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Athlete of the Month

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes engages coaches and athletes to grow in their faith and sport.

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Everything listed under: athlete of the month

  • June 2016 - John Vilade

    John Vilade

    Team: Ridge High School, Hunterdon Bears u18AA NJYHL

    Position: Forward (Center)

    Birthday: 1998

    Height: 5'8"

    Weight: 160lbs

    Chosen Attributes: Teamwork

    Why is this important to you?

    When I was a child, I was taught that including others in anything would lead to high performance. To this day, I still find it true in both hockey and in my spiritual life. In hockey teamwork is something you can not buy in a pro shop or sign a contract for. Chemistry is built on the ice when more than one player contributes to achieve a common goal. It is much easier to achieve the goal when you have chemistry with the players to your right and left side. Comfort and trust are two things that come to my mind when I think of teamwork in hockey. I am comforted to know that no matter what, my line mates will always have my back even when I make the worst mistakes. Also, I am trusting of my teammates that they are always giving their best to me and the team as a whole. These lessons I learned formed the foundation for my belief in the greatest way to play. You do not have to be the most skilled players to win. As long as you are on the same page and give it your all, the chance at victory can only increase. Teamwork, I learned, is also imperative to growing spiritually. When I joined my church’s youth group organization, I quickly discovered that these other students only wanted to help each other grow. The team work and love shown by my youth group and church only confirmed my belief that we are never in a hopeless situation. Whenever I am ‘stuck-in-the-mud’ and think that the only way for me to go is further down, it is the teamwork of my fellow Christians that provides me the comfort I need to- as TobyMac says- “get back up again”. This is why I believe that teamwork is the most important attribute out of these three.

    Have you been involved with FCA or FCA Hockey in the past?  What has been your experience with us?

    Last May (2015) was my first experience with FCA hockey, and although my high school has a club that represents the organization, I never really knew much about it until last summer. When I attended the Team FCA Camp at Niagara University, I never felt more accepted. As soon as I arrived on campus, counselors and other players alike welcomed me with open arms. Throughout the camp I felt not only encouragement to improve my hockey skills, but also my spiritual life. Small Bible Studies helped me bond with my teammates, but also look at where my heart was (spiritually). My participation in FCA hockey was truly life changing.

    What is your favorite scripture verse?

    Although I have many favorite Bible verses, I enjoy those regarding perseverance. The most powerful one, for me, is  Revelation 2:10.

    Revelation 2:10- Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

    The book of Revelation is one of my favorites in the Bible because of its message of faithful patience. This verse, in particular, stood out to me when I first read it because I often feel small, daily temptations by the devil. Yet, I am motivated by this verse and my faith in general, to remain loyal to the one and only God.

    I also use this verse as motivation to push myself to the limit. Whether in hockey, or in my spiritual life, I am often plagued with the idea that giving up and giving into my pain is okay, when it is not. Just thinking about this verse inspires me to always give it my all. Whether it is triple overtime or the last day on a mission trip, true faithfulness will always show in the toughest of times.

    What else should we know about you (future goals in hockey, family members, what church do you go to, favorite stuff outside of hockey, etc.)?

    Hockey: I have been selected captain (by the coaching staff and graduating senior class) for the Ridge Hockey varsity team’s 2016-2017 season. My goal is to lead my team to the state finals and win it, as we have been short all three of my years at the school. I also plan on playing in the ACHA at the college I end up attending in Fall 2017.

    I have a 15 year old brother, currently playing Midget Hockey, whom I consider myself a role model for. He joined our church’s youth group last summer and will be attending his second mission trip in July 2016.

    My family and I attend Somerset Hills Baptist Church, a small Southern Baptist church in our hometown of Basking Ridge. As a church family, we have participated in and lead many ministries to help both our community and spread the gospel throughout the country.

    Some of my favorite things to do outside of hockey is: spend time with friends and family, attend church and youth group events, and volunteer to help plan the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event.

