SAVANNAH, Ga. — The inaugural NAIA Senior Football Classic took place at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 14. Some of the best NAIA seniors in the country comprised both the East and West squads.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University was represented by senior running back Stephon Free. Free was excited about the opportunity and the chance to show off his skills competing with and against some of the top football players across the nation.
“It was an honor not only to represent my school, but also the NAIA Sooner Athletic Conference. Being selected to compete against the best seniors across the country was an experience I will cherish forever. I want to think Austin Bennett, and my Head Coach Ryan Smith for the opportunity to compete one last time.”
A very gracious and grateful Free went out with a bang in his final game as a SAGU Lion. He carried the ball 17 times for 78 yards and added 1 catch for 22 yards. If racking up 100 total yards wasn’t enough, he cashed in with 2 touchdowns for good measure.
Free was able to shine bright even on a field that was flooded with top talent. This is nothing new for the Lions veteran according to SAGU head football coach Ryan Smith.
“Free made my transition to head coach at SAGU seamless,” Smith said. “He bought into what we were teaching and the attitude we wanted to display from the very beginning. Stephon has played with a great work ethic and passion throughout his career. He is a great player and teammate, but as good as he is between the lines and in the locker room, he is an even better man. There is nobody else that you would want representing your team, program, and university.”