By: Ashlee Gainey
On Thursday, August 23, the fourth annual Blessing of The Helmets event took place at Kelleytown Stadium. The purpose of this event is to pray over the HHS JV and Varsity football players for a safe and successful season.
Blessing of the Helmets is an event founded by former athletics director Phyllis Griggs, head Varsity football coach Jeff Calabrese, Fellow Christian Athletes (FCA) school leader Brad Boob, and FCA Pee Dee director John “Bootsie” Griggs.
“We started Blessing of the Helmets to be able to share the word of God in a High School setting,” Boob said.
The event is sponsored by Hartsville High’s FCA program, which is an organization that puts an emphasis on expressing prayer and Christianity in public schools.
Every year, active pastors and youth pastors of the surrounding area are asked to speak at the event. This year, guest speakers included the “voice of the Red Foxes” Ron Howard, Clyde Church of God youth Pastor Bryant Crowley, and Hartsville Church of God youth pastor Austin Dye. These speakers gave a motivational speech to the Varsity and JV football players.
Along with the guest speakers, Griggs, Boob, Calabrese, Cedar Creek youth pastor and FCA representative Daniel Henderson, and first year athletics director Jamie Horton also shared a word with the football players.
“I enjoy participating in the blessing of the helmets because it proves our unity as a team and brings us closer together and closer to God,” Varsity football player Preston Duffee said.