Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 6, 2000

Harold Keller / L’Observateur / December 6, 2000

My friend Coach Mickey Roussel of Riverside Academy extended me an invitation to travel with the football team last Friday, en route to their semi- final state playoff game in Farmerville. I considered it an honor and privilegeto be asked.

The day started at 10 a.m. with a team devotional led by Coach Roussel. Hismessage was not about the trip, or on the game; its focus was on “Man’s Purpose in Life.” He read from a daily reading reflection and prayer bookcalled, “My Daily Bread.” In the message, the players were reminded that thehighest goal in their lives should be a union with God in Heaven.

“Let all your intentions throughout the day be guided to this truth. In allthings, be sure to stay on the path which leads to Heaven. Do not become toodeeply interested in the passing desires and brief employment on this earthly life,” he read.

The team was reminded that everything they have, including their lives, comes from God. Coach Roussel continued, “In life, don’t be selfish andconsider only satisfying yourself. If you do, you will be confused and your willbecomes weak. Mistakes in life will rob you of peace on earth.”The message challenged the players to only seek God’s will for their lives and to examine all their motives in daily words and actions. The last directive wasto avoid everything that would draw them away from God.

We departed in the buses at 10:30 a.m. on a destination 320 miles away. Itrained most of the way. We stopped in Vicksburg, Miss., for lunch. Everyoneexcept me had prepared a lunch. (I must admit that my wife suggested manytimes that I bring a lunch, but I wouldn’t give in to her suggestion.) One of mybiggest fans, Jimmy Delaneauville, shared his meal with me. I also ate CoachRoussel’s homemade cookies. (Thanks again, Jimmy and Coach Roussel!) Itwas cold and damp as we ate at the tourist stop.

We arrived at the stadium in Farmerville at 4:45 p.m. The gates were closed.It seemed that nobody knew where the team was supposed to dress. Theplaying field was in an awful condition, the rest room facilities we had were bad and it looked as though we were in for a long night.

Riverside fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter. My thoughts were that it wasgoing to be good trip home. The good news is that Riverside, because of itscharacter and perseverance on that night, prevailed 33-28.

A great game – a big win – and a ticket to the championship game in the Superdome this Friday at 5 p.m.! I would like to encourage everyone to tryand attend. Bring the family. It will be a great time! Principal Barry Heltz saidthat tickets are available at the school until 10 a.m. Friday morning. Advancetickets purchased at the school will benefit Riverside Academy.

To my friend Coach Mickey, his staff, the players, and the fans, I wish you well. It will be a great opportunity for all of us to live the message spoken bythe coach before last week’s trip. Always keep in mind what our true purposein life is. Hope to see you at the Superdome Friday!

HAROLD KELLER writes this column as part of his affiliation with the Get High on Life religious motivational group. To contact him, call 652-8477.

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