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East Texas' FCA Heart of a Champion All-Star coaches introduced

The Heart of a Champion All-Star teams will be announced on Jan. 26.
Credit: Ashley Moore

TYLER, Texas — The Northeast Texas Fellowship of Christian athletes has officially announced the coaching staffs for this year’s "Heart of a Champion" All-Star games.

The theme this year is "every." FCA wants to lead every coach and athlete into a growing relationship with Christ, while the students also compete in the sport they love.

For the 12th year, FCA brought coaches together from all over East Texas to draft some of the best athletes representing football, baseball, softball, soccer and cheerleading.

Beckville head football coach Cody Ross is returning this year to lead the red football team and Chapel Hill head football coach Jeff Riordan is returning this year as head coach of the blue football team after serving as assistant last year.

“They call it Beast Texas, right?" Ross asked. "I mean, we've got a lot of beasts here, we got a lot of kids that go on to play the next level. There's a lot of kids that end up not playing at the next level that are really, really good high school football players. And so I don't think there's a better area in the state, probably in the country than what we have right here in this little jewel of East Texas.”

Riordan said the reason behind the games inspires him.

“It was just a fun event, where we got to do football and Jesus. And you know, it was two things faith, family, football that we talked about all the time. It comes to fruition and FCA All Star game,” Riordan said.

Bullard coach Julie Murry is this year's head softball coach of the blue team and she’s looking forward to the talent.

“I’m so excited for this experience," Murry said. "I feel like yes, it is gonna be so fun to have some of the best athletes in this region. God, I mean, just look out there and you got no drill killers, you know, everybody's just gonna be at a high level.”

Here's how it works. Coaches from the red teams and blue teams all meet in one room where they’ll select students representing nearly 70 different high schools.

The Heart of a Champion All-Star teams will be announced on Jan. 26.

Robert Bardin, FCA area director, said the goal was to make this event as exciting as possible.

“The draft today seriously just works like a NFL draft or major league draft," Bardin said. "We've got close to 150 football players that are on the draft sheet today. And so 100 of them will be drafted.”

Some coaches might’ve taken a glance at the draftees beforehand.

“We took a little look at it," Coach Ross said. "I mean, you know, we try not to get too much of an advantage. But you know, as coaches I mean, at the end of the day, we do want to win, you know, it's gonna be a fun week. It's gonna be an all star week and we're gonna have fun with it, but the competitive juices will get blown and we want to get some kids on our team that they want to go out there and win the game Saturday night.”

The Heart of a Champion All-Star games are scheduled for June 2 to 4. 

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