Imagine stepping behind the offensive line and shouting out signals in the Big House (University of Michigan stadium) or the Horseshoe (The Ohio State University stadium). Think of working a 22cm, 32- panel ball around the soccer field and towards the opponent’s goal along the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan. WCGS grads Clayton Thorson (’10) and Ty Seager (’12) are doing exactly that at Northwestern University. As the quarterback and forward on the football and soccer teams, they are enjoying college athletics and the competition of the Big Ten Conference.
You might wonder about the joys and challenges of a D1 student-athlete as a Christian on a secular campus. With the Lord’s help, Clayton and Ty have embraced this incredible opportunity. Whether reading their Bibles, seeking spiritual guidance from friends and leaders in Athletes in Action on campus, or leading a Bible study alongside other Christian teammates, these two young men are learning the importance of a Christian community full of believers actively pursuing Christ every single day.
When asked about ways in which God has grown and stretched them while at NU, knowing how best to share their faith came to the forefront. Clayton referred to 1 Peter 3:15, “Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” The emphasis is on how we give our defense – and that is with gentleness and respect. “I’ve found that this is extremely important when discussing my faith with non-believers,” said Clayton. “Listening to teammates and friends share about their beliefs and backgrounds is one of the most important things to do because then we can know where they are coming from and help them feel loved and heard by Christians. Once they feel loved and heard, they are also more likely to listen to this ‘hope’ that we have.”
Ty adds, “It has been a privilege to read and discuss God’s Word with several teammates on a weekly basis who have ranging beliefs from atheism to Hinduism. I believe growing up in a Christian school such as WCGS has allowed me to be bold in my faith and stay on a path of faithfulness through high school and at Northwestern University.”
Clayton and Ty look back to their years at WCGS where their education gave them a strong foundation in their faith. Memorizing Scripture, pursuing excellence in all things, developing strong friendships, and having faculty and staff who were intentional in training and teaching them how to be men of God helped shape them into the people they are today.
As they continue their journeys representing the Lord well at Northwestern University on the gridiron and soccer field this fall, we wish them God’s best.
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