It’s a high school coach’s dream: to lead the team to a state championship. Bethlehem Christian Academy’s new baseball head coach Colby May, an All-American player from the University of Georgia, did just that, and in his first year coaching.
It’s quite an accomplishment, but for Colby May and the BCA coaching staff, there is more to the game of baseball than just winning on the field. “It was the week before the boys were to play the state championship series, and the parents got an email from Coach May,” said Susan Still, whose son Tanner is a freshman on the BCA team. “He was taking the boys to the local Boys and Girls Club to spend time with the children at the Club’s summer camp.”
“I was involved with the Boys’ and Girls’ Club while I played baseball in college. It was there that I realized how much young kids look up to athletes, and how much impact athletes could have as a positive influence in their lives,” said May. “I also saw this organization help many young people get on the right path in life and really make a difference.”
So off they went, and Boys and Girl’s Club director Derek Hutchins put the high school guys straight into the mix, right along with the kids in the midst of their camp activities.
“The joy of the kids was contagious,” said May. “The players were part of something bigger than themselves, and they loved it. The kids loved it. We all had a great time. I wanted to really have a great time with the campers, to make them feel special and have them get some individual attention from older kids. I also wanted my guys to learn that giving back is really important, and that serving and sharing the love of God is the most important thing they can do.”
The strategy of teaching selflessness and self-sacrifice is an intentional one for the whole coaching staff.
“Being selfless this year as a team has helped us have success, because one individual cannot carry a team to a championship,” the coach said. “It takes the whole team to accomplish that goal. My hope is that this lesson will form the kind of men these guys will become, and that my players will always serve others more than themselves for the rest of their lives.”
Coach May’s email to the players’ parents said it all: “We are all fortunate to be part of something bigger than ourselves. When the players start to understand that life is not all about them, then they will be blessed abundantly more than they could ever ask. Thank you, parents, for all the support this year and for trusting the coaching staff. The guys are ready to play solid baseball tomorrow. Have a great weekend.”
It was the eve of playing for a state championship, but for a group of giggling children and some older baseball players in Winder, that state title was actually the second win.
With the state championship behind them, the the Bethlehem Christian Knights are looking to next spring and more community involvement.