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Students receive huddle leaders of the year awards

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    Kennon Paulk poses with his award with former FCA advisor, Stacy Mills, and current advisor, Heather Wiggins. CONTRIBUTED by April Cassell
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Elaina Gay and Anthony Hines pose for a photo with Gay’s huddle leader of the year award. CONTRIBUTED by April Cassell

Elaina Gay from Clifton Ridge Middle School and Kennon Paulk from Gray Station Middle School were chosen as huddle leaders of the year due to their leadership skills and strong faith within the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

April Cassell, Middle Georgia FCA area representative, said both students really represented in their schools, showing how they can lead other students to Christ and be role models.

“We like for the huddles to be student-led, because it means students are leading other students to Christ,” she said.

“Teachers have a big influence on students, but when a student can show another student the way to Christ, that’s a pretty awesome experience.”

She said huddles are a time where students meet, and it’s hard for students to meet successfully without a leader. Having a huddle leader is important. She said the students can share scripture with each other and just talk things over during those times.

“Fellowship of Christian Athletes is an organization that wants to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes,” Cassell said. “Most of the time we like for the huddle leaders to be on an athletic team, but they don’t have to be.”

The FCA representative said the student needs to be involved in some kind of support role where they encourage other students.

She said the advisors are pretty good at spotting a student who would be good for the role and take on the responsibility of huddle leader.

Heather Wiggins, FCA advisor for Gray Station, said Paulk was excited to get his award for being huddle leader of the year, and he had really shown himself the past couple of years to be the student to lead others. She said he’s strong in his faith and wanted to help the homeless quite a bit.

“Kennon has shown he’s very mature, and we look for those kids who step up like he did. He would lead prayer at the pole every Friday morning on his own and it ended up bringing the other kids there. Kennon set his own path,” she said.

She said she’s very proud of him for becoming huddle leader at Gray Station. She said he’s never been afraid to be himself and even though he’s not an athlete, he still brings people together.

“He really stepped up, which you don’t typically see in middle school,” Wiggins said. “He’s not shy about sharing his faith. It wasn’t just service in the school. He wanted to go beyond that to help others.”

Anthony Hines, FCA advisor for Clifton Ridge, said Gay really stepped up to the plate when she became huddle leader at Clifton Ridge. He said she is a devoted Christian and a true leader.

“Elaina has a strong Christian foundation and she loves Clifton Ridge,” he said. “She really wanted for other students to know how good God is. She was so excited to get the award, and it felt like Elaina was on a crusade this year.”

The FCA advisor at Clifton Ridge said she would lead prayer at the pole, help the homeless, and did much more at the school.

He said her ideas to help Clifton Ridge were limitless. He said she played soccer, but it was how she helped other students that made a difference.

“I’m most proud of Elaina for her pride in herself and how driven she is. It was almost like we had another teacher in the school. She is very motivated to help others follow Christ,” Hines said.

He said the award couldn’t have gone to a more deserving student. He said he is sad she won’t be at the school this upcoming year, but he feels the high school will gain an excellent role model.

Cassell said these students worked hard and showed the middle schools in the area that there are real leaders in the education system. She said these students stood out amongst their peers with strong faith.

“I’m proud of them for being a master of Christ on their campus. It’s hard to be good, but easy to make bad choices,” she said. “Just for them to stand apart and walk on their faith in their daily life while being an example for others to follow is really important when we have so much chaos in the world.”