A Lowndes High football player won second place in a national speech contest, focusing on persevering from warming the bench to eventually starting his senior year and signing with a college team.
Jayson Crum recently competed at the National Lads to Leaders Convention in Orlando, Fla., capturing a second place in the Winners Circle Speech competition. Lads to Leaders is a Church of Christ organization which teaches youth how to be leaders in their community and in the church.
Jayson was able to fulfill a dream of his when he was asked to deliver his speech at the Sunday convention, attended by 2,500 people. The son of John and Beth Crum of Valdosta tied his speech on never giving up with the theme for the convention, “We will work ’til Jesus comes.”
A participant of the Lads to Leaders program for eight years, he has won many awards, including public speaking, song leading, puppeteering, and reciting 100-plus scriptures.
Jayson is involved in the community, working with the local food pantry at his church, and serving on the Advisory Board for Southeastern Federal Credit Union.
At LHS, he is a member of Health Occupational Students of America, and also serves as a D.A.R.E. Role Model.
“It has been a privilege to serve in this capacity through my high school years,” Jayson said of the latter.
“You get to encourage the young people to stay in school and stay away from drugs.”
Jayson will graduate in May from Lowndes High School as an Honor Student and attend Valdosta State University in the fall, playing on the Blazer football team as a long snapper and majoring in chemistry. He plans a career in the medical field.
See Jayson’s speech below:
Never give up
Jayson Crum, son of John and Beth Crum of Valdosta, recently competed at the National Lads to Leaders Convention in Orlando, Fla., capturing a second place in the Winners Circle Speech competition. The speech of the Lowndes High long snapper centered on persevering:
Have you ever heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as a free ride” or “If you’re ever going to get anywhere in this life, you have to pay your dues?” I personally know that paying your dues as an athlete is a tough concept that implies you have to have a few hard knocks along the way to get where you want to go. It means you care enough for your team not to give up, but to do your part, even if your part isn’t much. It means (whatever) the case may be for the long haul.
You see, I was the guy who warmed the bench in middle school. I got very little playing time on the football field. But I went to every practice, every game and gave the coach all I could. Then I moved on to high school football where again for three more years, I went to every practice, every game and gave the coach all I could while still warming the bench.
Then one day all my hard work paid off. Coach came into the locker room and announced, “We are looking for a long snapper. Would anyone like to step up?” I said, “Sure, I’ll give it a try.”
We began week after week practicing. I would go home and practice each day, giving it my all. Come summer practice, I was ready for the challenge. Now for those of you might not know what a long snapper is: ... He snaps the ball for extra points when a field goal is needed.
My senior year, I went on to start as the long snapper for my local football team, Lowndes High School, but the story doesn’t stop there. All of my years of hard work. All of my years of perseverance finally paid off for me. And on National Signing Day this past February, a dream of mine came true: I signed with the college of my dream, Valdosta State University.
National Signing Day is probably one of the most important days on the calendar for many seniors around the world. It is the day they have been preparing for so long and hard. But I don’t have to tell you that there is a day coming that is far more important to all of us than National Signing Day. It is the day when Christ comes again. And all of our hard work in life, no matter what area is may be in, will be of no avail if we haven’t included working for the Lord in it.
Sure, there were times when I was discouraged and doubted that if all my hard work would really pay off. I kept telling myself, “Never, never, never give up.” Have you ever been discouraged and wondered if it really pays to work for the Lord? If you have, you’re not alone. Peter asked the Lord in Matthew 19 verse 27, “Behold, we have forsaken all and followed you, what shall we have therefore?” Peter wanted to know, Hey we’re doing all this for You, but what’s in it for us? In Numbers chapter 11, Moses had worked so hard trying to lead the children of Israel only to have them rally against him time and time again that he finally said to the Lord, “I am not able to bear the burden of these people anymore. It is too heavy.” He said, “I can’t do this anymore. Kill me, I pray thee.” Now that is getting pretty discouraged.
Discouragement is not an excuse to quit though. King David knew that at some point in time that his son, Solomon, would have doubts about the building of the temple, so in I Chronicles 28:20, he tells him, “Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.”
God commands all of us to work. In Ephesians 4 verse 28, He tells us to labor, “working with our own hands those things that are good.” In Matthew 25 verses 35-40, He even tells us the things that are good. If you see someone hungry, feed them. If you see someone thirsty, give them drink. If you see a stranger, take him in. If you see someone naked, clothe them. If you know someone sick or in prison, visit them.
Even Jesus Himself knew that he was not exempt from doing the work. He told his disciples in John 9 verse 4, “I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: The night cometh when no man can work. Jesus came to earth, did the works of his Father and certainly paid his dues when He died on the cross for us. We, too, must work ’til Jesus comes.
Yes, I am proud of my football accomplishment, and yes, I feel like all my hard work finally paid off. But more importantly, I hope that one day I can stand before the Lord and have Him say, “You have worked the works that I have asked. You have paid your dues. Enter into my Father’s Kingdom.” Will He be able to say the same to you?