hunter, whom he was guiding, had started telling him about the gospel story of the

--------------------- -------------------- ------------ ---------- ------ ---- ------ ---- ------ --- --------- ----- ---1 8 SPORTS SPECTRUM - JULY·AUGUST 2007


..,. Birds of a feather: The Schearer family (Chad, Walker, Wyatt, Marsha) often flock together on hunting expeditions. Schearer was on his own, though, when he took the Warthog boar In Zimbabwe.


Bible. But he didn't know how the story ended. The man didn't finish it. To which I asked, 'Rory, can I show you in the Bible how it ends?' Rory said to me, 'When this hunt is over, and we get back in, let's sit down in the hut and I would love for you to show me.' "That evening Rory brought me his own Bible, and with his Bible we sat down in the Zimbabwe, African bush, and I went through the rest of the gospel story. Rory bowed his head and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior." The next day, both men were again faced

with a deadly situation. Schearer admits that it's a good thing to have your eternity secured when pursuing Cape Buffalo. He knows of several tragic encounters with the animal known as "Black Death." "A person I knew was killed by a rogue buffalo. He was hunting kudu and a buffalo came out of nowhere, gored him and killed him, and the wife of another one of my friends was nearly killed when she was gored by a wounded buffalo they were tracking." To add to the danger faced by Schearer and Muil, Schearer was hunting with a CVA Kodiak Pro muzzleloader. He would get only one shot. Schearer sets the scene, "We were within 40 or 50 yards of these buffalo when suddenly they winded us. The whole herd exploded and took off! We saw the big bull split off from the herd. As we moved closer, all of a sudden he whirled on us and let out an amazingly loud bark. I put my gun up on the shooting stick to ready a shot. Rory, the man 1had just led to the Lord the night before, said, 'Chad, you must shoot! He's charging!'

"As he charged, I put the cross hairs right on the front of his brisket and pulled the trigger. There was smoke everywhere from the muzzleloader's discharge. Rory was frantically fanning the smoke with his hat after the shot- trying to see what happened. It was a perfect shot. The buffalo was on the ground. "That was such an amazing experience for me to take such an incredible animal under such intense circumstances," Schearer says. "And at the same time, to know that my friend Rory was going to be in heaven with me some day. That was amazing!" The work Schear·er does with wildlife has a purpose beyond the joy of the hunt. "I am a conservationist, not a preservationist," he says. "A conservationist is someone who wants to make sure there will be plenty of animals here in the future. If you do not manage animals, then you will have problems. I love to eat wild game, and what we don't eat we give away to others. Hunters help keep things balanced so that others can enjoy God's creation." That balance is seen clearly in Chad Schem·er's life-one that he hopes will encourage others. "We need to live by example so others can learn from us," he says. "So they can see how a Christian should live. That's why we are going across the country, showing people that it's all right to enjoy the great outdoors. But you still need church and you still need God in your life . "That's the ultimate in being a balanced Christian. To me that's what it's all about !" 0 Jeff Da venport is a pastor and freelance writer who lives in Ironton, Ohio.

GUIDE TO THE STARS • As an outfitter, Chad Schearer's main goal is to provide his clients the highest quality hunting and fishing experience. Word gets around. Schearers clients include humorist Patrick McManus (Outdoor Life magazine); cowboy cartoonist Boots Reynolds; top outdoor writers and country music recording artists Mark Collie, Ricochet, Sons of the Desert, Trace Adkins, Tim McGraw, and Tim's dad, former professional baseball player Tug McGraw. Schearer is recogni zed by national outdoor product manufacturers and currently serves as pro staffer for Mossy Oak Camouflage, Knight & Hale Game Calls, Fred Bear Archery, Easton Arrows, Winchester & CVA Muzzleloaders, Buc1 Knives, Code Blue Scents, Powerbelt Bullets, Visa Endurance, Robinson Outdoors, Sneekee, Cary-lite Decoy, Montana Decoy, and Trophy Rock Minerals. You can find out more about Schearer at www.centralmontanaoutfitters.com

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------------ -- --- ---------- --------------------------------- --------- -- --------- ---------------- ---- -------- -- platform for Jesus; now I just have a bigger platform." It's a platform Johnson is eager to share-as is his wife, Kim, and the golfer's team of coaches, famil y, and advisors, all who are Bible-believing Christians. "I've said it I00 times and I'll say it again, I feel like I'm an instrument of God's work out here," Johnson said in 2004 after winning his fi rst PGA Tour title, the BellSouth Classic in Atlanta. "God works through me, and I went with it. I get a little ahead of myself at times, and I go back to what got me here [God]. I mean, I leaned on Him and it was great."

or many golf fans, the final round of the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, is the high holy day of professional sports. It's a chance to worship all things green and beautiful in the aptly named Cathedral of Golf. But for 2007 champion Zach Johnson, his stunning victory on April 8 was a chance to win the most prestigious of golf tournaments, the Masters, while worshiping the tme Master. Johnson rolled up a shocking twoshot victory over Tiger Woods for his first-ever major golf championship and his second win on the PGA Tour, then he promptly acknowledged on national TV and later to the worldwide sports media his reliance on Jesus Christ as his source of strength. "Golf is really my ministry," Johnson said later in an exclusive interview with Sports Spectmm magazine. "I just spoke from the heart and let people know how I felt. I've always had a

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So when Johnson used his larger worldwide platform to share his belief in the true Master after his golfing Masters win, it came as little surprise to his fellow Tour players who know him best. "As Christians we have a responsibility to get the word out, and that's what Zach was trying to do. I'm really proud of him for that," said fellow PGA Tour player Stewart Cink. "It would be like having the cure for the common cold and not telling anybody about it. We have a cure that has already helped a lot of people, and we need to tell people. That's our mission out here."

"That's awesome what Zach did at the Masters," added fellow Christian and two-time PGA Tour winner Aaron Baddeley. "He's one of my favorite people, and what he did at the Masters was incredible." After beating Woods and the rest of the field at Augusta, Johnson said to commentator Jim Nantz in a nationally televised CBS-TV interview, "Because it's Easter today, I want to say, 'Thank You, Jesus.' " Later, in his post-tournament interview in the massive Masters media building, still wearing his winner's Green Jacket, Johnson told the international press corps, "Being Easter, my

goal was to glorify God, and hopefully I did that today." Much of Johnson's belief and faith came from his parents and his family background, which included going to church on a regular basis and attending the same Catholic school in his hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as former NFL MVP and fellow bold Christian witness Kurt Warner. But Johnson gives much of the credit for his recent growth in his faith to more recent acquaintances. Namely, three people: Kim, a Florida native whom he met in 2000 and married in 2003; an Orl ando-area pastor at the time, J. B. Collingsworth; and PGA

Tour chaplain and president of Search Ministries Larry Moody. "I grew up knowing about the Bible and Christianity, but for a while I did my own thing. I got back on the right path in 2002 when it became real in my heart," Johnson said. In his 20-plus years of assisting golfers on the PGA Tour, Moody has been called many things, including friend, comforter, preacher, and helper, but until this April, "golf predictor" had rarely been one of the terms used. But in a story never told publicly before this Sports Spectrum article, Christian PGA Tour player Ben Crane said that Moody made a bold prayer JAMIE SOUIAE I GETTY IMAGESIMAOES

"" Wearin' of the green. Zach Johnson models his brand-new green jacket and speaks to the crowd after winning the 2007 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8. ..,. The look of success. Johnson knows it'll be hard for anyone to catch him as he walks off the 18th green on Sunday at the Masters. His birdie on 16 (upper left) was one reason he held the lead as the final golfers, including Tiger Woods, tried and failed to catch Johnson.



