The Caleb Scott Krauchunas Memorial Baseball Scholarship:
2023 Winners Announced
The Caleb Scott Krauchunas Memorial Baseball Scholarship was awarded to two deserving 2023 FEAST Baseball players: Tanner Gernenz and Andrew Meeks. They each earned a scholarship to fund their baseball season registration fee for 2023. Thank you to all who sent in essay applications to the scholarship committee for consideration.
This memorial scholarship remembers the legacy of Caleb Krauchunas, FEAST Patriot and Class of 2019. Caleb played with FEAST Baseball for three years and served as Team Captain his Senior year. He committed himself to the team and sport, but even more strongly to integrity. The scholarship entries honored Caleb’s dual commitment with personal essays about how the sport of baseball has helped form integrity in the players’ lives.
It is also especially timely to the family to award these scholarships in March; March 23 would have been Caleb’s 22nd birthday.
Special Guest: Addie Force
Where do our homeschooled FEAST athletes go after graduation? And how does homeschooling impact life after high school? To share her experience, we reached out to Addie Force, homeschooler, academic extraordinaire, and now collegiate volleyball player! Addie graduated in 2022 and competed with FEAST Volleyball for 7 years. She was a four-time homeschool All-American, and recipient of the Phoenix Milner Award. Thanks for making time for us, Addie!
Hi, my name is Addie Force. I attended FEAST academic co-op for five years and participated in athletics for seven years. I am currently in my first year of college. The homeschooling environment, more specifically the FEAST community, has significantly helped me in numerous ways. While homeschooling, I learned so much from my teachers, my peers, my parents, and my own experience.
From a young age, I managed my time in an efficient way that best benefited me. I was able to have a more flexible schedule and make time for other things that were important to me. I was able to put in many hours to one of my greatest passions: volleyball. With a more controlling schedule, it is hard to say if I would have ended up playing right-side hitter for John Wood Community College, where I am today.
I received immense support from my teachers. It was clear that the FEAST staff wanted to set each and every one of their students up for success. My peers continuously challenged me to put my best foot forward. The competitive atmosphere forced me to work hard, in not only my athletic career, but also my academics. Additionally, the Christian group supported a growth in character. I learned not only core school subjects but also how God teaches us to obey His commands through His words. It is because of this versatile co-op that I have become strong athletically, academically, and spiritually, and I know how to also lead my future peers on the same path.
I was apprehensive when joining FEAST at first. However, looking back, I wouldn’t change anything about my experience at FEAST, and I am eternally grateful for the many positive characteristics I attained while attending this co-op.- Addie Force
Happy New Year! (And we want to hear from you!)
We want to hear from you about FEAST Athletics!
Has your child participated in our sports programs for years or are they trying one of our sports for the very first time? From the seasoned FEAST Athletics families to those entering their rookie season here, we want your family’s input!
We’re asking parents/guardians to take about 2-3 minutes to complete our easy and anonymous survey now through January 31, 2023.
The purpose of our survey is to identify how FEAST can best serve and support the athletic needs of homeschooling families in the South Texas region. GO PATRIOTS!
Take the survey now: FEAST Athletics Survey – 2023
Any questions? Please email Julie at FEAST Athletics or call 210.342.4674.
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM FEAST ATHLETICS!
After welcoming our oldest son, my first food request was olallieberry pie from a nearby restaurant. And it was DELICIOUS! (Picture the offspring of blackberry and raspberry, but the family tree flavor also includes lingonberry and youngberry…that’s an olallieberry.)
Olallieberries are tough to come by, so my next favorite pie is blueberry and this is my favorite recipe: Wyman’s Wild Blueberry Pie. Tasty berries marry perfectly with sugar, a touch of lemon juice, a bit of cornstarch, and a dash of cinnamon. Nestle that magic filling into a buttery pastry crust…perfection!
I love Wyman’s frozen blueberries (and no, this isn’t a paid promotion); they’re just that good. These berries are grown in Maine, are smaller than normal, and pack the best burst of intense flavor! As a little girl, I picked blueberries right off the bush in late summer in New Hampshire, but I have yet to find that opportunity in Texas. Wyman’s blueberries are the next best thing! (PS – I found mine at Costco.)
No matter what you bake to share with your family this season, on behalf of FEAST Athletics and my family, I wish you the Merriest Christmas as we celebrate His love and the birthday of Jesus!
Thankful for Friendly Foes
I know you’ll agree that there is nothing like the family spending time together! My family’s evening might look like this: six people melting into a comfy sofa, snuggling under blankets, and diving into bowls of hot fresh popcorn, homemade cookies, or chips and queso with extra jalapenos. (Don’t judge; we love our treats!)
You probably brave the summer heat at the field, or might lose feeling in the lower half from sitting on bleachers, but despite these discomforts, spectating sports is an incredible shared experience! Meeting other fans (friend and foe), sharing high fives with strangers, and engaging in friendly banter is part of the game. And it is AWESOME.
How fun is it to find you agree with the competition? True fans appreciate impressive plays, respect new records, and admit lousy calls, all of which inevitably result in lively conversation.
