Bowl postcard: Faith and fellowship for Gamecocks, Badgers

12/30/2013 10:00 AM

12/30/2013 10:02 AM

South Carolina quarterback Dylan Thompson had a hard time speaking at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfast here Monday morning.

It had nothing to do with his faith or confidence in his testimony. Blame it on the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster at Universal Studios.

“Pardon me if my voice is messed up,” he told the crowd of a few hundred that included around 25 of his teammates and several coaches. “They made me ride this ride at Universal and I was screaming. I don’t do roller coasters.”

Thompson and running backs coach Everette Sands shared their stories of faith along with Wisconsin assistant coach Luke Swan and freshman linebacker Alec James.

“That’s why God has us here,” Thompson said. “He gives us all a story, and it’s all of equal value. You can’t be afraid to tell people how he changed your life.”

Sands said he grew up saying he wanting to be a preacher.

“I didn’t quite make it as a preacher,” he said, “but I believe the Lord put me in a platform where I can touch the lives of a lot of young men. That’s why I truly love coaching.”

The 7 a.m. breakfast at First Baptist Church of Orlando is the earliest event on the teams’ Capital One Bowl week itinerary. In addition to the meal and the messages, video highlights of the 2013 football season were shown for both USC and Wisconsin.

“It was an early morning for us,” Thompson said. “I like this a lot. I needed this in high school. It’s a blessing to be able to talk to people about Jesus, whether that’s in Orlando or Columbia or wherever, it’s a lot of fun.”

Dwayne McLemore


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