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• The master's mentors: Both J. B. Collingsworth and Larry Moody have had valuable spiritual Input In Zach Johnson's life.

request at the weekly prayer meeting on Wednesday night April 4, less than 12 hours before the 2007 Masters Tournament was to begin. Moody conducts weekly Bible studies, which are open to anyone on the PGA Tour; players, caddies, wives, and others. Because the players are competing on Sunday and often prevented from attending their home churches, the players find the Christian fellowship of the Bible studies to be especially helpful. The meetings also serve as a place for non-believers to leam about the claims of Chtist in a comforting and welcoming atmosphere. "Larry prayed at the weekly study that a Christian would win the Masters and that he would give glory to God," Crane said. "I missed the cut this year and was sitting at home Sunday afternoon watching the final round with my wife," Crane added. "When it got down to the final holes, I turned to Heather and said, 'Larry's prayer is going to come true.' It was just incredible." The humble Moody takes no credit for Johnson's unpredictable victory at this year's Masters, but he does give plenty of credit to others. "I' m so happy for Zach to win because he is such a great Christian young man. He is not ashamed about

his faith and sharing it in a great way. I'm really proud of him for winning but also for winning in a way that honors our Lord," Moody said. "I gave him some verses to consider before the tournament and his sports psychologist did so as well, but all the credit needs to go to Zach for winning and giving glory to God." Johnson was not actually at the Wednesday night prayer meeting before the Masters, but he said Moody gave him the same bold prayer request before Thursday's first round at the famed Augusta National Golf Club. "That crossed my mind several times at night. I certainly thought about that," Johnson admitted. "I'll tell you, I do not think it was a coincidence that a Christian won the Masters on Easter, like Bernhard Langer did, and just like Aaron Baddeley winning at Hilton Head last year." ike most golfers hoping to make a splash on the professional golf tours, Johnson started out young, eager, and poor. He admits he wasn't the best player on his high school team in Cedar Rapids or his college team at Drake University in Iowa. "I wanted to play, and I could see I was getting better, so 1decided to give it

a try," Johnson said. "I went off on the Prairie Tour." That was a short-lived tour where young golfers played courses mostly in the Midwest. It existed between 1996 and 2000, giving a few golfers a jump-start toward the PGA Tour. Even though Johnson's dad was a chiropractor in Cedar Rapids, the family didn 't have the means to send Johnson off on Tour. He decided to sell shares of himself and his golfing ability to his family and friends at $500 apiece, a fairly common financial arrangement among young golfers. With the money he gathered, he drove all around the Midwest playing in various events, making just enough to repay his investors and keep his golfing dream alive. In 1999, he started traveling to Florida to escape the harsh Iowa winters and give himself the chance to play and improve during the winter months. He settled in Central Florida where a variety of mini-tours were held, and in a timing of God's providence he moved into an apartment complex where he would meet his future wife in 2000. "We were throwing the football around, and she was taking out the garbage. We just took it from there," Johnson said of his rather unromantic first interlude with Kim.

• Zach Johnson's seemingly never-ending whirlwind of activity

after his Masters win-which has included non-stop interviews, mail requests, chatting with presidential candidates and Hollywood stars- has all been handled by what he calls "his team." But what Johnson says many people may not know is that every member of his inner team is a believer in Jesus Christ as is he. "That's pretty cool. My whole team is Christian. That would be my agent, my wife, my instructor, my caddy, and my family." In fact, it was his sports psychologist, Morris Pickens of Sea Island, Georgia, along wit h PGA chaplain Larry Moody, who gave him some Bible verses to meditate on during his Masters round and also the ball marker he has, which has verses from Matthew 6:33-34 printed on one side and Proverbs 3:5-6 on the other. Pat O'Brien, his Dallas-based short-game instructor, said the bond is tight on the team. "Zach is really my inspiration, personally and professionally. I follow his lead on a lot of matters," O'Brien said. "I feel confident that whatever happens, since my [Masters] win, my team ca n handle it," added Jo hnson. A team effort that mirrors how Christians should work together. -ART STRICKLIN

Z: During the Masters, Zach Johnson's caddy, Damon Green, kept an eye on the leaderboard so Johnson didn't have to look. Pat O'Brien (lower left) keeps tabs on Johnson's short game while Morris Pickens helps the Iowa golfer maintain his focus. 22





The pair dated for a few years before they became engaged in 2002. They were attending First Baptist Church of Orlando at the time, and Kim felt that having Christian pre-marital counseling would be a good start to their married relationship. That's when Johnson met Collingsw01th, who was conducting the pre-marital counseling class. After a few weeks, Johnson knew that while he had grown up in church and spirituali ty, he was sti ll lacking a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. "I remember reading the questionnaire he turned in and realizing there was something missing," Collingsworth said. "He was young and very eager about golf." Collingsworth, who also played a role in the spiritual life of the late golfer Payne Stewart, was able to assist Johnson's relationship with a living, personal God, then almost as quickly lost touch with Johnson after Kim and Zach were married in 2003. Johnson and Collingsworth were reunited a few years later at tht: Bank of America Colonial golf tournament in Fort Worth, near where Collingsworth had moved to start a new ministry, Marriage & Family Matters, and Johnson was attending the Wednesday night study. "He came up to me and was looking really closely and said, 'You counseled me before my marriage and helped lead me to Christ,' Collingsworth recalled, "but he didn't know that I had moved out here. "When I sat there in my living room and watched him win the Masters, Ijust cried with tears steaming down my face," Collingsworth added. "I couldn't believe what God was doi ng." fter having smaller golfing successes on various mini-tours, Johnson 's first breakthrough year came in 2003, when he was named Nationwide Tour Player of the Year for the primary development circuit for the PGA Tour. Driving their recreational vehicle from stop to stop during those days, WEB SITE: www.S poJtsSp te tru m .com

Zach and Kim covered much of the country, hooking up with other young Christian golfers along the way, winning two tournaments, and finishing in the Top 10 a total of II times. In 2004, his first year fulltime on the PGA Tour, Johnson won the BeiiSouth Classic in Duluth, Georgia, giving him his first spotlighted chance to proclaim his faith and dependence on Jesus Christ after his victory. "I'm just working with the Lord. He's pushing and leading me. I' m just His instrument," he told the Georgia area media. While the years of 2005 and 2006 didn't produce any more pro golfing victories, Johnson continued to make a decent living at his chosen profession and continued to grow spiritually, becoming one of the most faithful members of the weekly Bible study conducted by Moody and others. After the couple's first baby, David William, was born on January 4, 2007, Johnson stayed home for a while to be close to his wife and son, named after Zach's father, and to work on his golf game. Johnson went to Augusta National Golf Club, the annual start of golf's major championship season, playing well, but he was far from being a

favorite among golf ex perts. Despite record low temperatures and tough course conditions at Augusta, Johnson hung around the lead most of the tournament, then he overtook Woods during the final round Sunday, climaxing his day with two pressurepacked pars for the victory. Johnson's win set off a whirlwind of acclaim from the secular media world. He was flown to New York where he appeared on a variety of national shows including Late Niglllwitll David Lellerman. Later he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. At each appearance, he expressed his natural faith and winsome witness. While pledging never to change his faith or his beliefs, Johnson said he also knows that his moment at the Masters spent worshi pi ng the true Master may not last. ''I'm not going anywhere. I hope there are many weeks like that, but if it isn't meant to be, that's God's plan and I can go along with it." Masterful wisdom from golf's reigning master. 0

& Life-changing. Zach Johnson's 16th-hole birdie gave him an insurmount路 able lead and meant that the Johnson family's life was about to change. A few minutes later, Kim Johnson held little William in her arms and watched as Zach put his arms through the sleeves of the green jacket and accepted a check for $1.3 million.

