Area athletes concluded a week of competition and community service Saturday at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Victory Bowl.
The Victory Bowl is an annual all-star series that features graduated seniors from the 12-county Heart of Texas FCA chapter.
Athletes are led by area high school coaches and usually are nominated by an FCA coach to participate.
Split into two teams, practice begins on Monday with competition held on Friday and Saturday during the week.
In between practices and spending time with their host families in Waco and Belton, the athletes participate in a community service project.
The Victory Bowl all-stars spent Saturday morning giving back at the Boys & Girls Club in Waco.
Competition kicked off Friday at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor with baseball and softball.
The Blue team took a history-making 9-4 win over the Red team, a feat no prior Blue team has been able to accomplish since the competition expanded to include baseball in 2016.
Killeen High baseball coach Donald Trcka was one of the three skippers selected to lead the Blue squad.
Belton softball’s Avery Drake and Madison Ward helped lead the Red team to an early 10-1 lead before the Blue team rallied and took a 15-14 lead in the eighth inning.
An RBI single from Ward brought home the game-tying run in the ninth and the game ended in a tie.
The second day of competition started with the volleyball match at Waco’s University High School, where Copperas Cove’s Aidan Chace took home the MVP honor.
Chace and the Red team swept the Blue team 25-19, 25-21 and 25-20.
Lady Dawgs volleyball coach Cari Lowery was selected as one of the two coaches to lead the Red team. It was also her last opportunity to coach two of her former players — Chace and Kamryn Ash.
“It’s bittersweet,” Lowery said. “I could coach those two for the rest of my life and I would be perfectly happy, but to get the opportunity to coach them one more time, I enjoyed every minute of it.”
And while some coaches enjoyed one last moment with their players, some of the athletes enjoyed the chance to play their favorite game with their high school friends one final time.
“It feels great,” Belton’s Anthony Brown said, following a 17-14 win for the Red team Friday night. “You know, I was really sad when Belton’s season was over, but it felt great to come back out here and come together with these new people.
“It already feels like family and I’m probably going to keep up with these people for the rest of my life.”
Brown caught a touchdown pass from Shoemaker quarterback Mark Walker in the middle of the fourth quarter to give the Red team a 14-7 lead.
But an interception on a Blue pass with less than a minute on the clock was the major defensive play that earned Brown the Defensive MVP and put his team within range for the winning field goal on the final play.