God healing Lutcher with team success

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 30, 2003

By Harold Keller-Get High on Life

In early August, Coach Tim Detillier of Lutcher High School called and asked if I would consider being the football team’s chaplain. “You don’t have to answer now,” he said. “You don’t have to make all of our games, because I know that you enjoy going to see other river parishes’ teams play.” Because of our friendship, I said that I would, but believe me, I had reservations.

I then looked up the definition of chaplain. It read: a clergyman who has a chapel. That was not me. Another definition was: a clergyman attached to the Armed Services. Again, not me. Then I was relieved at the next definition, which was a clergyman, or layman, chosen to conduct religious exercises for a society or group.

The season started with the jamboree and Lutcher playing Riverside. Lutcher lost the first three games of the regular schedule. The fans in the stands not only wanted to fire Coach Detillier, but they were yelling during the game (I think in a joking manner), “Keller, quit praying for us and come sit in the stands!”

They beat Warren Easton in the fourth game for their first win.

In the middle of the season, I started assigning a different player to pray before each game. This continued during the playoffs, knowing a defeat would end the season. The players, evidently, took the prayer assignment seriously and refused to lose.

In the playoffs, Lutcher defeated four teams that had a combined 42-3 win/loss record.

Friday, the team will play for the Class 3A state championship in the Superdome – a dream of every high school football player in the state.

Coach Tim’s motto at the beginning of the season was: Talent Wins Games – Teams Win Championships.

Before the game a few weeks ago, I shared with the team that 10 years from now, the important thing won’t be whether or not they won a championship. It will be what each player became during the season. Did they become more loyal to one another, more loving, better Christians? If not, they’ve failed God, they’ve failed one another, and they’ve failed themselves.

Regardless of the outcome in the Superdome, this 2003 Lutcher football team has not failed.

I’m reminded of the Word of God which says that God will use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. God has used this football team to heal the dissension that earlier existed in the community.

I pray that the people in Lutcher will use this lesson to put their priorities in order. A high school football game is meant for the young people to have fun, while the fans are entertained in a healthy, positive environment.

Being the chaplain for the team has been one of the most exciting things I’ve been involved in.

I think God has honored this team because of the spirit that exists at Lutcher High School. It is a reflection of the active Fellowship of Christian Athletes that the coaches support.

Congratulations, not only to Lutcher, but also to Hahnville and West St. John, for advancing to the championship games in the Dome!

HAROLD KELLER writes this column as part of his affiliation with the Get High on Life religious motivational organization. Call 652-8477 or write to P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084.