It could be a movie night, but it’s often sports at our house. We kick back for a regular game, a famous rivalry, post-season excitement, a game series, or just weekly highlights. But we’re watching together. Sports extend far beyond the living room for my family and I’m sure yours, too.
Divisive politics is exhausting and touches every aspect of life, even sports. But rise above that. I am so thankful when people unify as spectators to briefly escape the politics at every other turn. No matter the season, gather with the purpose of making connections over common ground: love of the sport!
Following His Formula
The fellowship benefits of joining sports are obvious: contributing to a unified goal, experiencing success (or loss!) together, feeling encouragement, finding new friendships, sharing joy in others’ success, growing in personal achievement, praying and ministering together…the list is endless!
But the athletic environment is also full of all types of people operating at all types of levels. And each person is perfectly imperfect. Some are more competitive than others. Some feel strongly about a situation to which others see no issue. Inevitably, conflict will be encountered. So how do we at FEAST respectfully find resolution during fleshy times of discord?
First, let’s call “time” and pause to cool down for 24 hours. Avoid temptations of venting on social media, to teammates, or to other parents/coaches. This period encourages a calmer demeanor, clarity in the concern, and a fact-based approach to a conversation after a full night’s rest.
Next – get this – Jesus gave us the problem-solving formula for just these types of difficult moments! His answer key is in the Matthew 18 Principle:
Matthew 18:15-17 states – “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglects to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”
FEAST lovingly believes in, and asks, all families to also abide by this principle during signups. Please focus first on direct, private, and honest communication with the other party involved with the intention of seeking resolution. We understand first attempts might not be successful and if needed, subsequent steps of His plan are outlined in our FEAST Athletic Handbook.
Please try resolving conflicts here and beyond with God’s masterful formula which He designed to help us! In-person, direct, honest, and well-intentioned conversation can often go a very, very long way.
Announcing the Caleb Scott Krauchunas Memorial Baseball Scholarship
We are humbled to announce an athletic scholarship available for FEAST Baseball players. For complete application details and requirements, please visit the The Caleb Scott Krauchunas Memorial Baseball Scholarship webpage. We miss you, Caleb!
This scholarship honors the life of Caleb Scott Krauchunas, a tremendous young man who played catcher and center field for the FEAST Patriots and served as team captain his senior year in 2019. During his freshman year, Caleb played for the Low Country Wildcats in South Carolina, where he earned All-Conference and All-State recognition, Golden Gloves Varsity, Outstanding Hitter, and JV MVP. Active in church youth groups in South Carolina and San Antonio, Caleb served as an usher, worked in vacation Bible school, assisted with clean ups, and read scripture. His hobbies included hunting, weight training, and reading. When he died on November 11, 2021, Caleb was a student at the University of Texas at San Antonio, majoring in mathematics.
Caleb valued integrity, which he defined as doing the right thing when no one is watching. He demonstrated that integrity in every aspect of his life. He knew academic cheating was not true learning, but simply “a disguise that impersonates intelligence and hard work.” As a restaurant employee, Caleb often worked without supervision, unable to betray the trust of his manager. He brought his integrity into his relationships and efforts, including baseball.
That integrity – along with his compassion, leadership, dedication, loyalty, and playfulness – has made a lasting impression on his family and friends.
A calming presence and natural leader on his teams, Caleb inspired others to perform their best. His genuine kindness was obvious in his treatment of his teammates. The care and love he showed for his brothers and sisters was a parent’s dream.
Caleb is terribly missed by so many, but our hearts especially ache for his parents, Matt and Melanie, and his six siblings. We mourn with them and will forever pray for comfort, peace, and healing to his family. This scholarship seeks to honor and remember this precious young man and his personal character.
The scholarship will cover the awardee’s season registration fees for the 2023 FEAST Baseball season.
The application deadline is December 10, 2022, and the winner will be announced in early January 2023. Please see all details and the application online: The Caleb Scott Krauchunas Memorial Baseball Scholarship.
Questions? Please email Julie Meeks, Athletics Admin, or call 210.374.4674 ext. 103
What a Team: FEAST Athletics & LeagueApps!!
What a Team: FEAST Athletics & LeagueApps!
We strive to make FEAST Athletics a great experience for your family! Of course, perfection is not attainable (nor realistic), but when we see a real opportunity for positive progress – we move forward. And boy, did our athletic registration process need some TLC!
With even the best of improvements, we know communicating to you of what to expect can make all the difference in your experience!
FEAST is excited to launch our online athletics registrations with LeagueApps!
Our new partnership with LeagueApps creates a simple and streamlined registration experience for your family. Additionally, if your sport offers a uniform or equipment purchase, simply access the online store after sign-up to ensure timely collection of group orders, sizing, and payment for your sport’s leaders. EASY! (Behind the scenes, LeagueApps helps us with timely reports, including player registrations, accounting, or athletic history.) What a WIN all around!
So, what’s changed for you? Very little, but we want you to feel confident when you see the new partnership imagery during registration.