  • May 2016 - Alex Randazzo

    Alex Randazzo

    Team: Tier 2 Junior A

    Position: Right Wing/Center

    Birthday: 10/3/97

    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 175lbs

    Chosen Attributes: Integrity & Excellence

    Why is this important to you?

    Integrity and Excellence go hand in hand in my view. By challenging myself to exhibit excellence in all I do, integrity just naturally comes along with it. Integrity is important to me because not only is it vital to other peoples’ view of me, but it is vital of my view of myself. If I can’t be 100% honest with myself about what I do when no one is looking, then there is no way I can be 100% honest with others, and there is no way I can be 100% honest with God. Because of God’s challenge for excellence in Colossians 3:23-24 I am motivated to have integrity in all that I do, and I am motivated to exhibit excellence in all that I do.

    Have you been involved with FCA or FCA Hockey in the past?  What has been your experience with us?

    I have been with FCA Hockey since their inception, and have enjoyed the past 8 years of camps with FCA. I have been a camper and counselor, and have enjoyed every moment of it.

    What is your favorite scripture verse?

    James 3:17- But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. King Solomon is known as the wisest man to ever live besides Jesus. He is known like this because he was blessed with the Wisdom from above, Wisdom bestowed upon him from Heaven. This is the kind of wisdom I pray for every night. But sadly I cannot have this wisdom if I am not pure, if I do not love peace, if I am not considerate of others, submissive to authorities, if I have no mercy and bear no good fruit. If I am partial and not sincere, I cannot have this wisdom. James 3:17 is a good reminder for me to pursue the wisdom from above daily.

    What else should we know about you (future goals in hockey, family members, what church do you go to, favorite stuff outside of hockey, etc.)?

    Besides playing hockey, I enjoy film making and acting. I started making my first feature film when I was 12, and premiered it when I was 17.

  • April 2016 - Jacob Fricks

    Jacob Fricks

    Team: Weyburn Redwings SJHL Jr. A 

    Position: Defense

    Birthday: 2/25/96

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 185lbs

    Chosen Attribute: Integrity

    Why is this important to you?

    As I grew up and moved away to play hockey, Integrity is something that I knew would be a struggle. When you’re still living under your parents roof its easy to not get distracted because you know that if you ever did something out of character that you be disciplined. While your out living on your own you have to choose to still make the right choices even when your 1500 miles away from anyone that even knows you. You can either choose to fit in with the crowd or you can choose to live your life the way that you know is right and that is something that lots of kids struggle with. Integrity is important to me because it’s something that defines a person and maybe by you not trying to fit in with the crowd it shows other people who might be struggling with trying to fit in that it’s okay if you don’t do what everyone else is doing. If you don’t feel comfortable its okay to just tell everyone that you’re gonna head home for the night or say that your not really interested in going to the strip club or other stuff similar to that. Most important thing is to not loose who you are to try and fit in with other people. 

    Have you been involved with FCA or FCA Hockey in the past?  What has been your experience with us?

    I’ve been with FCA for over 3 years now and it’s something I look forward to every summer. I’ve done numerous camps and have learned so much from all the coaches and speakers. Last year I had a chance to internship at a couple camps and I learned more interning then I did attending the camps. No matter what your doing it’s just non stop your always learning something new about yourself and being able to go up to any counselor or coach or any of the players and can talk to them like you’ve known them for years. 

    What is your favorite scripture verse?

    My favorite verses always seem to change depending on what I’m going through at the moment. Right now this is a verse/story that has stood out to me.

    Mathew 17:20-  He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

    This verse is from a story where disciples where trying to help a demon possessed boy and could not drive the demon out. Jesus instantly heals the boy. The disciples ask Jesus why they could not heal him and that’s when Jesus replies with his answer.

