E.A. Sports Today

Saints come marching in

Hope Christian Academy, the newest K-12 Christian school in Calhoun County, exploring its athletics options after receiving blessing of Oxford City Council

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

The newest K-12 Christian school in Calhoun County received the blessing of the Oxford City Council Tuesday night. After making a formal announcement of its founding on its social media platforms Wednesday, officials at Hope Christian Academy will begin a full-court press for students and faculty.

Local sports fans might be wondering what will hold for the Saints athletically.

Head of school Nick Burns, the former Wellborn baseball coach, said Tuesday night the school, an outreach ministry of Lighthouse Church with enrollment open to the public, is looking at joining either the Alabama Independent School Association, the affiliation of statewide independent schools, or the Alabama Christian Education Association, which currently includes another Oxford school, Trinity Christian Academy, among its members, providing the Saints an instant rival.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association, which includes county private schools Donoho, Faith Christian and Jacksonville Christian, is not an immediate option.

“Right now we’re looking at different options,” Burns said. “Any decision at HCA will be prayed about earnestly and whatever God wants us to do, we’ll go down the road whatever direction God takes us.”

Plans are for the school to field a volleyball team when it opens in August 2023 and also sponsor  boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball and cheer. An 11-man football team is contingent on ensuring the school has enough players throughout the grade levels to offer varsity and junior high programs.

Christopher Stone, a former football player at Arkansas State from Daleville, will serve as the school’s athletics director and will be coaching a sport yet to be determined. Malorie Burns, Nick’s wife, will be the volleyball coach.

Several other members of the school’s leadership team have athletics experience, but no sports have been assigned. Justin Amberson, a member of the school’s leadership team, recently contracted to become head basketball coach at Wellborn.

The teams will play volleyball and basketball in an on-campus facility on Hinton Drive in Oxford and is in discussions to play its baseball and softball at Choccolocco Park

Athletics is an important part of the school’s overall mission, Burns said.

“It’s been very important to all of us in all our areas as we coached and played,” he said. “One of our main focuses is building the whole child, the whole student, and whichever area that is one of our objectives is to foster the gifts that God has given each student.”

HCA’s teams will play in a purple and gold color scheme and a fleur de lis similar to the New Orleans Saints will be their logo.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login