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Preachers and Deacons, Busby All-Stars raise awareness

  • Liz Bloom/Jasper County Sun Times - The Allen Busby All-Stars featured prominent Lowcountry athletes including Michael Jenkins, Dedrick Allen Dodge, Lavar Youmans, and Antonie Youmans.
  • Liz Bloom/Jasper County Sun Times - The Preachers and Deacons joint team took the best of the best from the two squads to face off against the Allen-Busby All-Stars.

On Saturday night, the county’s Preachers and Deacons team brought their skills to the basketball court at Ridgeland-Hardeeville High in hopes of defeating former NFL stars Michael Jenkins and Dedrick Allen Dodge and the Allen Busby All-Stars.

The Lowcountry team lost to the All-Stars 54-48 in the lighthearted match-up, but the game’s main purpose was to highlight some of the many resources in the area available to the youth and families.

The Preachers and Deacons partner with church leaders from communities countywide and help to promote community unity and engagement. In February, the Preachers and Deacons faced off against one another in their annual game — with the Preachers earning a 43-34 win.

After a youth game on Saturday, where the Jasper County All-Stars beat the Allen Busby Youth All-Stars 40-31, the Preachers and Deacons took on the former NFLers and All-Stars.

The Allen Busby All-Stars jumped out to a quick 11-6 lead and then scored 16 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 35-16 lead heading into halftime. The Preachers and Deacons battled on the inside with Kingdom Touch Ministries preacher Jerome Lewis scraping up eight of their 16 points.

Halftime featured messages from Dodge and Jenkins directed to the youth, plus raffles, and introducing the local agencies at the game.

Jenkins and Dodge, who are cousins, have ties to Jasper County. Jenkins’ father was born in Ridgeland and lives in the Grays area. Dodge’s grandparents are from Gillisonville.

Jenkins, who played for the Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings, spoke about the importance of school work and dedication while Dodge, who won Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers, talked about the importance of setting goals.

They spoke about what it takes to accomplish any personal goal in life. They emphasized the endless possibilities for youth — trying to extend their view beyond Jasper County, or even South Carolina.

In the second half, the Preachers and Deacons went on a 15-4 run to cut the All-Stars lead down to 39-31 as the Rocky Balboa “Eye of the Tiger” theme song bellowed through the gym. But then Jenkins, Dodge and the All-Stars extended the lead to 47-33, with just under five minutes left in the game.

“I got involved with the Preachers vs. Deacons organization from my dad living here and being involved in it. They asked me if I would like to participate and of course I did,” Jenkins said. “Just seeing the kids grow, thrive, and become successful is rewarding. I want them to see more than just Jasper County.”

Jenkins said his parents were great supporters of his dreams and pushed him to succeed in the classroom as well as on the football field. Jenkins graduated high school with a 3.9 GPA and a member of National Honors Society. He challenged himself with honors and advanced placement courses which helped him earn his scholarship to Ohio State for college football.

“Have a goal in mind, write it down and look at it every day,” said Jenkins about advice he’d give any young aspiring youth in the county. “Writing stuff down is so powerful.”

This was the first event Jenkins has been a part of in Jasper and he said he looks forward to doing more in the county.

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