Hey Defender Nation...Go Defender Nation...Atta Way

 coach penner addressing his team

coach penner addressing his team

Saturday was Dordt's last football game of the season. (They won, whoop whoop!) I'm just going to share a few words on how awesome the football program is from what I have seen of it on the sidelines.

 the "atta ways"

the "atta ways"

At the end of every game the team circles up and Coach Penner leads them in some closing remarks about the game (or in yesterday's case, about the season and specifically the seniors.) Following that, he encourages his players to start their "atta ways." What occurs then is one of the coolest things I have ever seen, and each week, I swear it only gets cooler. Players take turns raising their hands and Coach Penners calls on them. They stand, call out a specific teammate, group of guys, coach, etc. and accredit them with some positive comment about that specific game or week of practice (or in yesterday's case again, the season.) It concludes with either their name on the count of three, or the team doing a call-and-reponse "Hey ___, go ____, atta way" ending with two claps. These "atta ways" go on for quite some time before coach tells the team that it is their final one. Honestly though, how cool is that?! Coach Penner also takes the time to realize the support system of Dordt Football by continually thanking them each week and giving "Defender Nation" an "atta way." Yesterday ended with the coaches, spouses, and children receiving an "atta way" for their support and dedication to the football program because man oh man, it's a great one. After the "atta ways," everyone (players, coaches, and Defender Nation fans gathered on the field) gathers in to a tight huddle and places hands on one another while Coach Penner offers up a prayer of thanksgiving. What a way to witness!!

 defender nation prayer

defender nation prayer

If Dordt football is not a program entirely dedicated to the work of the college-"equipping students, alumni, and the broader community to work effectively toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life" then I don't know what is. Encouragement, passion, and hard work all done with the glory given back to God. Soli deo gloria. :)

HUGE thank you to Adri Van Groningen for the awesome images.

-Hayley