Josh Niblett, the head football coach at Hoover High School in Alabama, talked to players from Morningside (Iowa) and Marian (Ind.) on Tuesday at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Champions of Character Luncheon.
The event is part of the NAIA National Football Championship game week schedule. Thursday’s game at Barron Stadium is set for 6:30 p.m.
Niblett, who led his team to its second Alabama Class 6A state title in three years last Friday, was the featured speaker at the luncheon and urged players to find their purpose and live a life of significance.
“Yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come but both are thieves that rob us of today,” Niblett said. “When you get on the field, do not compete for yourself. Compete for a higher cause.”
Niblett said that while many have the opportunity to achieve great things not everybody takes advantage of it. “Football is a sport that teaches you to make the most of a situation,” he said. “It’s the only sport where you can’t play a game two days in a row and you can honestly say that when you play somebody you may not see that team again for another 365 days.”
He requested that people ask themselves three questions — “Who am I? What am I? When am I?”
“How much can you live during the day to make a difference in people’s lives?” Niblett asked.
During the luncheon, Melora Kay of Pepperell High School and Trey Turner of Rome High School were named as the recipients of the 2012 Greene’s Jewelers-NAIA Champions of Character High School Athlete awards.
A number of area student-athletes were nominated for the awards, which recognize accomplishments on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
Other nominees that were on hand for the luncheon were Erika Cannon and Hayden Randolph of Adairsville High School, Maggie Stansell and Jacob Barnett of Armuchee High School, Breanna Wallace and Taylor McGriff of Cedartown High School, Rebecca Mullenax and Ka’Van Youngblood of Coosa High School, Terar Stewart and Alex Cox of Darlington School, Maci Mills and Sam Anderson of Gordon Central High School, Laura Graben and Davy Fisher of Model High School, Nicholas Williams of Pepperell High School, Morgan Bozydaj of Rockmart High School, Frannie Wilson of Rome High School, Heather Vess of Sonoraville High School, Madicyn Jenkins and Kingston Lanier of Trion High School, and Mary Grace Davis and John-Patrick Popham of Unity Christian School.