COLUMN: Departing Galion coach leaves legacy of prayer


Players from the Galion and Columbus Crusaders football teams pray following a game last season.


The departure of Galion football coach Chris Hawkins promises to leave a big void in the school’s football program.

But while Hawkins’ legacy will be easily defined when he transformed a program that once struggled for any wins to a team with four consecutive playoff appearances, my most distinct memory of him wasn’t during a game.

I covered Galion’s game earlier this year against the Columbus Crusaders.

I was used to the team’s prayer circles after games, but something struck me about the scene after the game.

Both teams gathered around team chaplain Rev. Joe Stafford of Wesley Church in Galion and recited the Lord’s Prayer.

It was simple, but stunning.

I quickly fumbled for my camera and shot a video of the teams praying together.

It stirred me. It stirred you as well.

The video which was posted later that evening on our Facebook page notched 20,000 views in the first 48 hours and was shared over 1,000 times on social media and was later shown on the Today Show on NBC.

Seeing prayer wasn’t surprising to me. As a pastor’s kid who was led to Christ at the age of 5, prayer is nothing new to me.

But to see it at a public school was amazing.

Public prayer gatherings, especially at taxpayer-funded place, can be very controversial.

I appreciate Hawkins for his courage and boldness here.

It should be a lesson to others that with all of the issues we face as a country today, prayer shouldn’t be one of them.

Actually, more prayer could help take care a lot of the issues we face.

http://galioninquirer.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_pughint-2.jpg

Players from the Galion and Columbus Crusaders football teams pray following a game last season.
http://galioninquirer.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_prayer-1.jpgPlayers from the Galion and Columbus Crusaders football teams pray following a game last season.

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Pugh is the Group Content Editor for the Galion Inquirer, Bellville Star, Morrow County Sentinel and Knox County Citizen. You can reach him at [email protected] and on Twitter at @pughcivitas.

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Pugh is the Group Content Editor for the Galion Inquirer, Bellville Star, Morrow County Sentinel and Knox County Citizen. You can reach him at [email protected] and on Twitter at @pughcivitas.

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