WATERTOWN, Wis. -- A team of six current and former Maranatha student-athletes have departed for the summer, looking to make an impact through soccer on the 2019 Soccer Ministry Team.
The team, which is the fourth team to travel during the summer for Maranatha Soccer, will primarily stay in the Mideast region of the U.S., covering six different states in the seven-week trip. The SMT will stop at six different churches and one high school throughout the course of the summer, traveling a total of 4,700 miles.
"The last teams have been able to really connect with the kids and build relationships with them," said Coach Jeff Pill, who has helped prepare the team for the summer. "And we've been able to attract some quality students to Maranatha because of it. I am really excited to be sending another team on the road for the summer."
The team will spend between three and five days at each location they visit and will offer soccer clinics to elementary-aged and teenage soccer players. Off the field, the team will provide musical worship at the churches they visit and will assist the ministries as needed.
Here is a list of the ministries they will partner with over the summer:
|June 17-21||Bethel Baptist Church||Sellersville, Pa.|
|June 24-28||West Seneca Christian High School||West Seneca, N.Y.|
|July 1-5||Open Door Baptist Church||Lebanon, Pa.|
|July 8-12||Bible Baptist Church||Hampton, Ga.|
|July 15-18||Faith Baptist Church||Salisbury, Md.|
|July 22-25||Walnut Park Baptist Church||Muscatine, Iowa|
|July 29-August 2||Emmanuel Baptist Church||Paulding, Ohio|
MEET THE TEAM
This year's team consists of six members:
Brendan Burckart (Oak Lawn, Ill.) will be the team leader. While this is Burckart's first year on the SMT, he is no stranger to soccer camps. Burckart was a head coach on the team that traveled to India in January, and the three-year MBU Soccer veteran has worked multiple years at the Maranatha Soccer Camp. Burckart started every game for Maranatha last season and has made 34 appearances for the Blue and Gold.
Nate Campbell (Schaumburg, Ill.) is another three-year member of the MBU Men's Soccer Team. Campbell has started every game of his collegiate career - 56 total games. Campbell transitioned to center forward last season after playing in the back for his first two years.
Austin DeAngelo (Raleigh, N.C.) was also a member of the India Team in January. DeAngelo is no stranger to the soccer camp scene and also has three years of playing experience to his name. DeAngelo had to sit out for almost all of his sophomore season but came back to score a memorable game-winning goal in the NCCAA North Region semifinal against Faith Baptist.
Kim Grogan (Winston-Salem, N.C.) will bring experience to the team, as the MBU grad just completed her student-teaching term as a Mathematics Education major. Grogan brings the educator's perspective to the team, and she has a story of continual improvement over her collegiate career: after playing just five games during her freshman season, Grogan eventually captained the team while playing every game of her senior season.
Amy Montgomery (Oakwood, Ill.) jumped on to the collegiate soccer scene last fall, as the Illinois native registered six goals and two assists during her rookie season. Montgomery made 12 starts while playing 16 games in 2018.
Alyssa Wright (Watertown, Wis.) is the only veteran member of the team, as she traveled last summer. Wright finished a four-year career with the Women's Soccer Team last season and traveled to India in January with the Global Encounters team. Wright finished her four-year career with 50 games played and 34 starts.
"It's been great to get back together," Burckart said of the team. "The last day and a half have been great. We've done soccer clinics before, and after doing soccer clinics in India, I feel like we can take on anything.
"Being around camps has helped me see what works and what doesn't," Burckart said when asked about his leadership role. "I've been in and around it, so now it's my turn. I'm excited to learn from Alyssa and her experience, and it'll be important to let the members of the team that are maybe more outgoing than I am to take charge at certain moments while I maintain my leadership role.
"The heart of why we are doing this is ministry. We want to encourage believers but then challenge nonbelievers and show them what we are about."
Listed below are the members of the past soccer ministry teams:
Alex Board (Team Leader), Ethan Childs, Lisa Collogan, Cara (Harrison) Shelp, Chris Jochum, Erin Jochum, Emily (Kutz) Lawson, Tim Solarek
David Anderson (Team Leader), Josh Knoedler, Emily (Kutz) Lawson, Brian Lundquist, Alysha Morris, Taylor Pill
Josh Knoedler (Team Leader), Sarah Bagin, Caleb Hockema, Audrey Knoedler, Kevin Risma, Alyssa Wright
To learn more about the team and to stay connected with them as they travel, follow them on Facebook (CLICK HERE)