"It just kind of explains to them what FCA is," says James Schoonover, a linebacker on the Missouri Western football team. "We talk to them a little bit about camps and what FCA can do for them. Not only personally, but the kids around them as leaders."
"Your faith is something that can help you on and off the field," says James' sister Kallie, another athlete at MWSU" We're trying to get kids to develop that early and stick with it."
The two FCA members at Missouri Western helped organize the first middle school event for the group.
James says they didn't have any trouble rounding up teammates to help out. "We have cheerleaders, basketball players, football players. All kinds of athletes want to come and help and they love doing it,
Alex Saxon, a guard on the football team says its a worthwhile experience for everybody. "We learn kind of what they're going through and compare it back to what we went through, it's definitely a learning experience both ways."
Kallie says the success of Griffon athletics has brought more exposure to the players and may just give them an even stronger voice in delivering this message to young fans.
"I think, especially with the success that we've had this year as oppose to last year in our basketball program, it's getting a lot more people to come out and get their parents to bring them out. It's fun to not just be seen on the court but off the court as well so they can get to know us a little bit."
"It's fun to have little fans, little fans are the best, says Saxon. "James can tell you we were both little fans, so to be that person that somebody looks up to means a lot."
But all the Griffs say the reward is mutual, with James saying they're reminded of the enthusiasm that motivated them to want to become athletes. "It helps us as much as it helps them. It kind of keeps us in check as a weekly reminder of why we play sports and why we're able to play sports."