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The Rockvale High School Rockets will have a great Christian leader in head football coach Rick Rice, who has coached football for 33 years and was the quarterback for Austin Peay State University. Rice is also a Christian leader who is an advocate for Jesus Christ and thinks that the more positive influences we can have for our young men from a spiritual aspect, the better.

Here's a little more about coach Rick Rice, who is serving as football coach at Wayne County High School, and what he'll bring to Rutherford County this fall when he takes over as the new head football coach at Rockvale. This is in his own words:   

I played three sports at McEwen High School -- football, baseball and basketball. Then I went to college at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville where I played quarterback for Coach Emory Hale before earning a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. Since then, I've has been in education for 33 years, coached football for 33 years, and coached baseball for 15 years.

I really didn't know what I wanted to do until my junior year in college. I guess I loved football so much that it was the only thing that was going to make me happy on a daily basis and I felt like I needed to be around it. What better way to be able to enjoy what you do by giving back and coaching and mentoring young men! The relationship with a young player is the most important thing for me. I want players to be better people when they leave my program. That's my ultimate goal.

The most influential person in my life is my dad. He always told me to do something in life that would make you happy. I have followed that advice and glad I did. As far as coaches are concerned, my high school coach, Doyle Jonson, was a great influence on me. A wonderful christian man who treated us fairly but worked the dog out of us! I learned my offense from him. We ran the split back veer and have won many games because of it. Also two of my coaches at Austin Peay had a great influence on my coaching -- Chick Graning and Greg Johnson. They are both very organized and detailed. Two wonderful men!

My favorite part about being a coach is building a relationship with the players. I hope they can come to me when they graduate from high school and college with any decisions or problems they may be facing in the future. I always want to be there for them. Also I have never considered what I do as work. I look forward to getting up every morning and coming to work because what I do for a living I think is extremely enjoyable. I truly love what I do!

My favorite thing about FCA is that you can bring a group of individuals together no matter what race, nationality or culture and learn about the Word! It truly has a feel of family when student/athletes come together. I want to give thanks to Lisa Edwards and Lindsey Statom for leading our FCA program at Wayne County High School. They did a wonderful job and I'm so thankful to have them in our school system at Wayne County. They are two wonderful women and faithful women of the Good Lord!

The reason I want a FCA character coach at Rockvale is because the more positive influences we can have for our young men from a spiritual aspect the better! I want them to hear it from a different individual who might be able to connect with one of the players. It might be where the character coach can lead a young man to know Christ, which would be great because that is the most important thing in a person's life -- accepting Jesus as their personal savior and being able to have that relationship with Him on a daily basis. You can never have enough men of character. It's always great to have those type of people around! (Kris Gingrow will serve as the new Rockvale football team FCA Character Coach).

I look forward to the new challenge that lies ahead. I get to coach with some of the best coaches in the state and also get to coach against the best coaches in the state! Rutherford County is a great football town! I'm so ready to get our team assembled at Rockvale and look forward to working with the young men who are zoned for Rockvale. We have a long way to go but look forward to what lies ahead!

My favorite biblical story is Lazarus being raised from the dead. Jesus knew that Lazarus had died but knew that He would raise him from the dead. It gives us a glimpse of what would happen to Jesus as He would be crucified and buried but was resurrected on the third day. Jesus loved Lazarus very much just as his Father in heaven loved him. We have the promise that God loves us and we are able to be dead from a spiritual standpoint but then again have the opportunity to have a new life with our Father in heaven. What an awesome opportunity we have!

This story also goes along with my favorite bible scripture -- John 11:25-26, "I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." We always have that hope!

My favorite sport is football but I also love baseball! I loved playing baseball as a kid! Also, one of the sports I truly enjoy watching is women's college softball -- it's a really fast-paced game!

My favorite food is a big ribeye steak and mac and cheese!

My favorite candy is a chocolate Hershey bar, and favorite dessert is chocolate ice cream or chocolate pie! I guess you can see I love chocolate!

My favorite movie is Shawshank Redemption. I'm a big Morgan Freeman fan!

My favorite sports movie is Remember the Titans! I'm also a big Denzel Washington fan! I really enjoy these two men's talents!

My favorite season is no doubt the fall! The changing of the leaves really shows God's beauty and plus that's when the football season begins!

My favorite way to relax is to spend  time with my two beautiful granddaughters, Emmarie Jane and Rhemi-Anne! What a joy they have brought to my life!

I follow Jesus because I want to live a life that is pleasing to him.  I found out the hard way many times that when you put Jesus as the focus of your life things seem to go much better and smoother. When He is not the focal point, things seem to be chaotic and out of control. It's a common sense thing if you ask me, and I seem to lack that at times!

We welcome Rick Rice to our group of talented coaches and players in Rutherford County and look forward to seeing the Rockets out on the field this fall. Thank you to all who share God's love with our local teams.

Women Coaching Women

On Friday April 12th we invited our Female Coaches to enjoy a night of dinner at The Tasty Table and hear keynote speaker Joan Cronan, Author and Director Emeritus of Women's Athletics, UT Knoxville. Joan shared stories and life lessons she learned from working with Pat Summit for over 20 years and each coach left with her book Sport is Life. We had Coaches from Rutherford and Bedford County.