Ready to Register for a Sport?
1) Log in to FEAST with your 2022-23 Patriot Pass, then choose Athletic Registrations under the Athletics tab.
2) Select your sport’s active “Register Now” button.
3) Our FEAST Athletics webpage (supported by LeagueApps) will open, then choose the appropriate Register button for your player.
4) Create a LeagueApps account: username, password and basic info. (For future registrations, you’ll log in to our website, then log in to LeagueApps. All athletes will also be saved to register for future sports.)
5) Complete your athlete’s registration form and pay online, or choose to skip to mail your check payment – that’s it! (If your commissioner added uniform options, feel free to access the link to your program’s online store.)
Questions? Please email Julie Meeks, Athletics Admin, or call 210.374.4674 ext. 103
Beat the Heat and Get Creative this Summer!
Whoa – San Antonio’s summer heat started early and isn’t letting up! Many of our athletes are pushing through with our Free Cross Country Summer Running & Conditioning Camp at Live Oak Park, while others are staying active with our indoor Free Summer Basketball Camp!
But at some point, we need to slow down and cool off. Get inspired by a few of these creative ideas to merge sports and arts, or to simply have some fun! (Be sure to adapt ideas, or try a specific search, for your athlete’s favorite sport!!
- Chalk “Action” Photography (see even more chalk art ideas!)
- Water Bomb Art
- Design Custom Uniforms: baseball jerseys, soccer or football uniforms
- Indoor Sock War (turn sock-sorting into a sock battle!)
- Pool Noodle Baseball or Hockey
- Sports Art with Painter’s Tape
- Sports-themed Cookie Pops (try baseball, soccer, softball, tennis, golf…)
- Duct Tape Gifts for Coaches
- Onscreen: Be a Broadcaster and Record Athlete Interviews
- Indoor Hallway Hockey
- Pizza Box Soccer Stadium (make finger players or play with straws and a pompom)
- Good Old-fashioned Paper Football
Questions? Please email Julie Meeks, Athletics Admin, or call 210.374.4674 ext. 103
READ IT NOW: FEAST Athletics: A Year in Review!
As FEAST closes its 2021-22 athletic year, we celebrate amazing accomplishments within all 10 programs!! While medals and trophies are shiny, tangible reminders of achievements, they are not the ultimate measure of success.
Below we share exciting highlights from our year, but it’s most important to remember the primary purpose of FEAST Athletics is to provide community for homeschool families through athletics! This means building friendships among players and families, celebrating the good times together, and offering a shoulder and support of His wisdom during tough times. As always, our programs are 100% dependent on parent-funding and volunteers – your support and engagement matter to each program’s success both on and off the field, court, or course. Thank you, FEAST families, for a great 2021-22; we are FEAST Patriots!
Fall Programs: Cross Country, Football, and Volleyball
Cross Country: Cross Country had four first place team finishes at State and many top finishers all season long across many meets. 2021 was our biggest Patriots Invitational yet with over 3200 runners competing from 140 teams: what a celebration of Christ among hundreds of families! Bible studies led by seniors were an inspirational highlight as well as fun runs and drinking lots of recovery chocolate milk! PS – FREE Summer Running Camp starts June 1 – join us!!
Football: Our MS team was a force all season and finished runner up in the league championship game! Our HS team competed strong through the semi-finals and also broke bread (or pizza!) with opponents after games. An especially exciting game was against Rankin, which was broadcast live, and concluded with the gracious hospitality by Rankin of a home-cooked steak dinner and overnight hotel stay. Six of our HS athletes were also chosen for the TAIAO All-star Team!
Volleyball: Varsity won the Nationals gold ball and 2 silver balls were won by 16U and 14U! Four graduating seniors committed this year to continue their academics and athletics by playing collegiate volleyball next fall! FEAST Volleyball is a very strong and popular program, but our leaders find many opportunities to bond and have fun all season – whether it’s movies in the park, sand volleyball and lunch, or even a snowball fight in Texas! 2022-23 expands to include a boys’ program – stay tuned!
Winter Programs: Basketball and Soccer
Basketball: This year was a huge boys’ program for FEAST and we’re eager for a girls program to return in 2022-23! Top achievements included 16U and 10U state championships, and a runner up by 13U! The season concluded with a trip to Missouri for Nationals and a Night out at the Spurs with players making free-throws on the court!! PS — FREE Summer Skills Camp runs through July – get in on the fun now and all levels are welcome!
Soccer: FEAST Soccer grew tremendously this year! With two MS teams and a co-ed HS team, our athletes played so many great games! FEAST Soccer always finds lots of opportunities to laugh and share meals and they make great efforts for year-round free meetups to stay connected! One of this year’s favorite events was their night out at a professional soccer game at the Toyota Center where they took pictures on the field and were highlighted on the jumbotron!! Watch for summer meetup notices!
