Every road trip for the Concordia College Alabama (Selma, Ala.) Hornets football team begins with prayer, and the bus trip from Selma to Birmingham, Ala., on Sept. 21 was no exception. Coach Don Lee gathered the players in a circle and prayed for God to watch over them, grant them safe travels and keep them injury-free.
Just a few hours later, on Highway 219, the bus they were riding in blew a tire, then a second tire, igniting the gas tank, which exploded and set the bus on fire.
All 62 people on the bus — the players, coaches and bus driver — escaped safely and without injury. But all of their equipment — valued at more than $70,000 — was destroyed.
“We are so thankful God kept us safe,” said Lee. “We always pray before we travel, and yes — we know the power of prayer!”
Lee said the team “wanted to get our equipment, but there was no time. I told everyone to leave everything and just get off” since “the back of the bus was already on fire and it was spreading fast.”
Because of the isolated area, no one had cell-phone coverage, so no one could call for help, Lee said. “Someone finally stopped and let us use her TracFone so we could make key calls.”
Equipment lost in the blaze included headsets and helmets, uniforms, shoulder and knee pads, shoes, cameras and the players’ personal belongings. Dallas County High School has offered to donate shoulder pads, and Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Mich., also has offered help.
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