Maranatha Baptist University ends football program

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Rob Fall's picture

Then go to MBU and join its ROTC program for the Ranger Competition. You get to combine both worlds.

Andrew K wrote:

Completely agreed. Serving in a rural public school now, I can see nothing that transforms the lives of young white men from miserable backgrounds than a stint in the service. Works absolute wonders.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Ron Bean's picture

Tyler said:

I don't know how to play football. I don't even know how score is kept. No joke.


That's OK. But I'll venture the assertion that you can run.

Most of the former football players I know, including the one I shave everyday, couldn't run the length of a football field today.




"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Joel Shaffer's picture

 Jim, I just read a study that compared WW2 veterans that played organized sports vs. those who didn't.  Of the 931 veterans interviewed,  those who played organized high school sports were rated higher in leadership, self-confidence, self-respect and were more likely to volunteer and donate money to various causes than those who didn't.  My point is that going into the service and playing sports are not mutually exclusive in building character.  Then they did a modern day comparison of those who played high school sports to those who did non-athletic extra-curricular activities. Again, these athletes  were rated higher in leadership, self-confidence, self-respect, and were more likely to volunteer and donate to causes than students who were involved in non-athletic extra-curricular activities such as marching band and yearbook.

I think a reason for the snarky comment and some of the generalizing about sports is that they see the idolization of sports in American Culture.  And this is absolutely true.  Its definitely gone way overboard. In our family, we have had to be very intentional of not getting carried away by the worldly tide of athletics.  My son just turned down a combine where he would have been evaluated in front of several college scouts because it was on a Sunday. He probably could've done both football and church, but to him a weekly Sabbath where he focuses on God and actually rests means something to him.   Last year he turned down playing on a 7-on-7 travel football team that would've played against some of the best football prospects in the Midwest because they play on Sunday.  He makes sure that his involvement with his church family trumps football.   On his football team, the vast majority of varsity players love Jesus and have their priorities straight as well.  But the reason is because of godly family influence and godly coaches.   So to sum all this up, football doesn't have to be the bad thing that Bert mentioned.  It can be something good.  

TylerR's picture


MBU would be a perfect place if they would dump its Army ROTC in favor of Navy . . . Smile


Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Bert Perry's picture

It's true that Europeans don't have sports attached to their schools like we do in the U.S., but there is a reason that they seem to do very well in the Olympics, World Cup, and the like.  Put gently, when I got to play football as a college student with a group of young men from the Bundeswehr (German army), I learned very quickly that the lack of school athletics and games did not hinder their ability to play the game, and Thomas Mueller is not an aberration in their culture.   Also worth noting is that they weren't carrying as much weight as their counterparts in the states.

And nothing against sports, athletics, and games:  I simply contest the idea that there is something unique and virtuous about american football that doesn't take place in athletics (cross country and track), sports (boxing, wrestling, equestrian events, shooting events) and  games like hockey and basketball.  Some guys click with running, others with cycling, others with sports, and others with games like american football.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Rob Fall's picture

Actually, I'd favor both. With an NROTC, MBU would get some USMC alums.

TylerR wrote:

MBU would be a perfect place if they would dump its Army ROTC in favor of Navy . . .


Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Bert Baker's picture

I was blessed to be the first captain of Maranatha football in 1970.  We never won and in 1971, we never scored.  Only 13 men on that team had ever played high school football.  We never forfeited a game, we played all nine.The last game I played, I made seven one arm tackles because of a separated shoulder that still bothers me today at age 68.  I used to do 25 left arm ad 21 right arm pushups.  When my career ended, I could not do one two arm pushup.  It was the following April in 1972 before I could again do pushups.  I have NO REGRETS about playing football at both Pillsbury and Maranatha.  Matter of fact, the older I get, the better I was, lol.

Nate Spates dad and I were best friends in high school and we played football together as well as being best men in each others weddings.  I saw guys come out for football and then quit.  I saw them quit in other things as well.  God used Dr. Cedarholm to get football started at MBU {MBBC}.  I am thankful for that.  I have continued to follow football at Maranatha all these years. 

We always want to win but that is not the most important thing and I do not like the fact they are quitting football now.  They do not need to play a schedule which is too far


above them.  If you look back at history in our country, the military wanted to high schools and colleges to have football to toughen up our men.  I am just sorry it no longer exists.  A sad ending to a great program at MBU.

Mr. Ed's picture

When my son played at MBBC we would go to many home games and even a few away games.  Even after, I have attended a few games over the years.  I knew the program would end someday due to the expenses involved as well as many other items.  Over the years I am sure there were a few young men that came to college in Watertown because of the football program not because of any scholarship which did not exist but because they wanted to play the game.  My son stayed with the team for 3 years out of 4 and saw very little playing time.  Was it because he did not have the ability, not really, some times it was due to coach's favorites.  When you are behind 77-6 there is no reason not to let everyone have some playing time.  Even your so-called worse players could not lose a game for you that is already lost.  I will miss my fall visits to Watertown.

Bert Baker's picture

Mr. Ed, I hear you.  I was on the basketball team for a semester after I transferred from Piillsbury.  I was a  speech minor so I could not go out until second semester.  We beat a team once by seventy points.  I was the only one who did not get in.  I did not need the game at that point in my life but reasoned that if I quit, I could more easily find reasons to quit in the ministry.  The most difficult thing I ever did was show up to practice the next day, work my butt off knowing it would do me no good for playing.  It helped develop character in me.  God bless you.  Ex.15:2

pvawter's picture

My freshman year at Maranatha we won a share of the conference title. I remember that of the 22 starting players, 11 had never played football before coming to MBBC. Most, if not all, were seniors who had worked for 4 years to develop the strength and skills needed to play their positions.

Many of them had attended Christian high school and played soccer because they didn't have the option of football. Maranatha gave them that opportunity, and their lives were richer for it. This is why I have a hard time buying the excuse that MBU draws from non-football high schools and therefore can't continue to field a team.