Spring Programs: Baseball, Golf, Softball, Tennis, and Track and Field
Baseball: What a season of learning, development and personal growth! Baseball had an influx of new players, which meant the need for more coaches and volunteers! (If you’re thinking of helping next year, let us know!) Both MS and HS competed their best all season and each had solid wins despite tough, learning losses. After game meals invited bonding and connections among the guys and families, but the end-of-season fellowship at a Missions minor league game was a great finale!
Golf: A brand new program this year, FEAST Golf practiced hard and held their own especially at the MS tournament level with several medals earned! We’re excited to grow this program to include more options for our HS competition too! Our players learned a lot about this lifelong sport of patience and planning and based on interest, we hope to see it expand for 2022-23!
Softball: Girls Varsity are TAIAO State Champions AND Nationals Champions! Early season excitement started when the team was invited to compete against Incarnate Word HS on the brand-new field at University of Incarnate Word – a statement game they lost by one run in extra innings! These tight-knit girls just continued to build momentum and went on to win both State and Nationals titles.Another fun update:all their games were broadcast live – watch game highlights now!!
Tennis: As another new program to FEAST, our Tennis families experienced growing pains of limited players which affects competition options. As always, we welcome new faces and volunteers to join in, grow, and share this amazing sport that ALL can play! The friendships and laughs on the court were abundant – we hope to see many more join in next year!
Track & Field: Also one of our biggest programs – FEAST Track had an incredibly competitive season routinely finishing as meet champions! FEAST often ended in the top 3 and set not only new school records, but countless new personal records! (MS had over 52 PRs in just one tournament!) Their home meet is tremendously popular with competitors from all over Texas. Track and Field held their incredible end-of-season fellowship in May with over 300 attendees to celebrate an absolutely amazing season!
Questions? Please email Julie Meeks, Athletics Admin, or call 210.374.4674 ext. 103
Plan FEAST Athletics for the 2022-23 Year!
Spring is here!! For many homeschool families, this season means planning for next year! Between curriculum, co-ops, and classes, we know there are lots of decisions to make, but don’t forget the importance of athletics! To help you include sports for your middle to high school athletes, take a look at this tentative 2022-23 FEAST Athletics Timeline below for each of our programs!
How can my homeschooled child participate in FEAST Athletics? Learn more now
Still have questions? Let’s connect!
Email Julie Meeks, Athletics Admin, or call 210.374.4674 ext. 103
An Open Letter to Patriots Coaches, Parents, and Players…
FEAST Athletics impacts and supports so many families! With permission from Mrs. Kelly Langenberg, we share her family’s story and her personal testimony of what being part of the FEAST family means. Blessings and prayers of continued health to Kelly and the Langenbergs! – Julie
An Open Letter to Patriot Coaches, Parents, and Players,
March is a significant month of remembrance for my family. Last month at State in Round Rock, I made each player a “big head cut-out” to cheer the guys on! But just two years ago, this is what my “big head” photo would have looked like – the result of five unexpected months of chemotherapy.
At the 2020 Space City Jam tournament in Houston with FEAST, I woke up one night with excruciating abdominal pain. Two ER visits, a ride in an ambulance, and seven hours later with no answers, my family quickly returned to San Antonio for care. We learned I had an undetected tumor that filled to the size of a basketball (go figure! ). The tumor had burst requiring immediate life-saving surgery. After a lengthy ICU stay, four blood transfusions, and three surgeries in just six weeks, that sudden and unexpected chain of events led to a discovery: I had stage 2 ovarian cancer.
While reflecting recently on our family’s personal “March Madness” of cancer and chemotherapy, coupled with the Covid peak in March 2020, I was reminded that while we faced an uncertain and unknown future and outcome, we found great comfort and peace as we placed our faith and trust in our all-knowing God. Our God who ultimately used that season of difficulty for good in so many ways!
After Regionals this year, we drove home discussing (and admittedly grumbling about) various factors that contributed to our less-than-expected performance. During the drive, I watched and edited game clips to create a team highlight video. In that moment, I was reminded that there is always, always, always something to be thankful for and felt overwhelmed with a sense of profound gratefulness! For me, it’s undeniably clear: every game I attend, regardless of the outcome, is an amazing GIFT. From a medical standpoint, I shouldn’t even be here, but by God’s kindness, I am!
So, with those thoughts in my heart, I write:
To the coaches who give your time and yourselves, THANK YOU! We know there are always challenges every season, and you often juggle many things in your personal lives outside of basketball. Yet you voluntarily and sacrificially give countless hours of your time and rack up countless miles and expenses to encourage and support our kids’ love for the sport and develop their skills and talent. What a GIFT! Thank you for your willingness to coach, teach, train, and invest all these years in the team and in our son!
To the parents that I’ve gotten to know this season or over the years…THANK YOU! Thank you for your friendship!! Thank you for not only rooting for your son, but for rooting for mine, too! Thank you for your example of encouraging and supporting the team, sometimes at the cost of not watching your own son play. Thank you for the moments and MANY memories of cheering, commiserating, comforting, sideline coaching, and celebrating the high and lows together. These have certainly been some special and precious days for us to sit together watching our boys play. I am grateful and so thankful that I got to do it alongside each one of you. Such a GIFT!
