Religion unites Hornet athletes

Clifton Jones

Sacramento State student athletes may be seen as partiers during the off-season, but there is a group of student athletes who are a different type of partiers. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes of Sac State provides a warm and inviting group for athletes who are new to campus living.

The group meets once per week inside the Broadfield Athletic Training Facility. Junior golfer Jordan Swanson, who is now in his second year here at Sac State, said it has been a blessing.

“I think it’s great how the group makes members feel welcomed even if I haven’t come as consistently as I wanted,” Swanson said.

According to its Facebook account, Fellowship of Christian Athletes of Sac State has a total of 97 members. However, one of the four leaders of the group – softball senior infielder Lauren Blair – said that the number of members varies every semester depending on what sports are in season.

“Some of those who have been here before (have) seen how great it was last semester, and how this semester died down a bit,” Blair said. “I think it also depends on how many athletes are willing to look for groups like ours.”

Blair joined the Fellowship of Christian Athletes when she was a freshman, and said has met a lot of great friends along the way, including junior softball pitcher Taylor Stroud.

“A lot of my teammates have been coming to the meetings recently, but Taylor and I both try to bring as many as we can to the meetings every week,” Blair said. 

Even though the group has slimmed down a bit from last semester, Blair said she is still happy that there is a consistent number of people coming every week.

“It is great to see that an average of 20 people come, because this group has helped us focus our attention away from school, sports and life in general to focus on Christ,” Blair said. “I believe this is a great group to be a part of.”

Blair said fellow Christian student athletes meet with each other and then leave to be better role models to teammates during practices.

Swanson’s golf schedule and practices off campus have not given him the opportunity to come as often as he would like.

Swanson, who transferred here from Southern California’s Biola University two years ago, said he wanted to find a group like he had there. 

“I went to a Christian school my freshman year and I was surrounded by a community of believers,” Swanson said. “So when I got here I wanted to find something like that here.”

Although Swanson has traveled a lot this season because of golf, he and his teammates have met on their own to study the Bible and worship while on the road.

“It has kept things in perspective for me. It is easy to get caught up in the results and define myself by them,” Swanson said. “My relationship with Christ keeps that at the forefront of everything and that’s what I’m defined by, not golf or school.”

Swanson said he also has had the opportunity to meet a lot of believers in his opponents this season. He said that most of his opponents belong to another group called College Golf Fellowship, which has reached a significant number of people.

“I have had the chance to share my faith with some of the guys on the golf course,” Swanson said. “I also realized how small of a world I really live in, because a lot of the guys I compete against know the same people I do.”

Swanson said he enjoys being more at peace when he thinks of Christ first because he has been on both sides of the spectrum.

“I have experienced getting caught up in the moment in golf or school instead of focusing on Christ, which has led to disappointment and discontentment within me,” Swanson said.

Clifton can be reached on Twitter at @jonesSHsports