FROM THE BENCH:
Welcome to our new Athletic Administrator, Julie Meeks!

June 2021
Hi there, Patriots!

I’m Julie Meeks, your new Athletic Administrator! You might already know me: my family and I have been familiar faces at FEAST since 2016. (Have you spotted four brothers who look a lot alike and always wear baseball caps? That handsome crew is probably mine.) So, what’s my story and how did I end up here?

Athletics is an outlet for me. I figure-skated in elementary and joined cross country in 6th grade, when I fell in love with distance running: fresh air deep in my lungs, the peace of outdoors, feelings of freedom, accomplishment, and determination by challenging my personal records. I also played soccer in middle school, while my high school years were mostly spent on a tennis court.

Fast-forward 25 years: as wife to amazing Brian and Mom to four incredible sons, I’ve hung up my skates, cleats, and tennis racquet. (I still run – and always will – as God allows!) But happily, my perspective is now “from the bench” (wink, wink) as #1 fan to our homeschooled boys: Aidan, Andrew, Benjamin, and Daniel. They’re blessed with passion and skill for athletics, and taught me to love baseball: another game of inches, patience, subtlety, and strategy.

In Aidan’s 8th grade year, we were in the tough position of many parents of homeschooled athletes: high school sports require enrollment in a local school. We prayed for direction without being forced to public school. (We’d come too far in homeschooling to give up now!) That summer, we learned of FEAST Athletics. God had provided: FEAST was literally an answer to our prayers.

Four years on, my guys have invaluable Patriot friendships, and play exciting, competitive high school baseball each spring. The benefits of FEAST’s program affect many more than just the players: families and siblings make real connections, building long-term relationships that are both Godly and golden.

I know first-hand important life lessons from athletics: self-confidence and independence, or team success when individuals become a solid, fluid unit working together toward a shared goal. I’ve learned the frustration of injury and the challenges to return to a pre-injury performance level. I understand winning highs and tough losses, but also the importance of doing both with grace, humility, and respect for your opponent.

Competition matters – it’s out there in the real world. And people matter too – a smile goes a long way before and after any game. But most of all, honoring and glorifying Christ matters and is encouraged in all we do. Finding that healthy balance of all three is crucial, and our programs’ volunteer (yes, volunteer!) commissioners and coaches incredibly do just that. THANK YOU to every single one of them!

FEAST Athletics impacts my family in so many positive ways. It’s truly an honor and blessing to join the leadership family so that I may encourage and support your important journey in homeschool athletics.

So, a very warm hello to all: athletes, parents, and volunteers! Please stop by to say hi, grab some M&Ms, and enjoy a friendly place to relax and visit. Chances are, I’ve been there too.

Blessings to all of you and GO PATRIOTS!

Julie



Archived Articles


May 2021

Hello FEAST Athletics families!

This article will be just a little different than the ones you have come to expect from me. It was a hard one to write; I’m not going to lie. The time has come for me to leave FEAST. It makes me sad just typing that…

In 2018, I was in a really hard place. My husband had quit his job, and I was working seasonal gigs and wasn’t picked up for the next season. Of all times for this to happen, it was Christmas time, and I was panicking a little! As often as I tell myself, God is in control; sometimes, I struggle to believe it. As I sat in my living room asking God what I was supposed to do, I got an email. An email that changed the course I was on and showed me God’s hand on my life!

It seems unreal to me that I have been involved with FEAST, in some form or fashion, for eight years! It is my hope that in the past two years I have worked for FEAST, that I have made positive changes in the program and impacted the lives of the families here at FEAST. I know that each person that has come into contact with me, through FEAST, has changed me!

I have said before, volunteers are vital to the organization and management of every sport FEAST provides. The time, dedication and energy these volunteers devote are

of the utmost importance in keeping the Athletics department running and working well. Without volunteers, FEAST would find it difficult to function, and certain sports would cease to be offered. We are all in agreement that “sports provides an avenue to learn social responsibilities, leadership skills, and confidence for life. Not to mention the healthy lifestyle that is closely associated with sport and physical activity” (Eley & Kirk, 2002). Without individuals stepping up, our programs would not be as incredible as they are, because they would not be possible. Over the last 30 years, God has raised up the leadership that was required for our programs to remain operational.

The level of volunteer participation needs to increase so FEAST can continue to reach homeschooled student-athletes in the South Texas area.

Won’t you please prayerfully consider being a part of what makes FEAST such an amazing organization? We are looking for volunteer coaches, assistant coaches, commissioners, and assistant commissioners for Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Soccer, Softball, Golf, and Track. It is a one-season commitment that needs to be renewed every season. If interested, apply on the FEAST website!

Being a part of FEAST changed my life, the lives of my kids, and can change your life as well!  Be blessed, everyone!

Sherri Kunkel