Wood County athletes participate in Heart of Champions All Star Bowl


Standout football players from around East Texas geared up Saturday for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Heart of a Champion All Star Bowl at Rose Stadium in Tyler. Local athletes Zane Smith of Alba-Golden, Cameron Wise of Mineola, and Quitman’s David Tarno and Justin Blalock each saw significant playing time.

They were among 82 athletes representing 45 area schools who spent a week of preparation and fellowship leading up to kickoff. The Red team coached by Bullard High School’s Scott Callaway prevailed 27-0.

A large crowd turned out at Christus Trinity Mother Francis Rose Stadium to cheer on those players who have entertained so many in their high school football careers.

The FCA is highly valued at the three schools. Each of the head coaches, Alba-Golden’s Derek Smith, Mineola’s Luke Blackwell and Quitman’s Bryan Oakes, volunteered as assistant coaches for the week.

The annual FCA Heart of a Champion program also includes baseball, softball and cheerleading all-star competitions. Mineola’s River Simonek participated in the baseball game.

The purpose of the all-star games is to honor God, raise support for the FCA, and showcase local athletes.