    It’s just a good lesson in that we can never have enough faith… Something I constantly struggle with even when I say I trust I know what God is doing I still have doubt in the back of my mind. This is something that even his disciples where struggling with.

    What else should we know about you (future goals in hockey, family members, what church do you go to, favorite stuff outside of hockey, etc.)?

    Next Year I plan on attending Liberty University which is something that has been in the back of my mind ever sense getting started with FCA Hockey. My younger brother who plays with the Sioux Falls 18AAA program which is coached by Rylan Galiardi who has been apart of FCA hockey as well. Out side of hockey I keep myself busy with attending car shows and racing events and I’ve been into photography for over 6 years. 

  • March 2016 - Daniel Santa Maria

    Daniel Santa Maria

    Team: Anaheim Ice Bantam In-house Thunderbirds; JV-Development Woodbridge HS Warriors

    Position: Defense

    Birthday: 5/31/01

    Height: 5'3"

    Weight: 126lbs

    Chosen Attribute: Service

    Why is this important to you?

    Jesus humbled himself and served us by becoming a man. Why not be like Him since He is my savior and the best example to serve one another.  It sets an example to my teammates to serve them.

    Have you been involved with FCA or FCA Hockey in the past?  What has been your experience with us?

    I have attended a 50 states 50 cities clinic and also participated in a summer FCA hockey camp in July. I am currently attending Discipleship Calls on Thursdays. FCA Hockey has brought me closer to some teammates who have also attended the FCA hockey camp. My skating skills got better. Also, knowing there are other Christians in my sport helps me to become confident to be strong in my faith. The Discipleship calls help me in my faith and also helps me to get to know other people that have the same faith all around the country. FCA camps are my favorite to attend. They have good, caring coaches that care about the players and help develop us. I learn more from FC A Hockey clinics then from other clinics I have attended.

    What is your favorite scripture verse?

    Matthew 28:19-20. It is my favorite verse because it is important to let Jesus' light shine through you and that we make disciples. It encourages me that I should share my faith and not hide it. It backs me up by Jesus saying that He will be with me to the very end of the age. I care for those who do not know Christ. I want to see everyone saved, and though there are people who will never accept Jesus as their savior, this verse tells me that I am called to share Jesus to everyone and to help others have a deeper relationship in Jesus.

    What else should we know about you (future goals in hockey, family members, what church do you go to, favorite stuff outside of hockey, etc.)?

    My church I go to is Sovereign Grace of Orange County. I have a dad who is named David, my mother Vicki, and an older sister named Deborah. I like to read books like the "39 Clues" series and the "Mysterious Benedict Society." I used to be a fencer, and was in Kenpo karate for a short time,  but now concentrate on hockey. I volunteer to teach special needs kids and adults how to play street hockey through the Anaheim Ducks Rinks organization on Friday nights. This is one of my favorite things to do as they have so much fun and it is good to see the smiles on their faces.  I also teach a couple neighborhood kids how to play street hockey as well.  My two best friends participate in different sports, one in Basketball and the other in Soccer. We try to teach one another the 3 sports we play in.

    My dad and I like to go see Anaheim Ducks games together and it gives us a chance to bond.  I am a freshman in High School and I am also home schooled. My favorite subject is writing. November of 2014 was the first time I ever put on any skates of any kind. It was scary at first but I have a skating and hockey coach that help me out a lot. My future goals for hockey is make Varsity High first. I want to make it to the NHL or at least USHL, but if I don't I want to coach other kids and help them get better.

  • Feb 2016 - Dawson Zahorian

    Dawson Zahorian

    Team: Cranbrook-Kingswood Boys Varsity Hockey

    Position: Defense

    Birthday: 10/27/98

    Height: 6' 2"

    Weight: 180lbs

    Chosen Attribute: Excellence

    Why is this important to you?

    Excellence is what I strive for both on and off the ice as well as in the classroom.  I think that having an attitude of excellence helps me be the best teammate I can be.

