While parent volunteers prepare a meal for the Portland Christian team before the game, the PC team also prepares a meal for players of the visiting team to enjoy on their way home after the game.
Coach Jon Roberts shared that this all began a few years ago when PC played a distant away game and the opposing team made a snack for the PC players. Teams travel from a great distance and so it was a nice gesture after a game that ended late in the night, to have something to eat on the bus ride home. The kindness of those who took the time to make food, impressed Coach Roberts. In turn, he felt the LORD impressing on him that “as believers, [we] should be showing hospitality to our visitors.”
So began this program, initially with simple peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Now, it’s a full meal for the other team. Families donate food and funds for this program. Organized by player Kane Mihalak’s grandmother, Terry Johnson, family volunteers build sandwiches (deli meat and lettuce the most recent time). The boys add fruit, cheese sticks, or chips to the bag of food.
Not only is PC showing hospitality to the visiting team, they are also setting an example that they have seen at least one other team follow. Why do they do it? Jesse Lortz, a 12th grader, shares, “we are showing love to the other team.” Coach Roberts adds, “We also use this as a chance to witness as well. Each player receives a Gospel tract in their meal.” Kane Mihalak, sophomore, appreciates the opportunity to ”give them food to eat on the way home” And freshman Aaron Friday who donated buns for the most recent sandwiching-making home game, affirms that he hopes the other team players, “remember PC is a good place to be.”
Another bonus? Coming together to make this happen adds to the players feeling connected as a team. Friday and teammate Nolan Helgerson agree - the team is in sync. There is great potential for an awesome football season ahead.