And finally, to the players – THANK YOU!! Thank you for the GIFT of my front-row seat with my phone camera poised, as I watch, cheer, and capture you playing the game you love! I’ve seen great assists and great buckets and watched you fight for boards and hustle for steals. I’ve watched you encourage from the sidelines, building one another up. I’ve watched you flex on an “and1” and dangle the sign of a three. I watched you wrestle through disappointment and celebrate victories. I’ve watched you feel beaten down and watched you persevere. I’ve watched you bounce back from losses and return from injuries. I’ve watched you mature and grow in your character, and waited for that dunk to happen… and I’ve loved all of it!
I think of the collective years and hours you’ve amassed competing at various levels of basketball from childhood: learning fundamentals of the game, honing and crafting your skill through hours of camps and practices, getting stronger in the off-season, and growing as players and teammates during the regular season. From those years of make-believe where you practiced “jaw-dropping plays” on an over-the-door mini hoop or in your driveway to now supplying real-time, on-the-court, play-by-play content that makes my highlight videos – what a journey! It’s hard to believe for my family and for many of you, that this chapter in your lives is about to end. But what a joy it has been to watch you develop and use the skills and talents that God has given you to grow not just as basketball players, but as young men!!! WHAT! A! GIFT!!!
No doubt over the years, there have been well-earned wins, unforgettable plays, exhilarating endings, hard-fought battles, frustrating missed calls, shots, plays, and opportunities – but that’s basketball! And man, I’ll miss the adrenaline and anticipation of competition and analyzing the game, and the camaraderie of the FEAST community as a part of our lives. I’ll miss those raised arms after a three-pointer and those flexes! And let’s be honest, I’ll miss watching Antonio badger, er I mean, encourage the refs! I may even miss hearing the barking out of Scott’s in-bounds calls. But right now, my heart is full of great thankfulness! Thankful for each of you and for all these seasons and years of having this front-row seat as you have created these amazing SHINING MOMENTS! I will never take it for granted!
THANK YOU for giving me this amazing GIFT of cheering for the FEAST Patriots!
– Kelly Langenberg, FEAST Patriot Mom
Respect the Bigger Picture!
After almost a year in my role here at FEAST, I can tell you first-hand our athletic programs this year were affected by the current shortage of officials in youth sports. Securing available and qualified officials to accommodate our schedule was a huge challenge in the fall. (Pray spring is better!) Here’s the reality:
- More certified officials are retiring than usual.
- New sign-ups for official certification training are down.
- Of those who sign up, even fewer than normal complete the training.
What is going on?
I asked our different coordinators about the shortage. The response: We’re retiring because we’re aging and some are concerned about COVID, but the number one reason is poor sportsmanship… (wait for it), especially by parents and players.
Ugh. This feedback came from “old school” crews with thick skin who have spent years ignoring the spectator commentary and heckling in jest. They also serve large school districts, national organizations, and smaller programs like FEAST. But times have changed. The disrespectful verbal insults and angry confrontations toward officials now come with a new level of intensity and personal attack. And it’s completely unacceptable.
The upside is, that while I heard about the frustrations on their side, our coordinators spoke highly of FEAST. We’re certainly not the biggest programs they support, but we want to keep our reputation great so they’re willing to always work with us too.
FEAST’s expectations are set high: always play clean, play with class, respect our opponent in competition and, of course, respect the authority of both officials and coaches.
I’m proud of how our sports families – from players on the court to parents in the stands – typically handle themselves. And if not, it is addressed immediately. Yes, there will always be questionable, unfair, or even blatantly uninformed/wrong calls, but it’s always a choice of how to respond.
So, great job, Patriots! Keep your personal bar raised high and remind others here and, in other sports programs, that those officials who make in-the-moment tough or close calls, are still God’s children – just like you and me.
Y’all, this comes down to treating others as you want to be treated.
The future of youth sports might just depend on it! Go Patriots!
For the Love of the Game
Love. The month known for hearts, chubby cherubs, expensive bouquets, and dinner dates is here! Those gifts and actions sweetly represent love and adoration, but let’s be honest: marketing tells us that’s what love looks like. So, in sports, when we say we sacrifice for the love of the game, surely that means we must just love competing, will do what it takes, and give our best to win.
I decided to unpack “for love of the game” a bit…what else could it really represent? This common sport phrase refers to much more if you dig a little deeper. You can interpret it as for the joy of winning in the game of life. (No, not the board game.) True: athletics certainly provide lessons that apply off the court or field. And of course, we all want to win and experience the joys of living our earthly life!
But no, try again, only interpret “the game” as God. Read that: For the Love of God. We know He pursues and loves us. We should give our best to Him, focus our efforts, and sacrifice in all we do for the Love of God. If we purposefully and deliberately pursue (“for the love of”) that relationship with our Heavenly Father (“the game”), this meaning of a simple phrase changes dramatically.
So, for the love of the REAL game: seek, pursue, pray, and sacrifice. Suit up and compete daily in your armor of God. Represent His love and help others learn to live for Him.
That’s the ultimate win in my book.
