WATERTOWN, Wis. -- A team of six current and former Maranatha students are looking to make the 2018 summer memorable in more ways than one.
Overview and Itinerary
The 2018 Soccer Ministry Team departs for Colorado this weekend with the goal of building relationships with teenagers and elementary-aged children, providing quality soccer instruction, and sharing God's Word with clinic attendees. This will be the fourth soccer ministry team that has gone out from Maranatha, and the team has a proven track record.
"I am super excited about the soccer ministry team this year," said Coach Jeff Pill, who has helped prepare the team for the summer. "The last teams have had a great impact with the people they have worked with. And we've been able to attract a lot of students to Maranatha because the coaches are able to build relationships with the kids and really connect with them.
"This year the team has excellent people with great character. I'm really excited that a lot of churches are using this group as an outreach opportunity. And I'm excited for this team to develop their own leadership and coaching skills."
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 18-22||Red Rocks Baptist Church||Morrison, Colo.|
|June 24-26||Beth Eden Baptist Church||Wheat Ridge, Colo.|
|June 27-29||Woodside Baptist Church||Denver, Colo.|
|July 1-4||Eagle Heights Baptist Church||Kansas City, Mo.|
|July 8-13||Maranatha Baptist Church||St. Roberts, Mo.|
|July 15-17||Westwood Baptist Church||Poplar Bluff, Mo.|
|July 20-22||Grace Baptist Church||Chariton, Iowa|
|July 23-27||MBU Soccer Camp||Watertown, Wis.|
MEET THE TEAM
This year's team consists of six members:
Josh Knoedler will be the team leader, and he traveled with the previous team that went out in 2012. Knoedler played four years of soccer for Maranatha (2011-15) and was a part of the 2014 NCCAA national championship team, playing every minute of that tournament in the back line. Knoedler was named to the AD3I All-Independent 1st Team at the end of his senior season.
Audrey (Risma) Knoedler joins the team after a prolific playing career at Maranatha (2013-16), where she was named as the NCCAA Regional Player of the Year (2014-16), as an NSCAA/NCCAA 1st Team All-American (2014-16), and as the NCCAA DII Player of the Year (2016). Knoedler met her husband, Josh, when the 2012 team did a week-long clinic at Front Range Baptist Academy in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Sarah Bagin is the youngest member of the team, as she just finished her freshman year at MBU. Bagin made an immediate impact on the women's soccer team, as she started every game that she was fit to play in. Bagin played in the center of midfield and notched a goal and an assist on the year.
Caleb Hockema has played for two years in the back line for the Sabercats, and he was named as an AD3I 1st Team All-Independent selection last year. Hockema anchored the back line last season, as he helped the Sabercats to three shutout wins.
Kevin Risma had an injury-shortened season last year, which was his second season in Blue and Gold. Risma was only able to play six games, but he established himself as a reliable option once again for the Sabercats. During his rookie year (2016), Risma made 19 appearances and 17 starts while notching five goals and two assists.
Alyssa Wright finished her junior year of soccer last season by notching a career-best three assists on the year. Wright has played 34 games for Maranatha while making 19 starts. Last season, Wright was a mainstay in the Sabercats' starting lineup, playing in 15 games while making 14 starts.
"I think this team has about as much energy as any six people could have," said Josh Knoedler. "I think we also have a good balance of talent - we have musical people and people that will be competent to lead a Sunday school class or a clinic.
"And I think just because of the personalities of the team, there will be very few problems within the team itself. The spirit of this team is really good, and that will fair well for us as the summer goes on."
To learn more about the team and to stay connected with them as they travel, follow them on Instagram: @mbusmt2018