Art Stricklin is tile Vice-President of Public Relations for Markelplace Chaplains USA in Dallas, Texas, and a longtime writer for Sports Spectrum. SPORTS SPECTRUM- JULY路AUGUST 200 7




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t's a beautiful, sunny spring day at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Home to Mickey Mouse, a Universal Studios theme park and about a thousand other attractions, including the spring training home for the Atlanta Braves. Under a cloudless sky, sitting on the back part of a padded bench in the Atlanta dugout, Jeff Francoeur, the gregarious 23-year-old Braves outfielder whose major league potential seems to know no boundaries, has suddenly become serious as he explains the universal need for salvationeven when surrounded by the Magic Kingdom of Disney World. "Nobody has more fun in this world than me, and it's a blast being in Disney World and riding these roller coasters and enjoying all the things down here," he said. "But as much fun as this world can be sometimes, it is 2 6



,- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------..,. Glove story. The printing on the wristbands of Jeff Francoeur's gloves say, "Joshua 1:9." That passage says, " Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

not our home. Our home is in heaven, and this is what I want everyone to understand." Francoeur then added that a team flight to the nation's capital during the 2006 season eerily brought that reality home. "We were flying to Washington for a game with the Nationals, and our pilot came on the intercom to tell us that we had lost one of our engines. He said it was going to be a bumpy ride. Not that we were in danger of actually crashing but that it would be a bumpy flight down and hopefully we would be safe. You could have heard a pin drop on that plane, and you could see some guys getting scared. "I tell people that when you're 36,000 feet in the air, and that plane goes down, no one can save you. "You can say, 'Hey, I want to live my life li ke I want to for the next 10 years.' But I just hope and pray that the Lord doesn't take you in the next I0 years; because if He does, you're going to be on the wrong side of the fence." There is an easiness about Jeffrey Branden Francoeur as he politely excuses himself so that he can go take his cuts in the batting cage before a game with the Cleveland Indians. Once there, he launches several balls to the warning track, and then with a sudden burst of bat speed he drills the next pitch over the leftfield wall. He smiles sheepishly and looks at the ground and shakes his head. Standing behind the batting cage, watching the 6-4, 220-pound Francoeur launch a missile that could be the next ride at Universal Studios, an observer gets the feeling that sometimes the young slugger himself doesn't yet know his own strength. Or potential. "Jeff is coming to the major leagues in a much different environment than I

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"I mas trying to fill the void in my life through sports. and it just rnasn't rnorking. UJhat Irealized is that there's only one thing that can fill it up ..."

did 20 years ago," said veteran Braves pitcher John Smaltz. "There are already so many expectations being put on him. He's got the potential to be the next .. ." Smaltz stops in mid-sentence. "The next," Smaltz says, measuring his words carefully. "Just take the name of any great player and fill in the blank after the word 'next.' He's already being compared to some of the game's greatest players, and he's just 23. So there are a lot of expectations being put on him. But he really does have some incredible potential, and I think he is going to develop into an outstanding player. "The thing about Jeff too is that he never seems to let all the hype go to his head. He's always in a great mood and brings a lot of positive energy to the clubhouse. It's great to see these young guys coming in and setting an example for the rest of the club." Now in his third season with the Braves, Francoeur said he is starting to feel more comfortable in the Braves' clubhouse. "One of the big things that I've teamed is not to be so awestmck when


GOING FQR THE IR'O'E • Two. For Jeff Francoeur, it's a number he focuses on every year. "My goal every year is to lead two people to the Lord," Francoeur says. "To me, one of the worst ways to try to share Christ with someone is to just walk up to them out of the blue and start witnessing to them." "I think you have to see where they are spiritually first. There are some people who have gone to church all their Lives but don't know anything about the Bible or don't really care about it. And then you have some people who aren't" churchgoers at all and really don't know that much. So what I try to do is to pique their interest by aski ng them about the church they went to growing up or what chu rch they might attend now and thin gs Like that. From there, you're able to build a little bit of a relationship. "A person is going to warm up to you as you in vest time. When you do that, you've Laid the groundwork to be an effective witness and share the gospel." -J IM GIBBS

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you meet some of these great players," he said. "I was bom and raised in Atlanta and I grew up going to baseball games at Tumer Field in Atlanta. So naturally, once I got to the Braves, it was just one of the most incredible expetiences of my life. But I've learned that while all of these guys are great players on the field, off the field they are just regular guys like I am and do all the little things in life that we all like to do. I just want to be there for them if they do need someone to talk to." Former Atlanta player and current Braves coach Terry Pendleton notices that while Francoeur is not ashamed to talk about his faith, he is always respectful of other players. "The thing about Jeff is that he will take time to listen to people," Pendleton said. "He's very up-front about his Christian faith, and he's always quick to give credit to the Lord for anything he accomplishes. But he's never rah-rah in your face about it. "With him claiming Christ, other people who are not Christians tend to watch him more. Some are watching him to see how he acts and how he handles adversity. Others are looking for him to make a mistake so they can criticize him. But Francoeur tends to lead by example, and I think that in doing so he points others to Christ without saying a word. That's what he does best." It's no secret that major league baseball players face more than their share of temptations off the field. But Francoeur said that once he took a stand for Christ, much of the peer pressure and temptations began to fade away. "Last year was my first full year with the Braves, and I was able to take a stand with my faith and let everyone know where I stood. Naturally, there are going to be people who want to criticize me and, hey, that's fine. I don' t lose any sleep over it. But it's always fun to let people know where you stand, and then a few months later those same people who might have been critical of you will come up to you and have you pray with them about something they're going through. "It's a great chance to lead people to the Lord. That's the best part. You'll hear stories about a guy who will make fun of the Christians on the team, and then, all of a sudden, that same guy will have a death in the family or go through some major crisis and realize his need for a relationship with Christ. "The thing that people don't realize

is that until you accept Christ into life you will never be fully fulfilled have the joy that only a relat with Christ can bring." Francoeur should know. He's the other side of that equation. "I got saved when I was a cnr•h"''""''.. in high school," he said. "But even I got saved, I was still searching for piness through sports. The more downs I scored or the more home runs hit, the unhappier I became because was just never enough to satisfy me. "It was very frustrating because was trying to fill the void in my through sports, and it just wasn't ing. What I realized is that there's one thing that cap fill it up and that · the Holy Spirit and a relatibftshi p Jesus Christ."


any baseball

say that Francoeur, started in each of Braves' 162 games I season, may be what Atlanta needs to help them capture the NL East after a onehiatus from the playoffs last year. "When we called him up 2 years he set the baseball world on fire," Braves manager Bobby Cox. "He .400 for the first month or so and great defense. He's high energy, loves play, and he plays the game the way



Employing the tools: Jeff Francoeur demonstrates why he was labeled a fivetool player: He runs well, he throws and fields well, he hits for average, and he hits for power. And there's more. He's also the kind of young man manager Bobby Cox and hitting coach Terry Pendleton love to have around.

should play it- hard all the time. He had a great second season last year. It was actually his first full season, and he drove in a hundred runs, hit 29 homers, and he always plays great defense. Great arm too. Just a wonderful, wonderful player. You couldn't have a better guy on your club." Cox added that Francoeur sets a positive example for the rest of the team. "He's definitely the guy you want to follow," said the Braves' manager. "He's a leader. He leads both on and off the field. He's highly intelligent and that helps him to be successful in all parts of the game." That's some pretty high praise from one of the best managers in the game. If not for a spiritual change in Francoeur's perspective-one he made in 2006- the Braves' outfielder might WEB SITE : www . Sp or ts Sp ectru m. com

not have had the praiseworthy year he had last season. "My biggest test was last year in San Francisco," Francoeur said. "I had always given God about 80 percent of my life, and I had kept 20 percent for myself, which was the athletic side. I always thought I could do it on my own and that I was better than anyone else on the field. "Last year, I sta11ed off the year 2-for36, and I' II never forget walldng home in the rain after a loss to San Francisco. I remember praying to the Lord that He would just wash out and cleanse my whole system. And it seemed as if He was just saying to me, 'Jeff, just give it all to Me. You'll have so much more fun and be so much happier if you'll just give Me the full 100 percent instead of just the 80 that you've been giving Me.' And I did and I teamed a huge lesson that day. I love this game so much and it's one of my great passions, but it is not what defines me as a person." Francoeur pointed back to the playing field. "How many of those guys who are out on that field right now will any of us even remember 20 years from now?" he said as he watched his teammates and the visiting Cleveland Indians go through their various pregame workouts. "There are a lot of great players out there, but there are only a

few Babe Ruths and Hank Aarons and Mickey Mantles. "Plus, you never know how long you're going to be able to play this game. I got hit in the face in Myrtle Beach back in 2004 with a fastball and had to have surgery. For about two weeks, I didn't know if I would be able to play baseball again. I'll never forget that the whole time I was in the hospital my mom read me the Bible verse Joshua I:9, which says 'Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.' " It was a great inspiration to me as I went through that tough time. It's also a great way to reach out to the kids. I have Joshua I:9 on my balling glove, and I always throw my balling gloves to kids. I can't tell you how many balling gloves I've had sent back to me from kids who want me to sign them and send them back to them. They will write me that they went home and looked up that Bible verse and that it really meant a lot to them. It's a neat way to disciple." Even in the fantasyland of Disney World, Jeff Francoeur knows that the real world can never have too many good disciples. a