Registration is now closed, but we ❤ fans!
SEE OUR FULL ATHLETIC SCHEDULE AND COME CHEER US ON!!
All Things New
I have a laundry list of the “new” that I’m ready for this year – I’m sure you do too! The start of a new year always brings a more focused and deliberate effort to reboot, refresh, restart…to think NEW.
A bit of wisdom I learned a long time ago in college was to ask myself, “Will this (fill in the blank) matter in two weeks? Two months? Two years?” That perspective and approach has served me well. It reduced stress and gave me a healthier outlook. It easily applied everywhere: education to work to parenting to hobbies…
Recognizing that a single experience didn’t define my success in that area was key.
Without question, this applies to athletics too. With our sons in baseball, Brian and I watch them grow in the difficult experience of a tough practice, game, or tournament. But just as valuable as the lesson of “pushing through”, is the lesson of encouraging athletes to also see the constant offerings of new opportunities. Fresh chances are often:
A new inning. A new pitcher. A new at-bat. A new opponent. A new game with an old opponent. A new umpire. A new glove. A new life in the batter’s box with a foul ball…
Replace those baseball terms with your sport’s lingo and it’s the same attitude: there is always an opportunity to try again. To try harder. To do better.
In running, I’ve had my share of tough days, feeling discouraged, or frustrated by injuries. I’ve also trained my body to achieve more than I imagined and found a lifelong healthy activity! My running performance is never defined by a single run, no matter how tough it felt, but by choosing to let go of the lousy run the day before and think NEW.
We have tremendous opportunity to enjoy the NEW in our relationship with Jesus too. I hope you’ll use this fresh start to seek new ways to honor and serve the God who is the same, ultimate foundation He as always been as our Holy Father. The One who loves us so much he sent his son to die for us.
Today is a new day. A new season. A new year. And always a new opportunity to seek Him in all we do!
Merry Christmas & Important December Dates!
Ok y’all, FEAST Athletics is experiencing the trifecta of our three seasons overlapping: fall sports ending, winter sports beginning, and spring sports planning! So much excitement and events going on across ALL 10 programs means it’s another kind of busiest season of the year – not just celebrating holidays!
Check out our December highlights below so you don’t miss important dates – mark your calendars today!
Merry Christmas from FEAST Athletics and as always,
CROSS COUNTRY | FOOTBALL | VOLLEYBALL
- All three sports had incredibly successful seasons! It’s hard to believe it’s over for them and we’re already asking for leadership applications for next year. Interested?
- Become a Coach or Commissioner for Cross Country, Football, or Volleyball in the 2022-23 season – Apply Today!
- Our season is in progress and busy through early February. We love fans! Come cheer us on at our games and tournaments – check out our schedule here!
- December 10-11: The FEAST Basketball Patriot Invitational is December 10-11 at Alamo City Sportsplex – come support your Patriots!
- December 11: FEAST Basketball’s fundraiser raffle ends soon – the drawing will be held on December 11!
Our FEAST Soccer season is in progress with a full schedule through early February. We love fans! Come cheer us on at our games and tournaments – check out our schedule here!
- December 9: Thursday, December 9 at 6pm is our “Play Ball!” parent meeting and dinner fundraiser! Come for info, stay for dinner! Eat before or after the 6pm meeting and give us your receipt – FEAST Baseball earns 10-20% back!
- December 9: Registration opens December 9 – watch FEAST Baseball for more info!
- Registration is now open!
- December 13: Practices start Monday, December 13 at San Pedro Alamo City Golf Trail. See FEAST Golf for more info!
- December 8-9: Player assessments for spring will be held December 8-9 at Saint Thomas More School from 4-6:30pm
- December 9: Registration opens December 9 – watch FEAST Softball for more info!
- Registration is now open!
- December 14: Practices start Tuesday, December 14 at Blossom Athletic Center (Tennis Courts). See FEAST Tennis for more info!
TRACK & FIELD
- Registration is now open!
- December 2: Pre-season practices start Tuesday, December 2 at 4:30pm. Please access pre-season practice info on TeamApp (search for FEAST Track and Field) and view”Events” for details.
- January 1: Track practice at 10 am and extra Starting Line Meeting
Learning by Skipping School
My favorite tradition at Thanksgiving was skipping school.
As a mom myself, I now see that “tradition” was actually an organic homeschooling approach, despite being a public-school student. I didn’t just skip classes – I created, and yet unintentionally learned math, science, and life skills all day in the kitchen!
In the old days, my school district didn’t schedule the entire week off from school, just Thanksgiving Day and that Friday. (And quite frankly, that’s just not enough time to prepare for a major food holiday!) So the Wednesday before the grand T-Day, my brother, sister, and I measured, stirred, filled, and baked. And then we repeated. We baked SO. MANY. PIES. We made apple, pumpkin, blueberry, cherry, pecan, plus a variety of cookies, cheesecake, and treats. There were desserts for our desserts!
