Natural Gas Explosion Aids Football Team
Unlike the Chrislip High School baseball team, which hasn’t had a winning season in eleven years, the football team has never had a winning season. They won zero games last season and one the season before that. But next season they expect to do even better, and the team is hopeful that they’ll lead the league in something besides concussions.
It’s long been a football axiom that victories are won by teams, not by single players. We expect to see that axiom shot to hell next season when all-state running back Marcellus Harper joins the team.
How did such a world class athlete land at Chrislip? Some say fate. Others say happenstance. Still others, believe it or not, credit serendipity. But most Chrislipians think that Marcellus Harper’s presence here can be explained with only one word: Franciscan nun Sister Cathy Margaret Hayes of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
A lifelong sports fan, Sister Cathy has a long history of using prayer to help Chrislip’s teams. Chrislip College quarterback Jason Hunter remembers the time after an ER visit when he found the Sister in the waiting room praying for his groin to heal. Due to a quick recovery that he attributes to the power of prayer, he was able to return in time for the 62-3 drubbing at the hands of Petoskey’s Fighting Poets. “There’s nothing that that woman can’t do with a rosary,” said Hunter, “except punt, pass, kick or tackle.”
This fall she’s turned her attention to the Chrislip football team. She knew they needed a big gun at running back, and that’s what she prayed for. The Good Lord listened, and within a week there was an explosion at a natural gas company in Flint. Marcellus Harper’s father was one of dozens of men to lose their livelihood, and he brought his family north to Chrislip to find work. And Chrislip High has its savior.
“Thank God for Sister Cathy,” says football coach Ted Lampert. “She truly is the patron saint of lost causes. She’s way better than that tool St. Jude.”
He speculates that in the future there might be even more natural gas explosions, and the resulting northern migrations might bring other downstate football players to Chrislip. Players with names like Jamal, Antwone and Dontrelle, if you know what he means.