Freelance writer Jim Gibbs lives in the Dallas, Texas, area. SPORT S SP EC TRUM - JU LY 路 AUG UST 2007



ormer Texas Christian University golf star Angela Stanford has experienced plenty of surprises in her 7-year LPGA career. How good the younger players are, how tough the courses have been, and how strong the player friendships can become. But she has discovered one other pleasant, spiritual surprise in her rapidly improving pro golf career that helped her tremendously. "When I fi rst came out here, I was wonied about losing the fellowship of my home church (First Baptist in Saginaw, Texas), being on the road and missing so many Sundays!' "But when you walk with the Lord, you can grow every day. When you have no one else to turn to, it's easier to spend dedicated ti me with God." She travels between 24 and 26 weeks a year to various stops on the LPGA pro schedule, but she has found that the travel hasn't led to a loss of spiritual companionship. Instead, the regular weekly Bible study fellowship on Tour and her growing number of Christian friends has helped feed her spiritual hunger. "It's actually easier on the road because there are no distractions away from Him;• she says. "The Bible study is part of my routine, and it helps you get to know people better off the course." · Stanford began on the Ladies Professional Golf Tour in 200 I, after highly successful college and amateur careers that include the 2000 international Curtis Cup matches. During her pro career, Stanford has enjoyed plenty of on-course golfing successes. She set a pair of toumament course records in 2006, and she recorded a Tour victory in 2003 at the ShopRite Classic. But the 29-year-old golfer is still looking for that elusive breakout season. Stanford has had plenty of victorious close calls- including a playoff loss in the 2003 US Women's Open and a third-place finish in an early 2007 LPGA event, the MasterCard Classic 3 0


The sisterhood: At the US Women's Open In 2003, LPGA Bible study regulars Hilary Lunke and Angela Stanford tied for the lead after 72 holes. In an 18-hole playoff at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club In North Plains, Oregon, Lunke (r) edged Stanford by one stroke.

in Mexiw, but she says that the lack of big oncourse wins has deepened her spiritual walk. "God has given me a competitive spi rit and a simple mind. I don't spend a lot of time looking at slats or wondering why I haven't won. God has shown me He has a plan for me. He is always with me, and I can't get really up or down with my scores." Her grace and loyalty have been evident to those who have been closest to her, including her parents and her Fort W011h-based teacher Mike Wright, the head pro at historic Shady Oaks Country Club. "Angela is a unique person. She is a local girl who handles everythi ng wi th class and grace, and she exudes charm everywhere she goes. We are really proud of her," Wright says. A sports fan all her life, Stanford was introduced to the game by her dad in Saginaw, just outside Fort Worth, not far from where she currently lives. She attended her hometown college, TCU, after a brilliant junior career that included the state girls high school championshi p in 1996 and the Texas State Girls Junior Championship later that summer. While at TCU, playing for Coach Angie Larkin, she continued to attend her home church in Saginaw and continued to enjoy golfing sueWEB SITE: www .Spor ts Spu tru m.com

know God has great things in store for me. Even though it would have been awesome to win, I don't know if I could have handled it at the time." Stanford went on to compete on the US Solheim Cup team that year, but her attitude in the disappointments of the golfi ng life has been what's attracted Wright and others to her side. "Angela is very loyal to her family and friends and would do anythi ng you ask of her. That's just the type of person she is," Wright says. cess. When she qualified for the LPGA Tour on her first try, she knew a change was coming Stanford has become involved in her home because of her golf schedule and the increased comm unity, coaching a freshman girls' high time away from her North Texas home. school basketball team for several years before But she didn't realize the impact other taking this year off. Last year, she helped with Christians and the Tour's weekly Bible study, a unique nightti me golf tournament titled, "Let conducted by ministry veteran Cris Stevens of the Your Light Shine,' aimed at helping local chariWomen's Professional Golf Fellowship, would ties, including the Texas Mental Health, Mental have on her life. Retardation Center, and the Lena Pope Fund for "I' m out of the loop socially, but I'm tine with girls and mothers in need. that because my best friends are other Christians "I always wanted to do something different, on the Tour. maybe something in the dark to help raise "I love Lorena Ochoa. She is one of my most money for charity. We played nine holes in the dark using glow sticks and night balls and had favorite people because she is so humble, and I' m close friends with a lot of Christians out a great time." here. That's how we support each other." "We raised nearly $17,000 for charity in our When Ochoa was leading going into the final first time, so God has really taken care of us with that as well." round of the Safeway Lnternational in Scottsdale, Arizona, this spring, Stanford sent a text mesHer main on-course goal for 2007 is to sage to her friend saying simply, 'I'm praying make a return appearance at the Solheim , the female version of the Ryder Cup, for and pulling for you.' "That's the way Christians are, and play for her good friend, fe llow Christian, and US team captain always pulling for each other. You can really get up and down with Betsy King. "I want to play well enough to your scores, but Christians have the advantage because we can see the make the team on points, and not big picture and don't get in a mt," force Betsy to pick me as a wild Stanford says. card selection. I love the Solheim She received a similar bit of Cup atmosphere; that's what I'm ready for." encouragement herself in 20o3 when "llJhen Ifi¡rst rarne she stood on the brink of her first IJ To make sure she stays in focus on major title at the US Women's Open. the course, she has a Christian song Going into the fi nal round, she out here. Iwas title taped to the front of her yardage found a note of encouragement book and keeps a Bible verse or a taped to her locker by eventual win- worried about losing song going in her head while walkner Hilary Lunke. Stanford rolled in ing around the golf course. a long birdie putt on the last hole to the fellowship of my Who knows, the next surprise get into a playoff with Lunke and Christian encouragement note or Kelly Robbins, then added a 27message may be just around home church. being text footer on the fi rst playoff hole to the corner. 0 extend the match, only to lose to Lunke on the same hole, when she on theroad. and Art Stricklin is the Vice-President rolled in her birdie putt. of Public Relations for "I knew Hilary was a Christian, so missing so many Marketplace Chaplains USA in Dallas, Texas, and a longtime l think that made it easier. I never felt cheated by that loss because I Sundays." writer for Sports Spectrum. SPO RTS SPEC TRU M â&#x20AC;˘ JULY- AUGUST 2007





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t's about 5 minutes before I0 a.m. in the San Diego Padres locker room. Clay Hensley, Khalil Greene, Doug Brocail , the Giles brothers, and the rest of the players-with one exception-are buttoning the last buttons and tucking in shirts to be in uniform for a pre-game meeting with manager Bud Black. The lone holdout? It's Jake Peavy, so enthralled in the interview for this story that he just now realized he's the only one in street clothes. "Hey, you know what- J've got to go now," he tells me as he quickly begins undressing and calls out a phone number so we can set up a follow-up time to talk. In many ways, it's a perfect picture of Peavy. Yes, he has all the fame and fortune of a major league star-which he clearly is-but what's also clear is that his success has


most important thing in not gone to his head. At his core, Jake Peavy my life is Jesus Christ, my is a regular guy. He's a personal Savior. I want regular guy who can get people to know that, and so wrapped up talking I'm not ashamed to say it about his passion for basein any circle of life." ball and the Lord that he Before Peavy made the forgets about a team meetmajor leagues, pitching before thousands in intering. He thinks nothing of givi ng out his personal league play at Yankee cell number to reconnect Stadium at the tender with a writer he's just met. age of 20, or became the Had life's fortunes made youngest San Diego Padre him a grocery store manever to play in the Allager or businessman or Star Game, he was just a BY RICHARD DAIGLE car mechanic or whatever country boy who loved instead of a major league God and loved to hu nt ball player, you get the feeling you'd be talking to and fish. Now that he's a major league star, the exact same person. nothing has changed. He's just Jake. "It's not how much money you make or what "I'm a simple guy, there's no doubt about that. you do for a living," he says. "I'm sti ll the same But I want to be a guy who has his pri01ities in old boy from Semmes, Alabama, who likes to order. As much as I love this game and as much go home and hang with the boys and be the redas it's my life, my hope is not in baseball or how neck that I am." good I'm going to pitch opening day," Peavy tells Peavy's straightforward, honest, and earnest Chri tian faith runs parallel with his simple me later, when he has more time to talk. "My hope is the only hope we have and that's lifestyle. His Christian theology is a practical matter that is rooted in love for others. in the God who gave His life for us that we might be saved. That's my No. I priority in life, "When you go up to someone and start cramming the Bible and Scriptures down their throat, and then after that, my family is more important to me than anything in this world. Baseball falls you don't find that people are receptive to that. under that. I love baseball to death, and I' m forBut if you spend weeks or months loving on them and letting them know you care about tunate that this is my job, but absolutely the


WEB SITE: www.SporhSpectrum . com


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.,.. Peavy peeves hitters: In 2004 J ake Peavy led the National League In ERA with a 2.27 mark. Through the first thi rd of the 2007 season, Peavy's ERA was below 2 and leading the majors.


