TYLER – Year No. 3 is here for an FCA champion’s all-star football game.
The first edition of the games was canceled due to COVID-19. And then in 2021, weather forced the boys’ game to be canceled early, while the girls’ game was moved inside Grace Community School.
On Wednesday morning at the First Christian Church in Tyler, the coaches for the 2022 games were introduced before drafting their squads.
“We’re looking forward to it,” said Robert Bardin, regional manager for Northeast Texas FCA. “Joey Petrich, who’s on our team here in northeast Texas, he’s the one running this game, and he’s done a fabulous job with it. We’ve got over 60 kids nominated in both games, this which is by far the highest we’ve had since we started. We’ve brought in coaches from far and wide in our area because not all of our schools in East Texas have football. We have able to expand a bit into the Mesquite/Rockwall area and into Texarkana.
Lindale boys soccer coach Jason Lawless and Brook Hill boys soccer coach David Collins played soccer together at ETBU, Lawless said. From now on, the duo will be able to train the blue team together.
“It’s exciting,” Lawless said. “Going from assistant coach last year to coach (Angel) Rocha has been a great experience and now becoming head coach and being able to coach with my longtime friend David Collins is going to be a fun time. “
Rocha, the boys’ head football coach at Pine Tree, is a consultant for the game.
The red team will be coached by Kilgore head coach Tom Wait and he will be joined by Rockwall’s Tony Bowls.
“I’m excited, to say the least,” Wait said. “My background, having coached at LeTourneau and played football at Liberty University, mixing God and athletics is something that I’ve always been inspired to do and have done. So for me, it’s is an extreme privilege to try to influence more children and the best we have to offer in East Texas.
On the girls’ side, Kendra Lockett of Nacogdoches will coach the blue team, and she will be joined by Megan Coppedge of Mesquite Horn.
Whitehouse girls head coach Wendy Knight will serve as head coach of the red team, and she will be joined by Bullard girls head coach Tiffany Cooksey.
“I’m super excited,” Knight said. “I’m super excited to see how much he’s grown. Last year it was a small group. We have a ton of other nominations and are excited to see a ton of other schools participating. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with different coaches and to see the talent that is out there. Just looking at the roster, there are a lot of really good talents. I am very honored to have been selected.
After the introduction of the coaches, it was time to draft the teams and the coaches arrived prepared.
“I’m not going to lie, I’ve already started exploring the list,” Knight said. “I even texted a few coaches, asking for some kids’ names, because I knew their numbers when we play against them, but I don’t always know their names. I did some background research, and I know what they can do, and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with them.
“I was going through the roster, and there are a lot of great players on the roster,” Lawless said. “I’m excited. I hope I can get the ones I want.
FCA football matches are scheduled for June 3 with a venue yet to be determined.