If it was said once, it was said 1,000 times. It was a great day to be a Crusader.
Saxony Lutheran announced that it would add a football program in the 2024 fall season during a news conference on Jan. 24.
The Crusaders will play an all-road junior varsity schedule this upcoming fall, and will field a varsity squad beginning in 2025.
“The decision to add football was not taken lightly,” Saxony Lutheran Principal Mark Ruark said. “Since the inception of the school, the community has asked ‘Are you ever going to have football?’ It was in our strategic plan in the 2016-2017 school year, but it was not our top priority. However, it was in our 10-year plan. We feel like we are offering a program that our surrounding community will support, and students will want to be a part of. We have had success in everything we have done, and we believe our football program will follow in those footsteps.”
During the press conference, Ruark noted that there was research into funding that would be needed to field a football program, and that it has the initial $100,000 needed for equipment and another $300,000 commitment that will be used for field improvements for the soccer and football playing field.
One of the biggest proponents for Saxony Lutheran football on the Strategic Processes Committee was Dr. Ross Bennett.
“We had a steering committee that did a full review of Saxony,” Bennett said. “We had alumni, we had current teachers, we had parents and we had community leaders all come together and do a full evaluation of Saxony. Out of that committee came the recommendation that the time was right for us to add football.”
Bennett said the overwhelming response in the committee was for opportunities for student success.
“Football is an amazing opportunity to learn lessons in life,” he said. “In this area, we always had to choose between sending kids to a football school or a Christian school if there were kids that wanted to play football. Now we don’t have to make that choice.”