One of my favorite seasonal treats to make to this day is a sweet and tart, streusel-topped Apple Crisp. This yummy Apple Crisp recipe by The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, is quick, easy, and fun to make with kids! (Use fingers to blend that topping!) Best of all, it’s delicious served warm from the oven with a dollop of whipped cream, or as leftovers cold straight from the fridge for breakfast with a cup of hot coffee!
So, no need to “skip school” like me – our little ones are always learning!
ENJOY and Happy Thanksgiving!
The Downside of an Uptick
Ready or not, here come the holidays! Predictably, many attitudes have a temporary uptick with the festive season: folks feel more generous, voice more gratitude, offer extra patience, maybe tip waitstaff a little better. But when January hits, yup, there’s the slide back to not-so-sweet, old habits.
But wait…doesn’t God want us to be giving, thankful, patient, loving, and kind year-round?
Teaching kids kindness, patience, and gratitude is free. (Parent disclaimer: I know that’s much easier said than done!) One way the Bible tells us to be generous is with our dollars by tithing to the church. But our Almighty God doesn’t need money, so…why does He want us to do it?
Yes, churches have legitimate operating expenses. Remaining tithes should be used to share God’s love and better communities – whatever that looks like. (My family’s church emphasizes members don’t give to the church; we give through the church. Semantics for some, but the impressive programs, missions, and community gifts they organize are testament enough for me.)
But I think the purpose for tithing is based in His love for us. It’s for our hearts to experience the joy of generosity; to wholly experience what “it’s better to give than to receive” really means. Well, what about the kids? Most don’t have tithing savings funds, but it’s not hard to learn what it means to sacrifice for another. That alone is a gift for them to experience: the impact of their generosity, a little commitment, and using their own two hands.
This holiday season, and after the holidays are over, find a cause important to your kids! Help them to make a change and be generous with their time and energy. (Please use discretion and ensure you approve of the charities, organizations, and volunteer opportunities!) A few ideas to get started:
- Offer to do odd jobs for small payments and donate earnings to a favorite charity.
- Love animals? Collect old towels/blankets, pet food for shelters/rescues, or visit the animals!
- Help an elderly neighbor! Rake/bag leaves, clean windows, wash/vacuum their car.
- Drink water! Sacrifice restaurant soda/tea orders, tally up what was saved and donate it.
- Volunteer time! Pick up litter in your neighborhood, church programs, SA Food Bank etc.
- Volunteer goods! Blue Santa, Adopt-a-Family, Boxes of goodies to soldiers etc.
- Ask them – what problem do they wish they could solve? Research ways together to help, now make a plan!
Families and teams know there is strength in numbers, and FEAST Athletics has a LOT of numbers.
Our athletes need meaningful fellowship opportunities so take action, FEAST! We can cover more ground together and turn this brief holiday uptick into a year-round new norm!
Do you shy away from public attention, or thrive in the spotlight?
Would you holler support to a teammate, or give them a quiet compliment after the game? God-given personalities as introverts or extroverts carry over to an athlete’s approach and leadership impact on the court, field, or event.
As He intended, leading with a servant’s heart should always be the focus. Introverts and extroverts ultimately share the same leadership goals: serve others first, use influence positively, be examples of Godly character, be accountable, and expect nothing in return. They are not self-promoting, but God-promoting, and focus on a “win” for the common good. Personality simply dictates their style of leadership!
- INTROVERTED LEADERS
- Quiet leaders in action and independent behavior
- Thoughtful/strategic in approach
- Self-directed, innately motivated
- Introspective, self-contained and prefers predictability
- Able to deeply concentrate and focus for long periods
- Happiest recharging and recovering with solitude
- Need to trust before sharing
- EXTROVERTED LEADERS
- Outspoken, confident and verbally directive leaders
- Likely to think/reason by talking
- Motivated by others
- Outward focus and easily adjusts to change
- Captures attention, exudes energy and natural excitement
- Recharged by social interaction
- Openly trusting and communicative with anyone
Introverted leaders are, well, the strong, silent type.
You know the kind: often performing well and confidently in a quiet manner, and their deliberate and planned approach is a strength. This athlete prefers to allow others’ voices to be heard, while they provide the focused action and results. These athletes let their skills do the talking! Introverted leaders will recognize strong performance or improvement in others, and compliment or encourage a teammate personally. They are also thoughtful and careful with their words; they will never embarrass or publicly shame a teammate.
While introverted leaders are often fantastic at individual sports, such as running or tennis, they are very valuable to team sports by inspiring others with their focus, calm, strategic approach, body language, and performance.
Extroverted leaders actively and loudly cheer on teammates, call plays, and take charge!
They easily make conversation and exude both natural excitement and energy with anyone at the game: players, officials, and fans. These athletes love camaraderie and being part of a team that accomplishes something bigger than themselves. Extroverted leaders are also most likely to plan the after-game celebration! They easily lead the conversation over the meal of event highlights, and easily engage in conversation with compliments for both the team and individual’s achievements.
These leaders are blessings to team programs with their confidence in speaking publicly, energizing others, offering charisma, and welcoming new players.
