The Fellowship of Christian Athletes awarded two scholarships to DeSoto County students at the eighth annual FCA breakfast, Thursday morning at the Landers Center. 

DeSoto Central High School senior Anna-Claire Young and Northpoint Christian School senior Cooper McCoy received the Coach Bob Patterson Award for their athletic and academic accomplishments as well as involvement in their schools, churches, and communities. 

“I am extremely passionate about FCA,” Young said. “It’s something I’ve poured my entire heart into over the past three years. Seeing the gospel spread throughout my high school is such a blessing and I’m so thankful that God gave me the opportunity to step into this role.”

The Coach Bob Patterson Award is given to two student-athletes who best represent the spirit of the FCA, and of Bob Patterson, who is a member of both the New Jersey and Tennessee sports halls of fame for his 36-year coaching career. 

The $1,000 scholarships Young and McCoy received were funded by BancorpSouth. Mike Anderson, BancorpSouth Memphis Metro Division president, read from letters of recommendation the selection committee received about the awardees. 

“Her ability to share the word and to mentor peers and younger girls will have a lasting effect on students at DeSoto Central High School and in this community,” one of Young’s coaches wrote about her. “Anna-Claire has a beautiful soul, and shares that beauty with those around her.” 

Young was a member of DeSoto Central’s volleyball team and has been active with the FCA for four years, and began leading the “huddle,” or FCA group, her sophomore year. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, Ambassadors, Chick-fil-A Leadership Academy, and Students Pushing Others Towards Success. 

In addition, Young leads a middle school girls small group at Compel Church and volunteers at the DeSoto Dream Center, Sacred Heart Southern Missions, Longview Heights, and with her school’s recycling and cleanup. 

McCoy is a multi-sport athlete and a captain on the Northpoint Trojan football and soccer teams. He was named as an honorable mention to the All-State football team and in his sophomore soccer season, was named as defensive player of the year. McCoy is also the student leader of his huddle.

“In my three years at Northpoint as a coach, I have consistently leaned on Cooper and his model leadership abilities amongst his teammates,” one of McCoy’s coaches wrote about him. “Cooper has consistently grown in his relationship with God, his peers, and his teachers. I cannot write enough good things about this young man.” 

The awardee is also the student body and class president and was named as “Mr. Northpoint Christian School.” Additionally, he leads a Sunday school class at Getwell Church and volunteers at Hunger for Hope. 

Guest speaker at the event, NFL Hall of Famer Isaac Bruce, emphasized the importance of creating and growing a relationship with God. He said that a relationship with God helps each individual prosper and flourish, especially athletes.

“The industry that I was in, playing football, I wanted to be the best,” Bruce said. “Meditating God’s word keeps us on top.”

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