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Colvin shares story at FCA Unite event

| March 13, 2019

Students helped lead the praise and worship music portion of the FCA Unite event held March 10 at Ridgewood High School. Josie Sellers | Beacon

WEST LAFAYETTE – An evening of food, games and fellowship wrapped up with a presentation by Matt Colvin.

Colvin, assistant principal and athletic director at Ridgewood High School, was the guest speaker at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and More (FCA) Unite Event. The program was held Sunday evening, March 10 at Ridgewood and was for students in seventh through 12th grade.

“I want to thank Mr. Masloski (Ridgewood’s superintendent) for allowing us to do this here,” said John Strasser, who helped get FCA groups started in Coshocton County’s schools. “I’m a River View graduate, but I’ve fallen in love with all these schools.”

Strasser introduced Colvin to the students and shared that his passion is helping people find their purpose in life.

Matt Colvin was the featured speaker at the March 10 FCA Unite event at Ridgewood High School. Josie Sellers | Beacon

“I’m truly blessed to know him and have become his friend,” Strasser said. “Deb (my wife) and I love this guy.”

Colvin, who graduated from Ridgewood High School in 1997, shared with the crowd that he grew up in a very poor family.

“When I was in the third grade we moved from Newcomerstown to Ridgewood,” he said. “I can remember churches dropping off clothes and food on our front steps.”

Colvin said his dad was into drugs and when he was 8-years-old his mom left him. Two years later, his dad went to prison.

“I hated my dad,” Colvin said. “We didn’t have Christmas all the time growing up. It just depended on how well coon season went or how many drug deals he made. There were Christmas mornings we’d wake up and there would be nothing.”

Prison, however, changed his father. His dad got into prison ministry and helped lead others to Christ. He got out in two and half years and started having visitation with Colvin.

“My dad and I got close and when I was 12 or 13, I went to court to say who I wanted to live with,” Colvin said. “I was going to choose my dad. It had nothing to do with my mom. I just needed my dad. He motioned me over though and told me to tell them I wanted to live with my mom. He told me my mom needed me and he promised me he’d be at everything I ever did and he was.”

Colvin dreamed of playing college football and received letters from several schools, but their interest changed when they found out his GPA.

“I graduated 117 out of 124,” Colvin said. “I did not know there were seven people doing less than I was.”

He planned on working at Belden Brick after graduation, but his wife, who he was dating at the time, saw potential in him.

“She said she wasn’t going to marry a bum,” Colvin said. “She enrolled me at MATC in Zanesville.”

He kept working out and hoping for the chance to play college ball. Muskingum University finally gave him that chance and he excelled in the classroom and on the field.

“I was an Academic All-American and that was something I never thought would be possible,” Colvin said.

He received letters from professional football teams saying they liked what they saw, but their rosters were full. Later when Colvin and his wife were expecting their first child he received an offer from a football team in Canada. He turned that offer down though because nothing was certain and he wanted to make sure his family would be taken care of.

“I don’t regret that because it was all part of God’s plan,” Colvin said. “God doesn’t say no. He says not now or wait I have something better.”

Colvin was tested again when he had to make the decision to take his dad off life support before he passed away.

“In your highest of highs and lowest of lows God is always there,” Colvin said. “There will be tough times, but surround yourself with good people. Without my wife and God I wouldn’t be here. I don’t even know if I’d be alive because I had a tendency to do stupid things.”

He ended by encouraging the students to find an adult and talk with them if they felt they needed to speak to someone.

“We are here for you guys and I’ll be here as long as I need to be,” Colvin said.

He had the band play MercyMe’s “The Hurt & The Healer” as the students filed out of Ridgewood’s auditorium. One of the groups of youth attending the Unite event was from New Life Ministries.

“I joined FCA and found out that there are a lot more Christians at school than I thought,” said Marissa Rodriguez. “It’s nice to know you have the group’s support and they are there if you need help.”

Others from her youth group at New Life Ministries said they found Colvin’s speech to be inspirational and that Unite events were a nice way to meet kids from other schools.

Category: Faith

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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