SOARing at First Baptist Concord

College ‘Dunk team’ has Eaves, FBC youth flying high

The gym was roaring at First Baptist Concord.

Athletes from Liberty University bounced off trampolines to hang from the net, somersaulted 15 feet up in the air and wowed a crowd of about 300 in the church’s student gym Wednesday, Oct. 4.

The SOAR [Soul’d Out And Ready] Dunk team uses trampolines to do acrobatic maneuvers as part of a traveling Christian youth ministry, dazzling crowds of all ages — and the crowd of children and teens at FBC obviously were amazed.

After the team performed for about 30 minutes, they asked for volunteers.

“It was electrifying,” said Marcus Eaves, FBC student pastor. “I was amazed that a human being can get that high in the air. To see people dunk and do incredible tricks is pretty amazing, especially when you see it in person. It makes you want to try it.”

“I thought it was a fantastic thing that the church was able to bring them here. It was awesone,” said John Scavone, a home-schooled freshman.

Eaves and about 11 others, including Scavone, an elementary-aged girl and a security guard, got their chance about 30 minutes into the event when the team asked for volunteers.

Each person ran with a basketball from the back of the gym to the front, where they bounced off a trampoline and attempted to dunk or simply sink the basket.

The students chanted, “Marcus! Marcus! Marcus!” as Eaves got ready for his turn.

“I was thinking, ‘Just don’t fall and break something and be extremely embarrassed in front of all the students,’” Eaves said. “I really wanted to dunk it. The crowd really wanted me to do it and was rooting for me.

“I didn’t quite dunk the ball, but I didn’t wimp out and not try. I felt like Superman for a second and then I realized I have a dad bod.”

“I had a little bit of a nerve-wracking moment before I started,” Scavone said.

He was a natural and made two attempts, dunking the ball on the second one. He did a third run and did a front flip with a 360-degree spin. After the event ended, SOAR members encouraged him to try out for the Liberty University team.

“I’ll look into it,” he said. “I could possibly go there.”

After the volunteers finished, Liberty University team member Matthew Angell, a native of Canada, talked to the students about life at the university and about his experience as a Christian.

“Letting Jesus into your heart will be the best decision you ever make,” he said.

“It was just a fun event where we could all get together and do something different,” Eaves said. “Christianity isn’t supposed to be boring. We don’t do things just to do things. We want to present the Gospel in everything we do.”