Helping Others is Part of the GC Experience
Submitted on August 31, 2018
When the Estill County High School girls’ soccer team needed a morale boost after losing its coach, Deana Mullins Caldwell, the school’s psychologist, knew just where to turn. The 1993 Georgetown College graduate contacted her alma mater and Sigma sorority sister Laura Owsley, Director of Alumni Relations, to see if the GC women’s soccer team might help lift her Estill County team’s spirits.
Within days of that initial call, Laura had Deana in touch with GC women’s soccer coach Leah Castleman. Of her request that a card or letter be sent to the Estill County team, Coach Castleman replied, “Oh, we can do better than that!” recounted Deana, adding “I was blessed by her. And never prouder to be a Tiger.”
Right away, plans were formulated for GC’s team to travel to Irvine, Ky. to meet with the Estill County team prior to its afternoon game against Oneida Baptist Institute on Sat., Aug. 25. That caring nature is but one example of what is often referred to as the Georgetown College experience – outreach to those in need, whatever the situation may be.
“Deana approached us, asking if we could send a letter or something to inspire the team,” commented Coach Castleman, “but I thought that going down to a game to show our support in person would be a lot more meaningful.
“We (meaning GC women’s soccer as a whole) understand that we are in a unique position to influence younger soccer players, specifically young girls, in a positive way, and we hoped that by showing our support and providing encouragement we would help them persevere and overcome adversity.”
The plan was for Coach Castleman to speak to the team as would team Captains Fatima Maxwell and all-American Bethany Massey. Massey, described by Coach Castleman as a “selfless leader who aspires to lead others to Christ” would also lead a prayer with the ECHS team before the game. In addition, each GC player chose a girl on Estill County’s team to whom to write a personal, inspirational note.
“As I pulled into the ECHS parking lot and saw two Georgetown College buses, I was overcome with pride and emotion that my alma mater would selflessly invest so much of themselves and their resources into our girls’ soccer team in Estill County,” Deana said in recapping the day.
“And, boy, did God show up at our soccer field on Saturday. As I walked down the hill to the field, tears came to my eyes as I saw GC soccer players pouring Jesus into our team. They were circling up with our girls and coaches to pray with them before the game.”
Of Massey’s inspirational prayer, Deana said, “Her words were God-breathed, healing, and inspiring to everyone within earshot.”
But there was more. GC’s soccer team members learned Estill cheers and rallied everyone on the sidelines to cheer with them. “They brought their own homemade posters and held them on the sidelines yelling encouragement for individual players by name on the field,” added Deana.
GC’s women’s soccer team had to leave before the Estill County game ended in order to get back to Georgetown for its own game in the evening.
“They left their posters, and a bit of hope and sunshine behind for our team as they walked to their bus,” Deana declared.
And how did the game end? Estill County won, 5-0.