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The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

More Than Just A Game

Athletes embrace faith as a source of motivation and purpose
Olivia Prince
After a spring football practice, sophomore Orion Ratanasirintrawoot (standing) prays over his team.

   In the 2009 College Football National Championship, University of Florida star quarterback Tim Tebow caught the world’s attention with an incredible performance, leading the Gators to their second national championship in three years. Despite Tebow’s one-of-a-kind athletic ability, his play on the field wasn’t all that caught viewers’ attention. Written on his eyeblack was the Bible verse, John 3:16, which would be searched 94 million times that same night. 

   For many athletes like Tebow, ranging from peewee football to professional leagues, winning isn’t their only goal while out on the field. Sports can play a crucial role in learning life lessons like endurance and cooperation that apply to a variety of beliefs. Some athletes, especially leaders and professional athletes, use the stage to share their faith with others. School chaplain Rev. Russell Wohlever participated as a runner in track and field while he was in high school, and emphasized the positive effects that being a part of a team can have on a faith-based student.

   “Even though [track and field] isn’t like football or basketball, there’s still a team element to it,” Wohlever said. “What I love about track is you’re always trying to do your best and your part for the team, so for me, that works out with my faith.”

   Sophomore Orion Ratanasirintrawoot turned to Christianity about three years ago and shares similar opinions on the role of religion in team sports. Ratanasirintrawoot had played tennis the majority of his life, but over the past few years, he has made the transition to team sports including football and lacrosse. When asked about the switch, he stressed the importance of the brotherhood he feels when a part of a team. 

   Many athletes are solely focused on the game in warmups, but Ratanasirintrawoot consistently takes the time to pray over teammates before games and practices, hoping to comfort them while also fostering a positive team atmosphere.

   “In team sports, you have to work as a unit,” Ratanasirintrawoot said. “I think speaking over my teammates and letting them know that they’re cared for, it matters a lot to me and is important for team morale and the connection everybody has.”

   Ratanasirintrawoot faced a difficult trial during his ninth-grade year when he suffered a complete tear in his ACL, causing him to miss the majority of the football season. For someone who deeply loved the team and sport, the injury could have been devastating for Ratanasirintrawoot, but his beliefs helped him get through the challenging time.

   “I got injured last year and that was pretty difficult to deal with,” Ratanasirintrawoot said. “But just knowing that everything happens for a reason I came to see the good in the bad situations.”

   Although Trinity is a predominantly Christian school, many athletes around campus practice other religions. For example, senior Coby Bitman’s involvement in the Jewish community plays a major role in his life both on and off the field.

   “Honestly, just being part of that community is really special to me because there’s a lot of history that goes into it,” Bitman said. “I’m really proud to be Jewish.”

  Bitman has been a standout hockey player and swimmer for most of his life, while also participating in other sports like lacrosse. He said that he doesn’t tend to think about his faith while he’s competing because his religion has given him the tools he needs to excel as both a player and teammate.

   “Deep down my Jewish faith has instilled in me values such as teamwork, cooperation and dedication,” Bitman said. “I think sort of unknowingly it has played a role in my participation in sports because those values are things that I can incorporate both in the pool and on the field.”


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About the Contributors
David Hull, Sports Editor
David Hull is a junior entering his third year on staff as editor of the sports department. In his free time, he constantly gets buckets on his friends (some compare him to Austin Reaves), watches "Friends" on repeat and scrolls through Instagram Reels because he is too stubborn to download TikTok. Contact him at [email protected].
Olivia Prince, Co-Editor of Photography Departmet
My name is Olivia Prince, and I am proud to be this year's co-photo editor. I am entering my senior year at Trinity and my second year on staff. I enjoy cooking, coaching gymnastics and watching soccer. I am always happy to help, so feel free to contact me at: [email protected]

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