(Ben Cain | The Heartlander) – Springfield’s Lighthouse Christian Chargers football team has won their 5th National Homeschool Football Association (NHFA) championship under 2nd-year head coach and former Kansas City Chiefs player Brett Williams.
With a minute and a half left, the Tomball Christian Warriors were down 24 to 27 and had the ball near midfield. The Lighthouse Christian Chargers defense prevailed though and forced a three and out, bringing the national championship home to Springfield once again.
“We’re proud of our homeschool community. I don’t mean just us here in Springfield but all of the teams involved,” said Coach Williams, who played offensive tackle for the Chiefs.
The Chargers play the first half of their season against MSHSAA schools which includes most public high schools. They then play the second portion of their season against the closest homeschool teams in Kansas City, Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Houston, Texas.
Most of Lighthouse Christian’s success came before Coach Williams arrived, winning four NHFA National Championships before his arrival in 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2014. But although his time as head coach with Lighthouse Christian has been relatively short, his positive impact on the players and the team’s success is impossible to go unnoticed.
“I’ve sat there with my jaw dropped open listening to Brett Williams, who has a Ph.D in offensive line,” Defensive Line Coach Scott Morris said. “The man is an incredible mentor.”
Coach Williams and Morris both told The Heartlander that Lighthouse is encouraging more parents to bring new sports to the table for their athletes. Currently building a booster club, Lighthouse often holds fundraising events and has sponsors who help afford sporting equipment and other expenses.
The group also offers basketball, baseball, volleyball, track and field, cross country and cheerleading for local homeschool kids who want to stay involved in athletics. The coaches say that they have athletes from all walks of life and not every student-athlete is of the Christian faith.
Both coaches have the future goal of building Lighthouse Christian their very own sports facility. Coach Williams says that he grew up going to a large public high school with the use of things like weight facilities and fellowship with your peers at your fingertips, unlike Lighthouse Christian.
“I want our kids to have the same opportunities as public school kids when it comes to athletics,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of parents who consider homeschooling. They’re like, ‘Well, I’d like to homeschool but they’re really good at this sport or that sport’. I’d like to get to the point where we have our own facilities so we can have more of a team environment and one central home location with access to all the same equipment and opportunities as public school kids. We will eventually have all of that, it’s just a matter of time,” said Coach Williams.
Those interested in learning more about Lighthouse Christian Chargers and their numerous sports programs can visit their website here.