The football team at St. Joseph Academy High School in San Marcos, California. has an unusual but very inspiring tradition. The players come together at the end of a game in song. The group of young athletes get on their knees and sing Ave Maria in Latin as a way to respect the Blessed Mother.
As Sports Leader USA shared in their YouTube post of the team, the idea came about after the football team did their first Father-Son Jersey Ceremony. A player named Paolo suggested to the Athletic Director and Assistant Football Coach, John Murray, that it would be a great idea for the team members to honor Mary in reverent chorus after the game.
With Murray’s support, Paolo spoke to the captains about his idea and they were equally happy to incorporate the singing into the post-game rituals.
Virtue = Strength
It’s not surprising that the SJA Crusaders are so fervent about their faith. The football team has partnered with the Catholic program Virtue = Strength that aims to “engage the hearts and minds of students” so they “Learn the Virtues, Love our Lord, Live the Faith,” according to the group’s website.
If you take a few minutes to listen to the team, you’ll see how the tuneful young adults are singing in Latin as they honor Mary. Hopefully she’ll act as a powerful intercessor as they take to the football field against their opponents!