Evangel starts football program

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Special to the Reporter

Evangel Christian School, a new homeschool group starting up in Shelby County this fall, is planning a full slate of varsity athletics for the 2004-05 school year.

The new program will compete as an independent and play other Christian schools and homeschool teams from around Alabama and Tennessee.

Several varsity and junior varsity sports are planned, including football, boys and girls basketball, baseball, girls softball and possibly soccer.

Evangel school has already been accepted into membership of the Central Alabama Christian Conference in basketball and baseball with hopes to compete in a recognized athletic association in football in the near future.

The school will emphasize a high commitment to athletics as well as academics and the fine arts.

The school only formed this spring, and will officially begin as an organized educational institution in the fall.

A total of 43 varsity and junior varsity players came out for practices in the spring.

The team will play 8-man football, with the possible exception of a few games of 11-man competition.

Evangel’s nickname will be the &uot;Lightning&uot; and school colors will be navy blue and silver.

The school plays its inaugural game on Friday night, Aug. 20, in Huntsville against the new Rocket City homeschool group.

The Evangel team will be coached by Steve Dean, a former running back at the University of Alabama who played under Coach Paul &uot;Bear&uot; Bryant in the early 1970’s.

His senior year, in 1973, his Crimson Tide team won the UPI national championship.

Dean previously coached at Hope Christian School in Pelham, and was named National Coach of the Year in 2002 by the National Association of Christian Athletics after leading his Hope team to the NACA national championship.

He also served previously as the athletic director and soccer coach at Shades Mountain Christian School in Hoover.

&uot;We are real excited about this opportunity as a first-year program to make our mark on high school athletics in this area,&uot; Dean said. &uot;We have several boys with experience in varsity athletics and are excited about molding them together as a new team.

&uot;This is a unique opportunity to bring together the excellence of a homeschool education with the extra-curricular experience of varsity athletics. From an athletics standpoint, we want each student-athlete’s experience to be as good as he would get at any other school.&uot;

For more information about Evangel Christian School, call the school office at 706-2595, or go to www.evangelhomeschool.or