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them, these people wi ll open up to you," he says. Peavy's warmth and genuine sincerity are hard to miss. In short, his love shines through. He said he and reliever Scott Linebrink began meeting for brief prayer before games. The two practiced the advice found on T-shirts in Christian bookstores: "Preach the Gospel- use words if necessary." Caring for their teammates resulted in a bigger pregame prayer meeting. "At times we've had 15 guys holding hands in a tunnel at 6:30 before we took the field," Peavy says with true excitement in his voice. "It's been awesome." In addition to Linebrink, Peavy enjoys fellowship with Josh Bard, former teammate and current Houston Astros pitcher Woody Williams ("true walkthe-walk type guys," he says), as well as other believers on the Padres. Linebrink, also a hunter and fisherman like Peavy, says he has found a good friend in Peavy. Linebrink noted that the ups and downs of pro baseball can be tough on the emotions. Failure is "one thing you're assured of when you go through the course of a season, and it's comforting to know you have guys to lean on," Linebrink says. He and Peavy have defin itely leaned on each other at times in the past. "I think he's a guy that has a great


• Peavy 's posse: Among t he teammates past and present who have j oined J ake Peavy for Christian fellowship are Scott Llnebrink, Josh Bard , and Woody Williams, who has had two stints with the Padres (1 999-2001 and 2005·2006). Linebrink has been with the Padres since 2003;' Bard, since 2006.

platform and he's not afraid to use it," Linebrink says. Peavy played all sports growing up in Semmes, near Mobile, Alabama. His father, Donny, was known as quite a baseball player, so it was a natural game for Peavy. As a boy rooting for Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, and the rest of the Atlanta Braves, Peavy had no idea he would one day play on the same big league team as Maddux. But duri ng his senior year at St. Paul's Episcopal High School in Mobile-after he'd gone 31-1 in his first three varsity seasons-Peavy's

pro ball dream began to turn true. "It's a dream all your life, and you get into high school and you get recruited by all these colleges. The pro scouts start coming and you think, 'Maybe I can make this happen.' It's a huge blessing but I have no doubt in my mind that this is the Lord's plan for my life, and I just want to use it the best way I know how," he says. Peavy feels that playing many sports as a kid helped him develop as a ball player. "I hate to see kids get so specialized [in one sport] so early," Peavy points



out. "All those different games have something that's going to help you, whether it's football and the mental toughness and aggressiveness you have to learn, or it's basketball and the coordination and agility. So I don't like to see kids at such an early age say they want to be a baseball player only. I'm going to let my kids play and do what they want and encourage them to play all the sports." Succeeding in pro ball takes talent but more than that, it takes detennination and persistence, Peavy notes. "Stay the course. You've got to be persistent," he says. "There are a lot of kids trying to get into this room [clubhouse] where we're sitting right now." Peavy says that the fact that he marri ed young and had a child while still in the minors helped him mature as a young man and prepared him better for the mental and emotional grind that sometimes comes with the territory of being a professional athlete. Charles Barkley's famous "I'm not a role model" quote has reverberated in sports for years, but Peavy couldn't disagree more. "Whether you like it or not, you're a role model. What we do and the platform we've been given, you're impacting people's lives in your daily decisions," he says. "I certainly understand that. We always have to try the best we can be. Some 10-year-old kid out there is watching, and it's going to impact his life." And it's more than being a role model for kids. "We've got people in this clubhouse who look to me and say, 'Hey, this guy's a Christian; let's see what a Christian walk is all about.' You know, we're not perfect, but we have to be that role model for not only your kids but for your peers," he says. A missions trip to the Dominican Republic with the baseball ministry Unlimited Potential, Jno. gave Peavy the opportunity to be a Christian role model for baseball-crazy kids in that third-world country. The trip had a profound effect on Peavy on many levels. As he talks about the trip, his already-animated voice and engaging personality get even more so. Before he even says so, it's clear he'll be back on the mission field at some point. "It was a life-changing experience. It was humbling," he says. Before the trip he was concerned about what food he might have to eat there since he's a selfproclaimed "picky eater," but once he WEB SI TE : www.Spo rts Sp e ctrum . com

saw the impact the team had on kids, worrying about what to eat was the last thing on his mind. "Baseball is such a huge part of their culture. It's the only way out for some of these kids, so when you go over there and you have some kind of clout in baseball you've got their attention. You've got a great platform to share the gospel," he said. UP! National Director Tim Cash, who also went on the trip, said Peavy was deeply moved and "stretched" while there. "! believe it was a very purposeful trip, and I believe Jake tasted purpose spiritually in some ways he perhaps never had before," he said. There's no doubt Peavy has been bitten by the "missions bug." "I want to take my family," he says. "It gives you a whole new perspective on life when you go and you see really what we're called to do. We're called to use what we've been given to make a difference in the world and make a

difference for Christ- and, bottom line, take people to heaven with us. It was awesome." Peavy had an evangelistic message for the people of the Dominican Republic, but he also has words of encouragement for fellow Christians. The message is simple: Use what you have, to do what you can to advance the kingdom of God. "Everybody has a platform of some sort. Anything you do has the potential to impact other people," Peavy says. "Your workplace, members of your family- just make a difference any way you can in the people in your life. Affect those people in the right way, in a positive way. Love on them and show them the love that Christ shows us, and I believe if we do that then they'll see what we're all about." 0

Rich Daigle is a freelan ce writer who lives in Atlanta. His son Richie is a pitcher in the San Diego Padres ' organization.

RRREITING DEUEL9PMENT â&#x20AC;˘ "It was the craziest thing I've ever been a part of ... it was just embarrassing the way it went down." That was Jake Peavy's assessment of an incident at Mobile Regional Airport in which he made national news. Ironically, Peavy was arrested on the day he was leaving for his missions trip to the Dominican Republic. Peavy explained that he overslept that morning, arriving at the airport at 5:20 a.m. for a 6:05 a.m. international flight. His aunt, a Delta Airlines em ployee, told him to pull his vehicle up and bring his bags in and she would check him in. That's when the trouble began. A female security guard told Peavy he could not enter the doors. But he told the woman his aunt was in there and he wanted to bring his bags to her so he could make the flight. He told the security guard he was going on a mission trip, and if she gave him a ticket, he would gladly pay it in order not to miss the flight. According to Peavy, as the two spoke the guard became testy. "I said, 'Ma'am you know what's unbelievable is I understand yo_u are an authority figure and we are supposed to respect you guys, but I was always taught that to get some respect you show some respect. way you are talking to me is unbelievable: And she said, 'You better have res pect for me, or I'm going to have you arrested: And I said, 'Arrested? Why don't you arrest me over this incident?' And then two seconds later I was in handcuffs." Peavy posted a $350 bond and made it to the Dominican Republic that night. "We got to play it up in a ton of different media outlets. We tried to turn a negative in getting arrested into something positive," he said of the incident. Tim Cash of Unlimited Potential, Inc. said Peavy was a bit irritated when he arrived, but overall, he was impressed at how the young pitcher handled the episode. . "For a 25-year-old guy it had been a long day, it had been a complicated day," Cash said. "He took the high road, and I was really proud of him." - RICH DAIGLE

