CPA Athletics hosted a college athletics FAQ night for students and parents, featuring an alumni panel. This five-star panel included Addy Grace Summers ‘23 (Trevecca Nazarene University softball), Graham Roten ‘21 (The University of Alabama, football), Molly Bradshaw, CPA faculty member (Carson-Newman University, volleyball), Jake Dykstra ‘22 (Belmont University, basketball), and McNeill Stout ‘19 (Wheaton College, football). Numerous sports were represented including football, softball, volleyball, and basketball, offering students a diverse perspective on college athletics.
Member of the Class of 2015 and current Assistant Football Coach Houston Nichols began the session by giving students and their parents a brief overview of competing at the next level, including eligibility rules, scholarships, general recruiting, and divisional differences. Je asked the panel questions surrounding a day in the life, both in and off-season. Additionally, alumni spoke on important skills to hone while in high school to become a successful college athlete, like time management and goal-setting.
Students, parents, and the panel also discussed the importance of fit—beyond the sport. Alumni encouraged these student-athletes to consider what’s most important to them, not just playing time and team culture, but also academics, scholarships, and where they might fit in— off the field.
Additionally, the panel shared differences between playing sports at the Academy and the collegiate level. Summers and Roten both reflected on the idea of performance, faith, and identity. They shared that college athletics are often performance-focused, and if you aren't finding your identity in Jesus, it can quickly become a high-pressure environment. Like 2 Corinthians 4:18 says, the panel encouraged students to be steadfast in their pursuit of Jesus and “fixing their eyes on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” Students left informed, inspired, and encouraged about the possibility of competing at the next level.