“Life is bigger than football.” That’s the pointed lesson that a high school football coach in North Carolina sought to teach his players last week when a player on the opposing team had a scary on-field injury in the middle of a game.
Panthers senior running back Marvante Beasley, who was motionless on the ground and surrounded by 10 coaches and trainers, was clearly in a dire situation; silence pierced the air, as the crowd watched in fear.
And as Panthers players from Orange High School started to huddle, coach Ray Harrison of the opposing Hornets team also decided to rally his players together.
“Hey! We’re going over there,” he said, as his Hillside High School team members rushed over to join the Panthers players for what The Herald Sun called a “massive orange-and-navy prayer huddle.”
It was a show of camaraderie, compassion and care between rivals — a moment that moved many in attendance. The two teams offered a quick prayer, exchanged handshakes and offered encouragement to one another.
Watch a portion of the powerful moment below:
— J. Mike Blake (@JMBpreps) October 14, 2017
The Hornets’ actions left Panthers coach Van Smith calling the moment “an absolute class act,” with one assistant saying that it was “the best thing” he had “ever seen on a football field.”
Harrison later told the Herald Sun that the decision to join the inspirational prayer circle holds deep significance, as he and other coaches are attempting to do something bigger than merely teach their players the game.
— Marvante K. Beasley (@kingg_keshaun_) October 14, 2017
“We’ve got to instill some certain characteristics in our kids that we want to see them develop as young men. Understand that they’re hurting, understand that we’re all brothers in football,” he said. “Regardless of if it’s Orange and Hillside. We wanted to make sure we were praying this young man up and we’re all one.”
In the end, he added that “life is bigger than football.”
As for Beasley, he tweeted on Saturday that he is out of the hospital and is feeling better. He thanked both God and those who prayed for him during the scary on-field ordeal.
(H/T: Herald Sun)