..,. Southern exposure: Jake Peavy and other players shared both their baseball knowledge and their faith with kids In the Dominican Republic. SPOR TS SPECT RUM- JULY-AUGUST 2007

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"It was a dream come true."


t. Louis Cardinals pitcher

Adam Wainwright smiles as he describes the feeling he had when he recorded the final out of the 2006 World Series. "I just couldn't believe it. We won. We won the World Series." Wainwright threw a curveball in New York to Carlos =-=- Beltran for strike three to win the pennant, and a slider to Brandon lnge of the Detroit Tigers for strike three to win the Series. "I'll probably never throw another curve or slider agai n without thinking of those two pitches," he says. The dream come true found its way to the Cardi nals via Brunswick, Georgia. There Adam and older brother Trey were raised by their mother and immersed themselves in sports. "Every day, I'd play with neighborhood friends in the backyard," Wainwright recalls. "We'd always play the final out of the World Series. You're not playing in the 82nd game of the season then. It is the center stage, the biggest game of the year. Every kid dreams of a moment like that." Growing up in Georgia, Wainwright was a huge Atlanta Braves fan and positioned himself to be a first-round draft pick out of high school by the Braves in 2000. Contract negotiations took less than 2 days. There was no need for super agents or holdouts- he loved the Braves and badly wanted to play for them. "Everyone in Georgia is a Braves fan," he says. "I remember in high school at 7:35 every night my brother and I tuned into channel 18 to watch" the Braves on television whi le we ate ]



dinner. I don't think we missed many games at all." Wainwri ght dreamed of leading the Braves to the World Series as a starter, and at the you ng age of 18 it looked like he was on the right track. He amassed an impressive career as a starter from 2000 through 2003 in the Braves' minor league system.

The Turning Point At the beginning of the 2003 season, Wainwright was invited to the major league spri ng training camp after posting a 3.31 ERA and recording 167



strikeouts in 163 innings at High-A the year earl ier. After appear.ing in two games early at camp, he was assigned to Double-A Greenville, where he went on to win 10 games and post a 3.37 ERA. But little did he know that other life events that year wou ld describe him. During that season, teammate and fellow pitching prospect Blaine Boyer encouraged Wainwright to attend a Christian conference. "Blaine and my agent talked me into going to a Professional Athlete Outreach (PAO) conference earlier that WEB SITE: www.SportsSptc t rum.com

year," Wainwright says. "So I went, and the message I heard just all made sense. It was then and there that I knew I really was saved." That was major change No. I for the pitching prospect that year. The message changed him in a positive way. "I had always gone to the Presbyterian church with my family, but I never really allowed being a Christian to be a huge part of who I was- until I was really challenged at that conference." After responding to the invitation at the PAO conference, Wainwright

called his girlfriend Jenny. "We were pretty serious at that time, and it was exciting to talk about our future in that mind frame knowi ng I was saved," he says. "She was reall y excited because she was further along in her walk at that ti me." They were so serious that their relationship would play into the two additional major changes in his li fe that would take place on the same day later that year. On December 13, 2003, Wainwright was at Jenny's house seeking permission from her father to propose marriage.

â&#x20AC;˘ "Weare the champions of the World ... Series!" After Adam Wainwright struck out Detroit third baseman Brandon lnge in Game 5 of the 2006 World Series, the celebration in St. Louis began. Wainwright worked three innings in relief, had an ERA of 0.00, struck out 5, and had a save and a victory for the champion St. Louis Cardinals.




That afternoon, during the important conversation, his mother called to tell him he'd been traded to the Cardinals. He had ignored his cell phone before his mom tracked him down. "I was shocked, but I was able to ask her dad," Wainwright says. T Early arrival: Jenny Wainwright's T-shlrt says, " Due In October," but Baylle Grace didn't want to walt for the postseason. Baylle was born In September, and when she was 6 weeks old she got to hang out with Daddy as he shared World Series glory with all of St. Louis.

Life With T he Cardinals In 2004, Wain wright 's fi rst year at Triple-A and with his new club, hi s season was cut short by injury and his ERA ballooned to 5.37. But he was in camp in 2005. "I didn' t know what to expect that second year with the Cardinals;路 he says. That season, he agai n


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pitched at Triple-A Memphis and appeared in two games wi th the Cardinals at the end of the season. He pitched from the bullpen those two games, something he would need to do agai n and soon. In 2006, Wainwright forced his way onto the opening day roster, pitched his way into a prominent role in the bull pen, and when closer Jason lsringhausen was lost to injury, became the pennant- and World Series-clinching closer in the postseason. "I had never been a bullpen pitcher, but l was so excited to be on the major league roster that I'd do whatever the team needed me to do;' he says. "Jason (lsringhausen) and Braden (Looper) really helped me out, though. They told me how to prepare for the game." Ironically, it was an injury to Isringhausen, the Cardinals' closer, that allowed Wainwright to slide into the closer's role for the playoffs and the World Series. When the 2007 season opened, Looper and Wai nwright had together moved from the pen to the starting rotation. "We have a lot in common off and on the field," Looper says. "It was so good to see him grab that opportunity last year and to make the most of it. Being in the pen together we became buddies, and it has also been good to see him grow in his faith." Wainwright receives a lot of ribbing from friends and fami ly for his poor timing for ignoring his cell phone while mustering up courage to ask for Jenny's hand in marriage. That trend continued. On September 10,2006, almost to the clay he was anointed the new Cardinals closer, he and Jenny welcomed a daughter, Baylie Grace, into the world. She was born a month prematurely, and Wainwright made it to Jenny's bedside just I0 minutes before Bay lie Grace was born. When the World Series trophy was presented to the Cardinals, Wai nwright stood in the middle of the celebration clutching and cherishing his biggest prize- Bay lie. "She threw up all over my shoulder while I was on stage," he says with a grin. "But I didn't care. She means the

world to me, and I was glad to share it wi th her. We have the tapes to show her when she is old enough to remember, or for her first elates."

Positive C hanges; New Challenges Looper and Wainwright talk about their faith often and are involved in a Bible study together. They also enjoy fellowshi p with Ricky Horton, a 7-year major league veteran with the Cardinals in the 1980s. Today, Horton provides color commentary for television broadcasts and is involved in the team's Baseball Chapel with the Cardinals. "There are a lot of issues that face professional athletes today that just weren' t as pronounced when I was a player," Horton says. "Players today are on TV all the time. They are recognized in the community as celebrities, and they aren't allowed to have a bad day in public without being judged." Horton says pitchers like Dave Dravecky and Orel Hershiser paved the way for players today to be able to share their faith. "I wouldn't want to be an Albe11 Pujols or Adam Wainwright today," Horton says. "There is so much demand for their time, and just last year they played in the World Series, which only elevated their status. That can be a lot of pressure." Success and celebrity status haven't changed Wainwright. "He is the same guy this year as last," Looper says. "He is still a great teammate and a jokester. He is someone I'm lucky to call teammate and friend." Wai nwright says success in baseball is nice and comes with a price, but he doesn't plan on changing. "I give God the glory for what I was able to do last year. It was an amazing year," he says. "Having a d'aughter is the biggest change in me since the World Series. I am the same guy. I just have a World Series ri ng now, but I am a husband and a father first. When all is said and done, I have enjoyed the moment every boy dreams about; I want to be known as the guy who lives the life of a Christian husband, father, and player. God has blessed me and if my pitchi ng in the World Series can somehow tell a kid somewhere that it is cool to love Jesus-that would be awesome." 0 David Aus1i11 is a f reelance wriler who lives in Wichila, Kansas.


It's time order your Booklet! Don't miss out on this year's booklet - it contains tons of information on the upcoming NFI!. season. lihe booklet features r ony. Dungy, coach of 2007 Super Bowl Champions, the Indianapolis Colts! It also contains a 2007 Pro f ootball schedule, personal testimonies from pro football players, and a gospel essage. Order extra copies for your friends, youth group, Bible study, business associates, family members, or any other outreach vent you may be planning. Supplies are limited so order now!


