MARSHFIELD, Mo. – Sports have been a favorite pastime for student athletes at traditional public schools throughout the years. One organization in Marshfield is offering the same opportunity to athletes who are homeschooled or attend a private school without sports programs.
In early spring 2021, Shannon and Joy Pruiett started Christians in Action. The couple quickly began recruiting volunteer board members and have elected seven of them since the arrival of C.I.A. on the local sports scene.
“As we prayed about it, we felt like we were supposed to start this program,” Shannon told The Heartlander.
C.I.A. offers girls and boys basketball, cheer, cross country, girls volleyball and boys baseball. On top of his leadership role, Shannon is the head coach of the varsity boys basketball team. The organization’s athletes play other Christian schools and homeschool teams.
Shannon says there was talk of joining the Missouri State High School Activities Association, but his group felt there were plenty of other private teams to play within the region.
C.I.A. is currently loaded with 70 area kids across all sports. Some athletes travel from as far as Lebanon, Fair Grove, Springfield, Seymour and Ava.
Approximately 30 families are currently involved with C.I.A.
“It has expanded quickly and grew faster than we were anticipating,” he said. “I tell parents when they join our program, if they’re looking for a program that their main focus is winning games we are probably not the program for them. While we are going to try to be competitive and try to win games, that is not our main focus.
“Our focus is hopefully helping the athletes to learn the game, play the game the right way with sportsmanship while reflecting God, and to help student athletes grow as people and Christians.”
Shannon told The Heartlander God comes before sports, and that is the motto for C.I.A.
A familiar name on the boys basketball team has even earned a scholarship offer from coaches at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas: Shannon and Joy Pruiett’s son Bryce has been playing since he was a small child, and always wanted to go beyond the high school level.
Additionally, Coach Pruiett says standout freshman Samson Stalker has great potential to play college ball one day.
For more information reach out to Coach Shannon Pruiett here or call 417-893-8656.