Four football moms share their perspectives of seeing their sons play—and be transformed by—Eagle football.
“You Are Exalted Lord, Above All Else”
Home or away, win or lose, this song of praise and victory (Above All Else) is sung at the end of Fifth Quarter after all UNW football games. Fifth Quarter has always been about praise, encouragement and spiritual lessons learned—not just about Saturday’s final scores.
Our family was introduced to Fifth Quarter in 1998 when our oldest son, Eric Wilmeth ’01, was a freshman playing on the offensive line under Coach Jimmy Miller. At UNW, Eric met Beth Lambright ’02, a varsity volleyball player, and they married in 2002. Both are now on staff at UNW. Beth is head volleyball coach and senior women’s administrator and Eric wears multiple hats, including assistant football coach.
As parents, we are so thankful for the godly influence and challenges they have received through the UNW athletic program and pray they “pay it forward” in the years to come.
Worth Every Penny
We are in our 10th straight year having a son play football at Northwestern. Our four sons (twins Nick ’05 and Ben ’05, Clint ’07, Bobby ’11) have had wonderful times with many godly people. The coaches not only teach, encourage and love the players, but they also have taught our boys what it means to be a Christian and a coach.
Some people concentrate on the cost of a private school. I honestly can say that I thank God every time I write a check to Northwestern, that there is a school where my boys came to know and love Jesus more! I cannot say enough positive about the athletic staff and program at Northwestern. Is it too early to register my grandkids at UNW?
Watching a Leader Grow
Our son Jason Schumann ’11 is currently in his senior and final year of playing football at UNW. It has been amazing to watch Jason grow athletically and in his faith, and to watch his character become defined and refined as he is becoming a godly young man under the mentorship of Coach Talley and his coaching staff.
I love the Fifth Quarter where coaches and players express their appreciation and encouragement to each other and discuss the “adversity” they faced during the game. Many times I have left the Fifth Quarter with just the right word of encouragement to deal with something I was facing. I would have never guessed that I would have been challenged to grow and change as a result of my son being an Eagle athlete!
Taylors Falls, Minn.
Challenged, Encouraged, Mentored
Mike Owczarek, aka “Big O,” has played Eagle football since fall 2007. Each season has taught him different lessons: being challenged to a higher calling than just the sport itself, dealing with a season-long injury, learning and growing both on the field and through Bible study with team members.
This past summer he spent in India with Campus Outreach— in large part due to the influence and example of older football players and mentors. Through this experience, he sensed a call to international ministry. Now in his fourth season with the Eagles, he finds himself to be one of the “older guys” and is involved in befriending and mentoring younger players.
The coaches’ godly influence on the players led to the players’ godly influence on our son—and shaped his vision for future ministry. Northwestern football has been a great place for our son to be challenged, encouraged and mentored.