Before the soccer game on Tuesday, April 12, the seniors on the team recognized and honored Jay and Amy Bethea. Amy and her daughter Emma were escorted onto the field by seniors Luke Kolznak and Jonathan Jennings while Jay joined via Skype.
Amy and Jay are 1989 graduates of Harding Academy and longtime supporters of the Harding Academy soccer program. They are the proud parents of Emma, a current Harding junior, and Chesney, a 2014 Harding graduate who is currently a sophomore at Samford University.
Anyone who encounters Amy soon learns several things about her—she is amazingly creative and talented; she is an exceptionally hard worker; and she is obsessive about serving other people. But finally, what we all know about Amy is that she is a fighter—a fighter who does not back down from any challenge, including cancer. She is a breast cancer survivor and is currently recovering from surgery following a diagnosis of stomach cancer just a few months ago. One can truly say Amy “has no stomach for cancer.” Her example of faithfulness and courage is inspiring.
Jay played soccer for the Lions and was the girls and boys varsity soccer coach for several years. He was a dynamic coach and spiritual role model for his players. Coach Jay’s impact was evident at this year’s alumni soccer game when so many of his former players came back to play alongside him against this year’s team.
These seniors are the last class to have played for Coach Jay, and it was their idea to recognize him and honor his family tonight. They wanted to thank Coach Jay for the important role he has played in their lives on the field and off as their coach and mentor and as a Christian man who is a faithful, loving, and generous husband and father.
After the presentation both teams gathered around Amy and Emma for a special prayer of thanksgiving for and blessing upon the Bethea family.