Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams at Southwestern Assemblies of God University are so full of God’s blessings that they leak.

In fact, the squads will begin the 2012 season with a mission to serve the community of Leakey in two weeks.

The volunteer work in Leakey, which is 350 miles southwest of Waxahachie, begins Aug. 8. It will be led by head coaches Mandy Fortner and Clem Oancea and about 50 team members.

The Lions players will spend a day ministering to young children at the town’s First Baptist Church as well as hosting a soccer clinic for kids. SAGU players will also teach basic soccer skills along with sharing the gospel through games, testimonials, music and devotionals.

The teams also have a community clean up outreach planned, in which they will help people clean and do repairs on their homes and businesses. Ministering to people on the streets is part of the planned strategies for the project.

Located in the Frio Valley, the population of Leakey has a poverty rate of 39 percent with a median income of $23,056. Most of the residents live in trailer homes or houses more than 50 years old.

Outside of school and little league baseball, the city offers very few opportunities for athletics. Providing a wholesome introduction to soccer is just part of their goals.

Fortner and her husband Derek, who was a record-setting baseball player at SAGU, lived in Leakey prior to joining the SAGU coaching staff.

“Our team will benefit so many people,” Fortner said. “Families, children and young people will have needs met in spiritual, physical and recreational ways.”

The Lady Lions and Lions soccer teams will return to campus Aug. 13, for the official start of their pre-season camp.

 

About SAGU soccer

Fortner’s team was 4-14 last fall. They welcome a number of returning veterans as well as a solid recruiting class.

The Lions, under new head coach Oancea, enjoyed a 10-9-5 mark in 2011 and they won the NCCAA Central Regional and advanced to the national tournament in Orlando. Their encore season could see them become a league contender.

SAGU is a Division I member in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as well as the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).

Both soccer teams compete in the Red River Athletic Conference, which has 15 schools from four states; Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico.

Both Southwestern teams play the first of their 18-game schedules Aug. 24. Together they play in Oklahoma City against Mid-America Christian University.

After an exhibition at home with Hill College, both SAGU clubs play host to three matches in eight days, beginning Sept. 1.