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Long grew up in Norco, California where she attended Norco High as a three sport athlete competing in volleyball, basketball and track. After high school she attended Mt SAC, a community college in southern California. At Mt. SAC she was a two time all conference athlete in volleyball as well as the conference leader in blocks as a sophomore. Long was then offered a scholarship by Henderson State and chose to accept the offer.
“I just knew this was the place for me”, Long stated about Henderson State. “God has a plan for me out here, I just don’t know what it is at the moment.
The volleyball coach at Henderson State, Coach Thigpen was also a bigger factor in Long’s decision to leave home. Thigpen is a strong Christian herself and is in charge of the on campus ministry Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).
Upon arriving at the HSU campus Long excelled in both volleyball as well as ministry. In 2009 Long was #7 in the Gulf South Conference for blocks. She also became involved with FCA with Coach Thigpen in the fall before becoming a leader in the group in the spring semester 2010.
Long will be a senior in the fall of 2010 with high expectations from both herself and Coach Thigpen.
After college Long plans to move back to California, specifically somewhere in the Norco area. “I want to become established and settle down after college.” Long is studying to become a nurse and wants to become more involved in a church when she graduates from school.
Long claims that she will most likely do a little bit of coaching volleyball on the side but does not plan to play or coach full time after the 2010 season. Continue reading
Hometown: Sherwood, Arkansas
Position: First Base
Favorite Bible Verse: Romans 8: 18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (NIV)
Garrett Eller is one of the few, not one of the many. A selfless individual, Eller is more concerned with helping others that himself. He has a deep love for God and pours it into people like the counselor he plans to be in the future.
Eller grew up in Sherwood, Arkansas where he attended Sylvan Hills High School. Because Sylvan Hills is known as a baseball powerhouse, which during the 2009 season finished ranked second in the state of Arkansas, Eller saw limited playing time until his senior year in which he didn’t disappoint.
Eller’s senior year he had a batting average of an impressive .450 with one home run. He was then recruited by Henderson State to come walk on. Since he’s arrived at Henderson State he’s been behind two upper classmen but playing time in the next couple of years looks highly likely Eller said.
“I’m having fun right now” Eller stated in regards to the issue of playing time. Eller has developed a reputation around the team as a man of faith and a go-to-guy when teammates need someone to talk to about their problems. Continue reading
Lucas Whisenhunt is a soft-spoken man of god. He is a great athlete but he is very humble and gives glory to God for his accomplishments.
Whisenhunt grew up in Kirby, AR where he went to Kirby High School. He had great success in basketball at Kriby earning all-state honors three years in a row from his sophomore to his senior year.
Whisenhunt accepted a basketball scholarship to Henderson because it was close to Kirby and he liked the head coach, Sam Weaver. Since he has been at Henderson, Whisenhunt has been a three-year starter and is expected to start next season as a senior.
Whisenhunt was raised in a Christian home as his whole family attended a local Missionary Baptist Church. Although he was baptized at a young age, by the time Whisenhunt was about thirteen or fourteen he felt the need to change in his faith.
“I could just feel something was missing”, Whisenhunt said. “I cried out to the Lord saying, I need you, something’s missing.”
You could say that Whisenhunt’s cry for help was answered. Ever since that day he cried out to God he has had a personal, intimate relationship with Christ.
In high school Whisenhunt was involved in ministries such as FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). He continues to attend FCA meetings at Henderson.
“My faith helps me to not get so caught up in basketball, it helps me realize that there is more to life than basketball, such as my faith,” Whisenhunt said.
Whisenhunt is a Chemistry major and is undecided about his plans after college. He possibly will attend grad school and when asked about ministry he said that would have to be something he felt called to do so.
Hometown: Chico, CA
Favorite Bible Verse: Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (NIV)
Despite being a very humble person Stephanie Batchelder has great confidence in her faith in her Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Her favorite bible verse speaks truth in her life as she strives to seek the Lord with her whole heart everyday.
Batchelder grew up in Chico, California where she went to Pleasant Valley High School and played both volleyball and basketball. After high school Batchelder attended College of the Siskiyous where she continued to play both sports.
At COS she was an all-conference selection in volleyball two years in a row. Although she had great success at the junior college level, Batchelder had planned to give up sports after her last season. However her junior college coach pushed her to pursue volleyball in college as she was getting recruited to play by several schools. Continue reading
One aspect used often by people who talked about the combining of FCA’s was unity. ‘I love that we can come together as Christians’. ‘I have made many new friends that I am still in contact with. ‘It really brought the two schools together.’
Anyone who was a part of the joining of HSU and OBU’s FCA will tell you how important to him or her the connection between the schools is. However, what’s more important is to realize where it all started.
Colossians 3:14 in the Holman Christian Standard Bible says, “Above all, [put on] love—the perfect bond of unity.”
With a rivalry dating back over one hundred years between schools across the street, it is obvious that a deep connection like that of FCA is God work.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Arkadelphia, AR has made a stand to be competitors on the field but brothers and sisters in Christ at all times.
“Even though we compete against each other, we serve one God,” OBU FCA President John Johnson said. “ We are rivals but we came together in Christ. Our kids got to know each other better and fellowship in Jesus’ name. The retreat really kicked things off for both of us (HSU & OBU) to begin to have a joint FCA.”
After the first meeting the two schools continued to combine FCA meetings. Sometimes meetings were held at HSU and sometimes at OBU. And as the semester progressed the connection between FCA groups grew stronger.
The relationships continued out side the scheduled FCA meetings. Friendships blossomed and many students from both schools started to hang out together in less formal settings during the week and on weekends.
As the semester came to an end the connection between FCA huddles continues and both schools plan to work together again next semester.
“It’s not always about rivalry,” OBU student-athlete Westley Martin said. “You can’t be rivals in heaven. I feel that the joining of schools through FCA happened because we approached it as Christian, not as reddies and tigers. It was great that we could come together and I really hope we continue it to next year.” Martin said.