JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — Months after helping revitalize the Marble Falls High School chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, senior Sarah Stripling is tabbed to speak at the annual FCA banquet in Austin on March 31.
“This is in a completely different category than anything I have done,” she said. “It is unique because I am getting to share my faith in a formal way.”
She is the only student addressing more than 600 attendees. Another speaker is professional golfer Webb Simpson, who won the 2012 U.S. Open.
FCA area representative Barney Sarver said Stripling was chosen for her citizenship, witnessing, and church and community involvement — not just because she’s an outstanding athlete.
“But, Sarah is a tremendous athlete,” he said with a grin.
Stripling is an all-District 25-4A basketball player for four consecutive years and a first-team all-Class 4A Region IV selection. She also is a regional qualifier in cross country and track.
She will give part of her testimony and share how her faith helps her on and off the playing field.
“While I have been successful in sports, I realize all of my talents have come from God, so, therefore, professing my faith before others is a huge honor and a part of what I feel I am expected to do” she said. “It should be a great event to support this area of FCA. It is special to have been the one student picked to speak.”
A triplet, she and brothers Ben and Mike are part of the FCA huddle, or study, of about 15 students that meets on a regular basis, Sarver said.
The chapter struggled to continue after former football and track coach David Woods left Marble Falls to take a job at Wimberley at the end of the 2011-2012 school year, Sarver said.
In February 2013, assistant football and track coaches J.P. Gray and Brandon Murdock stepped in to be the FCA coaches. Last summer, the Stripling triplets were among the first student-athletes to rejoin the club.
In addition, Marble Falls Middle School also has a chapter that is led by coach Joe Powell and art teacher Michelle Noble.
Llano High School students Tyler Sorenson and Sarah Culpepper received the Tom Landry Scholarship and the Lisa Landry Childress (in honor of Landry’s daughter) Scholarship, respectively, through the FCA. The scholarships are $500 each.
Sarver checks on campuses throughout the Hill Country that includes Lake Travis, Llano, Blanco, Johnson City, Burnet, Faith Academy of Marble Falls and First Baptist School of Marble Falls. Those campuses have close to 10,000 students.