    Have you been involved with FCA or FCA Hockey in the past?  What has been your experience with us?

    With the training and travel schedule as a FL player during my freshman year, I was not involved with FCA.  A few years ago, my dad did take me and my brother to visit the summer FCA boys camp in Black Mt. NC where he attended back when he was in High School.  That was a really cool experience.

    What is your favorite scripture verse?

    Proverbs 16:3 - “Commit your actions to the Lord and your plans will succeed”

    This verse is important to me because it applies to my goals.

    What else should we know about you (future goals in hockey, family members, what church do you go to, favorite stuff outside of hockey, etc.)?

    Besides my mom and dad, I have an older brother (Tucker) who is a freshman at FL Gulf Coast University, and a little sister (Sabrina) who just turned 10 and is in the 4th grade.

    First Assembly of God in Fort Myers has been my home church all my life.  I go to Kensington Church in Troy MI as often as I can while I am away at school.

    My future goals in hockey include playing in the USHL and playing Division 1 college hockey.  Outside of hockey I like to workout, play some lacrosse, and hang out with my friends.

  • Jan 2016 - Tom Berg

    Tom Berg

    Team: Eau Claire Memorial High School

    Position: Defense

    Birthday: 2/25/98

    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 180lbs

    Chosen Attribute: Teamwork

    Why is this important to you?

    I have always been told to play for the name on the front of the jersey, not the one on the back. If you play for your teammates they will play for you, and you will do better as a result. Teamwork helps everyone involved, and has always been important to me.

    What is your favorite scripture verse?

    Jeremiah 29:11

    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    This verse reminds me that my life is in the Lord’s hands. He has a plan for me, and if I glorify him and do my best to resist temptation, he will do great things through me.

    What else should we know about you (future goals in hockey, family members, what church do you go to, favorite stuff outside of hockey, etc.)?

    I hope to play hockey after high school. I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters. I’m a member at St. James Parish. I enjoy golfing and playing basketball with friends. My favorite food is chicken Alfredo.

    Comments by Coach Rick Randazzo

    Tom is a special hockey player, leader and teammate who has a long future ahead of him.  It was a joy to have him as part of our Chowder Cup team last summer and was a huge part of our team finishing in 3rd place.  We all look forward to having him back with FCA Hockey this summer.

  • Dec 2015 - Andrew Kristof

    Andrew Kristof 

    Team: NC State University (ACHA) 

    Position: Wing

    Birthday: 4/5/95

    Height: 5'6"

    Weight: 160

    Chosen Attribute: Excellence

    Why is this important to you?

    This attribute is incredibly important to me because it puts my life, job, hockey, school, and relationships into proper perspective. I’ve realized that my gifts and talents were not given to me to be used to promote myself, but instead, proclaim the glory of my Creator. Colossians 3:17 beautifully summarizes this idea: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him”. Because I serve Jesus first and foremost, not man, my effort on and off the ice is an act of worship. 

    Have you been involved with FCA or FCA Hockey in the past?  What has been your experience with us?

    I have been involved in FCA Hockey for 4 years. My first camp was in Westminster, CA and then I attended Team FCA at Niagara University the next year, in 2013. I competed with FCA Hockey at the Chowder Cup on the College Open Team in 2014, and the Elite Team in 2015. Both of those weeks, God worked mightily in my heart, and connected me with other godly men, devoted to serving the Lord on and off the ice. Most recently, I served as a coach and huddle leader at FCA Hockey’s weekend camp in Omaha, NE, where I led the 5-8 years olds. 

    What is your favorite scripture verse?  Why is this important to you?

    My favorite passage in the Bible is Romans 8:37-38: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

    This verse was a powerful source of inspiration last season, where I was faced with numerous challenges on and off the ice. God was with me all along, and through this passage, He reminded me that absolutely nothing can get in way of His unfathomable love for me. Jesus gives me the strength to continue the race of faith I started, and though many trials await, this verse reminds me that God has already won, and he awaits my arrival at the finish line with his arms open wide.

