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Fellowship of Christian Athletes: A Safe Place for All


Spotlighting PRHS’ most popular club, where it’s defining descriptors aren’t requirements 

Different speakers every lunch, a team of passionate  students behind the scenes, and a defining descriptor that doesn’t serve as a requirement for interested students: you don’t have to be a Christian or an athlete to join the Fellowship of Christian Athlete, one of PRHS’ most popular clubs. 

FCA started out as as an email pitch in March 1954 by founder Don McClanen, who suggested “if athletes can endorse shaving cream, razor blades and cigarettes, surely they can endorse the Lord, too.” The organization was officially chartered on November 1954, and gained solid footing in 1955 after a series of donations at a FCA banquet. In September 2013, they became a worldwide ministry. FCA at the high school has been around for years, but after coming back from COVID, it has found it’s footing in a way few other clubs have replicated. 

The vision statement for FCA, stated on their official website,  is to “see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes,” accomplished by the following scripture-focused values: integrity (Proverbs 11:3), serving (John 13:1-17), teamwork (Philippians 2:1-4) and excellence (Colossians 3:23-24).  

As with any club on PRHS’ campus, however, any student can join and go to the weekly Thursday meetings -located in Mr. Drake’s room during lunch A and Mr. Cantrell’s room during lunch B- but faith in Christianity is the uniting theme through meetings.  

“FCA is a club for anyone and everyone. You are welcome no matter what.” EJ McNeal, sophomore and student leader in FCA, said. “We just want to share God’s Word.”

FCA student leaders often have their roles established as freshmen and stay with the program throughout all four years, meaning there are leaders in all grade levels. 

Other schools have president and vice president positions, but at PRHS, the leadership is joint and based on task distribution- McNeal is the Lunch B leader, meaning she keeps the meaning running in Lunch B by starting meetings and introducing speakers. Other leaders include Dakota Rickerd (11), Nathan Moore (12), Tegan Henretty (12), Tiana Basulto (9), Maddie Holland (9), Talulah Frontera (9), Neveah Duran, and Audrey Warren (12). Moore, Rickerd and Henretty were spotlighted as the most prominent student leaders. 

EJ McNeal was raised in the church and has been a Christian all her life

Their role as leaders includes leading meetings and games, finding adults to bring onto campus to speak at meetings, or sharing their own stories. Adult speakers often include bearcat alumni or community members involved in local faith-based organizations.

Up to
attendees across both lunches

Currently, FCA leaders estimate around 40-60 attendees over both lunches. And though FCA leaders acknowledge the weekly pizza provided to attending students is a contributing factor, many believe it’s true allure boils down to much more than that.

Adult FCA leader and family pastor at Christian Life Center Jermey Perales attends the weekly meetings, giving the students support and guidance when needed. “This is a place where students feel welcomed and hopefully cared for, and I think it’s just good for the Christian student to have a place to come and feel like ‘this is my place’ and learn about (their) faith.

“When you come here, there’s nothing negative. You’re built up. You’re encouraged, you’re welcomed. I think it’s a work of God to be honest.”

Despite the focus on faith, even non-religious students find a place at FCA.  Mateo DeAlba, junior and weekly FCA attendee starting this year, was raised Catholic but no longer practices. “It’s been really good,” DeAlba said. “The people are very nice and welcoming.”

When asked about the religious aspect, DeAlba said, “I was already interested in theology, and FCA really encourages that interest. Studying and analyzing religion is just really interesting.”


A sure way to spot an FCA attendee is by provided bracelet with four symbols that display the gospel. 

  1. God Loves You

  2. Sin Separates You

  3. Jesus Rescues You

  4. Will you Trust Jesus?

The club also works as a way for friends to catch up- a meeting place of sorts to relax and enjoy the food and company.

They often collaborate with other central coast clubs for various meet up events, and have recently started an afterschool Girl’s Bible Study program, hosted at the local Starbucks.

“There’s always room to grow,” Perales said. “We want to really practice what Jesus preaches: going out and loving people.”

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About the Contributor
Kalani Gaviola
Kalani Gaviola, Editor-in-Chief
Kalani Gaviola, senior, is one of the Editor-in-Chiefs of Crimson Newsmagazine, as well as co-InDepth Director. This is her second year as Editor-in-Chief and InDepth Director, and her third year in Crimson. Outside of Crimson, she is a varsity Cross Country and Track athlete, ASB Staff and Student Director, and an enjoyer of creative writing, reading, and drawing.
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