Whichever personality (or combination) your athlete has, always encourage them to shine in their unique way as they support others, impact their program, share God, and LEAD!
Can I get you a bottle of water?
Stop by the office to see me and chances are that I will ask you this question. I’m genuinely glad to see you, of course, but the truth is I know that most everyone just feels better when they’re hydrated!
Being a former non-water drinker, I spent years dehydrated, but youth kept me from feeling it and, likely, admitting it! With a few decades behind me, I am now a complete convert. Morning coffee will always come first, but I cut back on that second cup when a glass of water instead seemed it had almost the same effect as cup #2; I was more alert and focused, but without the jittery side effects – or crash.
Like you do for your children, I send my sons with an extra water bottle (or two!) for their bat bags and the cooler in my SUV is always stocked. With FEAST fall sports kicking off this month, my friendly reminder (especially for athletes) is that being hydrated or not can quickly affect their performance. Proper hydration before a workout or event (this means days before, not hours!) delays muscle fatigue. It can also reduce the risk of injury by improving energy, mental clarity and focus, stamina, strength, coordination – even reaction time! On the other side of physical activity, post-workout drinks for recovery are just as important! (Be sure to research or ask your doctor what specific replenishment, such as electrolytes, your athlete might need based on their level of exertion and physical demands.)
But keeping it simple, let’s go back to water intake. Often the challenge is that water tastes like, well, not much. And a lack of flavor can make drinking water a task. So, let’s change that!
- Find a water bottle, a special cup or fancy glass you love!
- Dedicate a space in your fridge for a dispenser or pitcher – this makes for easy, cool refills.
- Infuse that water! Drop sliced/chopped pieces of washed fruit, or a simple mix of fruit flavors and let the fruit infuse the water for 1-24 hours. (Refill up to 3x with this fruit.)
These quick tips might be the game-changer your kids (or you) need for flavor. (My favorite combination is lemon, strawberry, and basil!) In a pinch with no fruit handy? Add a heavy splash of juice or lemonade (to taste) instead. Try supplementing that infused water, too, by snacking on seasoned cucumbers (my guys love the spicy chili powders!), celery with a dip or peanut butter, and lots more watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe. Again, the goal is to hydrate consistently every day and in several ways to make it an easy habit.
Get creative or check out this article from TheProduceMoms.com for instructions and recipes. They’re flavorful, awesome and full of pretty ideas to naturally flavor your next glass. Better yet, fill a large dispenser for the whole family!
I hope you’ll take my friendly challenge to boost your family’s water intake – see how much better YOU might feel!
Summer nights are here!
When I was little, summer nights often meant late dinners of simple sandwiches and a cool Italian pasta salad – it was just too hot to cook! Sound familiar? My family still tends to keep summer meals easy or outside on the grill, because, well, there is just too much fun to be had once the blistering sun finally settles down for the day!
For years, my guys venture outside when the sun dips down to play catch. Soon, catch becomes a competition to set a record of caught balls. This leads to a baseball bat and bases appearing, and ultimately tossing a ball becomes a backyard family affair with teams! Other days, a simple game of HORSE evolves into a “best of five” pickup basketball series against neighbors, which then spans the whole week!
But it’s not just my family out there sharing these special nights; the neighborhood changes too: energetic dogs get much-needed walks with families, kids speed around on bikes or scooters, and neighbors wave before tackling overgrown lawns. Psalm 133:1 reminds us, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” I love that a community of life and energy emerges from shade’s safety once the heat of the day relaxes!
Whatever summer nights mean to you, I hope you spend plenty of them outside with your family, friends, and neighbors enjoying the beautiful, breezy evenings together!
So, what’s going on inside at FEAST Athletics? Check out just some of what’s in the works!
INSTAGRAM: Wait, you’re not following the FEAST Patriots on Instagram?
Grab your phone, scan the QR code, and let’s connect!
Watch for awesome pictures of our athletes, team celebrations, camps and clinics, seasonal announcements, maybe even office antics…you never know what might pop up in your feed!
FREE JULY SPORTS CAMPS & CLINICS – JOIN IN!
FREE Basketball Skills Clinic – Girls & Boys
Skills clinics are perfect for girls and boys in middle or high school – beginners always welcome! Check out the Manna Basketball article (page 24) or FEAST Basketball for details. Fall registration starts mid-August!
FREE SUMMER RUNNING CAMPS:
Lace-up, grab plenty of water, and join in! See details in the Cross Country article (page 16) or check out FEAST Cross Country! Fall registration starts July 12th!
PATRIOT PASS REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN – GET YOURS TODAY!
Complete your form, pay online, get your pass today. That’s it!
Effective for the 2021-22 school year, when you complete your pass payment online with PayPal/credit card, you will get your Patriot Pass ID # immediately upon checkout! (We’re excited too!)
Friendly reminders: the Patriot Pass is $75 annually per family. In-person payments are also still welcome, however please allow up to 2 business days for manual processing after payment is received.
Enjoy your summer and Go Patriots!
Hi there, Patriots!
I’m Julie Meeks, your new Athletics 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!