How Faith and Division I Football Shaped Me

My name is Brandon Colpitts, I am a redshirt junior on the football team at the University of South Dakota, and this is my short story of faith and DI football.

Coming into college, I was like most high schoolers about to transition to college: hopeful, somewhat nervous, and very eager to get to the next stage of my life and all the new experiences that were to lay before me. What I wasn’t expecting was the fruitful journey the Lord was about to set me on. Through the many trials that were to come my way, as well as lessons learned, the Lord has continued to teach and shape me into the son of God I’m striving to be (and God desires me to be).

In high school, my faith was very important to me. I can honestly say I was seeking truth, and I was doing it fairly relentlessly. Growing up in a Catholic home but not fully practicing, I quite honestly lacked a strong understanding of what was going on at Mass or why we did certain things, and so I began attending other church services in the community striving to seek truth. It wasn’t until I got to college and a teammate of mine named Jordan Roberts, took me under his wing and opened the door to the full truth and beauty of the Catholic Church. Jordan was a part of the Varsity Catholic group on campus and leader of a football Bible study. Most importantly, he was a follower of Christ and authentically strove to die to himself everyday for our Lord. Jordan quickly began mentoring me and after no time at all it turned into a virtuous friendship and unifying pursuit of our Lord in the fullness of the faith. Jordan eventually would go on to join the seminary at the University of Saint Thomas in St. Paul and go on to be the offensive player of the year in D3 all the while being in the seminary and pursuing his vocation. Although not on campus with me anymore, Jordan’s impact was long lasting and opened so many doors that would truly change my life forever. He introduced me to numerous people who introduced me to even more people who were all radically striving to love and serve our Lord. Without guys like Jordan saying yes to the Lord and reaching out to me in love, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today in my walk.

It wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies though. Flashback to that 18-year-old kid about to jump into division one athletics and thinks he has it all figured out, but man I couldn’t have been more wrong. Division one athletics is a whole new world compared to high school. At first, it was tough. Going from the top dog in high school and then having to start all the way at the bottom again was the most humbling experience of my athletic career, but at the same time it was one of the greatest blessings of my life.

Colpitts 1

Bothered by hamstring injuries my redshirt year and redshirt freshman season, to go along with very limited playing time, the doubt really started to creep into my mind and I started to question myself “Is this really for me?”, “Why am I doing this?”, “Is it really worth it?”. Little did I know the work our Lord was doing in me. Before college and into my freshmen year I can honestly say football consumed me. I put football over faith in many ways, and because of this my success in the sport would often determine my mood for the day. This time of me sitting the bench and asking the hard questions allowed me time to seek the Lord and find answers to the questions and doubts in my heart. With this came the realization that football isn’t life, but rather a platform to glorify him and express his love to hundreds and maybe even thousands of people. I finally came to fully embrace that I am just a Christian playing football, and that this sport does not define me, only our Lord does. It is easy to say this statement, but to truly come to this realization in your heart is completely different. By realizing this, it has allowed me to play freely on the football field, without worry of trying to please anyone other than God, and in turn it has allowed me to play at my best. This past season I was gifted the opportunity to play in all 12 games and do my best to allow Christ’s light to shine through my play. At the end of the day, football is and will always come second, for the one true King will always reign superior, yesterday, tomorrow, and forever.

To all those transitioning to DI athletics, fight the good fight and pursue the Lord with a passion. Realize that your struggles have purpose, and it is God’s way of teaching you and shaping you. But above all, play for him, live for him, and serve him in all you do, because you never know the soul that may be saved through your yes to our Lord.



facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

There are no comments so far

Leave a Comment

Don't worry. We never use your email for spam.