Faith on the field

Select sports can be an expensive proposition for a lot of young athletes with a win at all cost philosophy.

Wright Brewer and others like him are doing their part to place the emphasis more on player development, Christian fellowship and making their sport accessible to anyone that truly wants to play.

Assistant coach of the Liberty Girls 99 youth soccer team, Brewer has helped develop a team of young athletes that work together and support each other, and now, he is looking for a few more.

“Our motto is faith, family and friendship,” Brewer said. “I have twin daughters, and the season before last, one of our daughters was participating in select soccer. We really did not like what we saw, in that it seemed like the message for most of these teams was to win games at all cost.

“In youth girls soccer, girls between 10 and 14 are growing at such a different pace. The older girls are stronger and faster…and the younger girls don’t have as a great a shot of playing, especially with the attitude that winning is the most important thing.”

Faith is the number one driving force behind the team, said Brewer.

“Playing Soccer is another form of praise and worship. The game is a gift from God, like our schools and our jobs and so many other activities. He created it to worship Him with it. So, the mission is teaching the Truth.”

Brewer, who resides in Bartonville, has a sports background. A native of Baton Rouge, LA, he attended LSU and as a walk-on football player for the Tigers from 1978-80 he earned a full scholarship. He owns a successful business in Grapevine that works with automobile dealerships and facilitates a coach’s bible study at Liberty Christian School in Argyle.

“Sometimes more than parents, more than teachers, kids spend a lot of time with their coach, and a coach’s personality and morality can leave a lasting impression on the kids and their families.

“We teach our players, that, “You’re not playing for the coach, nor for your mom and dad, or your school…your playing for God, and you need to give 100 percent for your creator. That is worshiping the right person. “

Brewer said he also noticed that coaches tend to recruit the strongest and fastest athletes, and do not focus as much on the skill aspect of the game.

“What happens is you are on a soccer team where the attitude is win at all costs,” Brewer said. “The kids are not going to get skills training like they should, and the younger girls, who are not as fast or as strong are not going to be on the field as much, and therefore are not going to get better.”

Brewer said this also means that players who cannot afford to compete in select leagues are far less likely to have a shot at a college scholarship because they are not exposed to the level of competition that would prepare them for the college game.

“There is a big financial ingredient in all of this,” Brewer said. “My family has been blessed financially, so with our team, we started a non-profit organization that supports the families that cannot afford select soccer.”

The Liberty Girls 99 team competes in the Plano League and draws from the Southern Denton County region.

Brewer said he raises money through fans that are in financial position to provide assistance to players to help fund the team, and Brewer, himself, is a donor to the non-profit.

The Liberty Girls assistant coach said he is trying to recruit as many as six more girls to play soccer this coming spring 2012 season for the Liberty Girls 99 team. The games start in the middle of February.

“We’re looking for girls that take soccer seriously, regardless of their economic situation,” Brewer said.

“When good players look at select soccer, their parents look at the cost, and a lot of times they won’t even encourage the girls to play. We’re just reaching out to that group of girls that has been disenfranchised, whether it is because they are younger, or they are not fantastic players, or because of the economic aspect of it.”

The Liberty Girls 99 team head coach is local high school soccer coach Val Lunday.

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