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â&#x20AC;˘ David Smale C:atc:hlng Up With Joe Cutel' FORMER MAJOR LEAGUE FIRST BASEMAN orne athletes, despite outstanding careers, are defined by one moment. Hear their names and one photo or video comes to mind. If you think of Dwight Clark, you immediately think of "The Catch," his game-winning grab in the back of the end zone to win the 1981 NFC Championship Game for the San Francisco 49ers over the Dallas Cowboys. Keith Smart? The game-winning shot for Indiana against Syracuse in the 1987 NCAA basketball final. Willis Reed? Hobbling back onto the court in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals to lead the New York Knicks to their first title against the Los Angeles Lakers. Kirk Gibson? The walk-off home run for the Dodgers in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series over the Oakland Ks. Even Hall of Famers have their "moments." George Brett? The Pine Tar Game against the New York Yankees in 1983. John Elway? "The Drive" against the Cleveland Browns in the 1987 AFC Championship Game. And the list goes on. Joe Carter has one of those. Rewind back to the 1993 World Series. The Toronto Blue Jays were defending World Series champions. They were facing the Philadelphia Phillies. Game 6 was in Toronto with the Blue Jays up three games to two. Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams was on the mound 'for the Phillies in the ninth inning when Carter stepped to the plate with the Jays down 6-5. With two runners on and one out, Carter lashed a 2-2 pitch over the left-field wall for only the second World Series-clinching walk-off home run in history and the only one to erase a deficit. Carter knows that's how he is best remembered, and that doesn't bother him at aU. "Hitting a walk-off home run is one of the SPORTS SPECTRUM ON THE

"' Joe's Moment. Joe Carter watches as the second championshipcli nching walk-off home run in World Series history sails over the left field fence. Joe's Family. Diana and Joe with their children (left to right) Ebony, Jordan, and Kia.

greatest moments in aU of baseball," he says. "How can you not be happy and excited about that? Every time I see it I still get goose bumps: But it's not what he thinks of when he looks back at his career. "RBis," he says when asked the first thing that pops into his mind when he hears his name mentioned. That home run is also not the first thing in his mind when he thinks of his personal highlight in baseball. "The biggest highlight for me was the first game I played in the big leagues," he says. "I remember getting the call. We were in Des Moines, Iowa, and our phone rang at 6 a.m. I won-

WEB: w w w. SportsSptctrum . com

dered who was calling me that early when we had a night game the night before. We didn't get to bed until midnight or 1 a.m. "It was my coach, Jim Napier. He said, 'Pack your stuff, you're going to the big leagues: The first thing I said to my wife was, 1'urn on the A/ C, Honey, we can afford it. We're going to the big leagues:" While Carter will forever be linked with that 1993 "moment" at Skydome, those who played with or against Carter remember him as a 100-percent effort guy. "Every single day I went to the ballpark I was blessed," he says. "I was grateful. I was humbled. And I gave it my aU. I didn't take

anything with me. I left everything I had out there on the field. Regardless of how I was feeling, or if I was going through a slump, I was happy with the idea of playing baseball." Carter says the attitude of giving his best every day ties directly to his faith in Jesus Christ. "You're not going to be able to please everybody," he says. "I remember one game when I was with Cleveland. I hit one home run and everyone was happy. When I came up again, the fans said, 'C'mon Joe, hit another one: I hit another home run. When I came up again, they wanted another home run. "You can never please everybody. No matter what you do or say, there's always somebody who is going to think differently about you. I knew the only Person I could please was my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If I struck out four times and made three errors, if I could look myself in the mirror and say that I gave it my best, then that's all He asks of you." That's something worth being remembered for. 0

David Smale, former editor of Sharing the Victory magazine,

lives in Kansas City, Missouri.



ON THE ......... .... , THE SPOT . , r. map tsn t, to most

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people, all that significant. It's a blip, really. Another small, Midwestern town where people are born, where they grow up, stick around, and eventually blend into the landscape. But in Sam Hornish Jr.'s world-a universe that flies by at nearly 200 mph- Defiance, Ohio, is so much more than the meager road stop along US 24 that others see. For Horn ish, it's the start-finish line where the 28-yearold defending Indy Racing League champion first developed a love for his sport and where all the things that really matter in his life-including his

relationship with his Savior- developed their roots. "I never felt like there was any other place I wanted to be. I get to travel and see enough other places with my career. To be able to go home and have the same thing every time I do get home is pretty neat," Hornish says. "I go to the same church I've gone to my whole life, the church I was baptized in. There's no place like home. I can't imagine myself living anywhere else, that's for sure." At his core, Hornish resembles the town of just more than 16,000 where a metal sign on the outskirts of its borders hangs, claiming ownership of the raci ng champion.

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Like Defiance, Hornish is soft-spoken and reserved, leaving the big-city flash and bravado for other competitors like his Penske Racing teammate Helio Castroneves. But more important, Hornish is, like his hometown, genuine- a trait that characterizes not only his personality but also a securely planted faith in Jesus Christ that keeps him grounded in a racing world where he consistently finds himself near or at the top. WEB SITE: ww w.Spo rt sS pec t rum . com

Since joining the IRL in 2000, Harnish's racing resume includes back-to-back series titles and a 2006 Indianapolis 500 victory that legitimized Harnish's claim as one of the sport's top drivers. Harnish's love of racing was handed down from his parents-whose first date took place at a race track and who ventured off to the Indianapolis 500 in 1979 when Jo Ellen Hornish was 8 months pregnant with Sam. Before moving to the IRL, Hornish honed his driving skills on other circuits from go-karts to Formula cars, dreami ng of the day he'd reach racing's Mecca, the ll)dianapolis Motor Speedway. The iconic Indianapolis Brickyard has al ways held a special place for Hornish, who, in 1985, witnessed Danny Sullivan's fabled "Spin to Win" victory that cemented his love for the sport at age 6. In that race, Sullivan- Hornish's favorite driver- made a late move to pass Mario Andretti, spun numerous times without colliding with anything, before holding off Andretti down the stretch for the victory. Hornish realized he had witnessed somethi ng special. "As a kid, most of the times you go to races to see wrecks, but that was the first time I really went there as a way of checking it out and saying, ' Hey, this is something that's pretty neat to watch

and maybe something I'd like to do one day as well," says Hornish, who once told hi s mother he'd grow up to be either a racecar driver or a minister. "That's when something changed in my mind about racing." Success found Hornish early in his IRL career, claiming series championships in both 200 1 and 2002. In 2004, racing mogul Roger Penske signed Horn ish to drive for him, placing him in a spotlight as one of the sport's most heralded drivers. But winning wasn't automatic as Hornish fin ished seventh in the 2004 series standings before placing third in 2005. His climb up the standings set up last season, when Horn ish won four times, including at Indianapolis where he passed Marco Andretti in the race's final lap to capture the title, becomi ng only the second driver to claim both the series championship and the Indy 500 in the same year. The benchmark of Harnish's expectation level shifted into a higher gear. Now, he's seeking to become only the II th driver in Indy Car history to twice win the series championship in back-tohack years. But as motivating as the thought of accomplishing the feat is to Hornish, he knows that achieving even more success comes with a ptice tag. There's more time on the road, more personal appearances, and more people who recognize him and vie for his time

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• Fast times. ' Dixon and Sam Scott Hornlsh Jr. lead the field on a restart during the Indy 500 on May 27, 2007. • The big moment. Hornlsh celebrates after winning the 90th Indy 500 on May 28, 2006. • The Champ. Hornish stands alone as the IRL lndyCar Series Champion on September 10, 2006, at the Chlcagoland Speedway in Joliet , Illinois.




and attention. Harnish estimates that he's gone nearly 200 days out of the year on racing-related business, forcing him to prioritize what he holds dear to him and the responsibilities that go along with being a racing superstar. Harnish and his wife Crystal-who are both active in several charitable endeavors-spent their second wedding anniversary on the road, splitting a bagel on their way to Richmond, Virginia, to promote an Indy Car event. Later, they were on a plane to New

worth, Harnish transitions his livelihood under the public microscope as an opp011unity to reach others for Christ. It's a trait that Glen Whisler, Harnish's pas tor at Poplar Ridge Church of the Brethren back in Defiance has seen develop over the years. Whisler, now retired, said he has always been impressed with Harnish's ability to allow his faith to shine through his actions and not necessarily his words. Whisler has noticed it in Harnish's


T Crystal clear: Sam and Crystal Hornish enjoy victory circle after Sam won the Indianapolis 500 in 2006. Sam's ride: The 2007 version of the Team Penske Dallara Honda Indy car with Sam Hornish at the wheel during testing earlier this year.