    How did you hear about FCA Hockey?

    I really don’t remember how I found about FCA Hockey. I do remember, however, going to my first FCA camp in California, and being impacted spiritually, especially through hearing the testimony of Coach Todd Lohstreter. 

    What else should we know about you (future goals in hockey, family members, what church do you go to, favorite stuff outside of hockey, etc.)?

    I’m currently studying Chemical Engineering at NC State University, and am praying for guidance and wisdom in choosing a career path. In addition to taking classes and playing hockey, I am involved in a Bible Study, through Campus Crusade for Christ, and my church, The Summit Church. Also, I work in the University Scholars Program at NCSU. In hockey, my goal is to become a leader at the college level, and impact my teammates and coaches with the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. 

  • Nov 2015 - Jacqueline White


    Hometown: Whitesboro NY

    Team: Middlesex Prep School 

    Position: Wing

    Birthday: 12/11/97

    Height: 5'7"

    Weight: 167

    Chosen Attribute: Integrity

    Why is this important to you?

    With integrity you can be the best you. Honesty shows others that you care for them because of your ability to tell them the truth because you WANT to, not because it is the right thing to do.

    Have you been involved with FCA or FCA Hockey in the past?  What has been your experience with us?

    No

    What is your favorite scripture verse?  Why is this important to you?

    Both Matthew 7: 1-5 and Psalms 46:10 are my favorite verses. The verses in Matthew are a way to live by because as a human I am so quick to judge or call people out for their wrong doings, even though I am just as much of a sinner as they are. Then the verse in Psalms “Be still and know that I am God” just helps me get through the day because when I have that stressful assignment or bad test grade, ect., I know that I am not in control, God is; just taking a step back and realizing “God I gave my life to you, You are in control”.

    How did you hear about FCA Hockey?

    My brother was FCA of the month last year, and it is something I have always wanted to try.

    What else should we know about you (future goals in hockey, family members, what church do you go to, favorite stuff outside of hockey, etc.)?

    I am a tri-varsity athlete playing soccer, hockey, and rowing crew. Outside of sports I do homework and hang out with my friends, here at Middlesex there is a very tight nit schedule with not much free time. I have two older brothers and an older sister. My oldest brother is 30, married, and has two kids; my sister is 27, lives in California, and works for YouTube as a makeup artist; and my other brother is 19 and attends Bates College in Maine. I go to Redeemer Church and could not be more blessed with the people that I am surrounded by and all the amazing role models.

  • Oct 2015 - CJ Walker


    Hometown:

    Position:

    Height:

    Boise, ID

    Forward

    5' 10"

    Team:

    Birthday:

    Weight:

    Midget AAA Argos, Saskatchewan, BC  April 22, 1999

    160

    Chosen Attribute:  Teamwork

    Why is this important to you?   

    I consider myself a “playmaker” and am all about teamwork. I feel the best way to victory is to build trust with your teammates and putting others before myself.

    Have you been involved with FCA or FCA Hockey in the past?  What has been your experience with us?

    I have been involved with FCA hockey camp as a counselor at the overnight camp in McCall Idaho. I had a great time helping out the younger kids on and off the ice and I was sad when it was over. I also played in the Chowder Cup with Team FCA Red, I had a great experience.

    What is your favorite scripture verse?  Why is this important to you?  Prov.  3:5-6

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not depend   TRUST  on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

    I always say this prayer and I believe that if you trust in God he will always be there for me during great times and hard times. I believe God helps me to make good choices in hockey and in life and will lead to happiness in life, on and off the ice.

    What else should we know about you (future goals in hockey, family members, what church do you go to, favorite stuff outside of hockey, etc.

    I hope to play in the USHL after being drafted last year in the futures draft.  After that, I hope to play Division 1 hockey and compete for a National title.