York for a Harnish appearance on Late Night With David Letterman. "You always feel like there is a lot of stuff going on, but I'm okay with that," Harnish says. "The more you go through those things, the more able you are and the more equipped you are to handle that daily schedule." Yet, it is here where Hamish's hometown humility and values begin to shine through. Rather than using the accolades that accompany each checkered flag he captures as a way of finding self-

driving style- aggressive, but not cheap-which is often commonplace in a sport when even a split-second can spell the difference between winning and finishing as the runner-up. "That's a good testimony," says Whisler, who married Sam and Crystal a week after the 2004 Indianapolis 500. "And I think that's Sam's style more than getting up on a soapbox and saying, 'Look at me.' He's not that type of a fella." A regular in Indy Car chaplain Bob

Hills' pre-race non-denominational church services, Harnish routinely makes speaking appearances, brought on by his name's marketability, to tell others of his love for the Lord. It's a chance, Harnish says, to blend racing with an unwavering faith that has seen him through his meteoric rise to the top of the racing world. The crowds, Harnish says, aren't always large. But regardless of the size of his audience, Harnish stresses the importance of prioritizing one's life. Often, he speaks to young people whose lives are filled with a myriad of options pulling for their attention. It's on those occasions when Harnish speaks to the importance of a personal relationship with God and maintaining that kinship through being involved in a church-as he was at Poplar Ridge while he was growing up. Harnish knows that it may be his name that brings his audience out, providing him with opportunities to share his testimony. "I sometimes think that maybe this is why I have been as fortunate as I have been," Harnish says. "Maybe this is my way of being a better testimony or a better servant. "You don't always have to reach everyone [for the Lord] at one time. One by one is okay."


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\------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Inside his fast-paced world, Hornish blends into a field of big-name drivers, all striving for the same final result. Among his competition, Homish's faith in Christ is evident. Although he knows that the timing for speaking out on his Lord's behalf isn't always appropriate, he senses there are ways that he can allow his testimony to show itself without any words having to come from his mouth. Outside of racing's inner-circle, others-like Whisler and Hills-know his faith to be true when they read comments from competing drivers who say that they can trust Hornish or that they'll always know where he's going to be. "Sam 's relationship with Chri st really means a lot to him and it shows," Hills says. "In the racing business, people are always looking for what's real. They don't want to hear about if something is real, they want to see it. And with Sam and his faith, people around him see it and they know it is real." That too, comes from Hornish's beginnings in Defiance, where his parents always made sure their son was in church. That meant a 30-mile drive to Poplar Ridge, a congregation Hornish still considers to be his home. It was there that Hornish's relationship with

WEB SITE: www.SportsSpectrum.com

Christ came alive, rooting him in a faith that has shaped him ever since. Yet, there came a time when Hornish's racing career took him away from Defiance more and more, forcing him to strengthen his faith on his own rather than to depend on his parents, who had planted the seed years before. "I've also had strong enough feelings about [my faith] to keep pursuing it when I got to the age where I thought my parents weren't in charge of it anymore, and when I thought I could go on that walk with the Lord more on my own," Hornish says. "I always felt that's what I should be doing and I've always felt that God was part of my life. I feel like I've been very blessed, and there's no reason why I shouldn't continue to move forward with my walk with Him." He's always been able to maintain that journey even in the midst of a demanding schedule. In the times when racing keeps him away from his church, Hornish often finds a radio broadcast to listen to or will speak with his father, Sam, Sr., who points his son to the Scriptures. Ask Hornish to describe a time in his life when his faith has helped shape him and he struggles to do so, instead pointing to the collection of experiences when his foundation shaped around a Christian upbringing back home in Defiance aided him in making the right decision. To be sure, he admits, there have been instances when he made the wrong choice. But even in doing so, he focuses on God's grace and unconditional love. As he told a congregation in Indiana earlier this year: "God doesn't care if you make the right decision all the time. What He is concerned with is when you do the wrong thing that you learn from it and improve on the next time you face that challenge." It's a message Hornish constantly reminds himself of, helping him rely on his faith in Christ to see him through what lies ahead. He's often reminded of the promise he finds in I Corinthians 10:13, which reads, "God is faithful; He will not Jet you be tempted beyond what you can

bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." And with Hornish's future bright both in Indy Car and on NASCAR's Busch series, in which he is driving II races thi s year, having a strong faith to depend on, he knows, is a constant comfort. "I know we're all given burdens and our own cross to bear. I know there's going to be challenges in life," Horn ish says. "Half the fun of overcoming them is knowing that life's not supposed to be easy. But knowing what I do know, I'd say it makes it easier. I know God's not going to give me more than I can handle." 0

Jeff Arnold, whose racing career consists of five laps during a NASCA R 1nedia ride-along at 165 mph, is a sports reporter for the Ann Arbor (Mich.) News. SPORTS SPECTRUM â&#x20AC;˘ JULY-AUGUST 2007

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a ..adfo..d YOU GOTTA M_A_BE SURE Chad

â&#x20AC;˘ I grew up going to church. My mom was the church secretary and my dad was a deacon in our church. I can remember when I was 9 years old going down to the front of the church and making a profession of faith and accepting Christ as my Savior. But still, as I began to get older, I began to have a lot of questions about my salvation. Was I saved or wasn't I? I was up and down as far as where I was with God. As a teenager, I would go on church retreats and I re-dedicated my life when I was 15. I would feel very close to the Lord. Then I'd go through times when I'd fall in with a couple of friends and be doing things that I know displeased the Lord. So I was back and forth and in and out for a long time. It was like that all the way up until I started playing pro baseball. I went through college, got married, had a kid. I was in the minor leagues playing for Charlotte at Triple A with the White Sox, and I1l never forget that time in my life because I really turned a corner. We were playing on the road in Indianapolis, and that whole summer I was just struggling with the assurance of my salvation. I kept thinking, Am I sure that I'm saved? And I felt as if I was, yet I just didn't feel right. I felt like I was just sitting on the fence. In front of some people, I would act one way. Then, in front of others, I'd act another way. Finally, it came to a head one night and I just said, "God, wherever I am, I just want to make sure that I'm on the right page with you, and I want to make sure that I am a Christian, and I want to make sure that I live for You every day." So, for me, that changed everything. From that point on, the Lord became my focus every day. I feel like I have been a Christian since I was 9 years old, but I feel like when I was 26, I took that extra step of really understanding what everything meant and what it meant to live for Him every day instead of just saying, "Yes, I'm a Christian," but not really thinking about what I'm doing on a daily basis. Over the years, I have grown more in my faith and have become more mature every year. But when I look back over that summer, it was really a major turning point in my life. 0

What Does It Mean? Chad Bradford felt the need to make absolutely sure that he was saved from sin. Are you as sure as he is that you have a home in heaven reserved for you? It is essential. You must recognize that you are a sinner (Romans 3:23) and that those sins will lead to death (Romans 6:23). You must understand that only through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ can those sins be forgiven (Romans 10:9-10). Please make sure of your salvation today.

Perfect Gift for Father's Day!

exp lain it.

But on Sunday afternoon, as you wa lk off eighteen and into th e cheering gallery- it whispers in your ea r in a small, but all too fami liar voice,

"Next week. . . next week we can do better. "

That's desire talking and come June we're turn ing it and

Cam i/o loose on Memphis.

· -


DESIRE KNOWS NO BOUNDS www.stanfordstjude.com



......-...... Stanford Group Company Two Piedmont Town Center, Suite 800 • Charlotte, North Carolina 28210 704.571.7900 Stanford Group Company, member NASD/SIPC. Member Stanford Financial Group.

June 4·10, 2007 TPC Southwind/Memphis

Profile for Sports Spectrum

2007 julyaugust  

2007 julyaugust  


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