American Dream: God. Family. Football.
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GOD. FAMILY. FOOTBALL.
Amazon Freevee is now streaming the team’s 2022 season in an original unscripted docuseries titled, God. Family. Football. All six episodes from the docuseries are available now on Freevee in the U.S. The series features the players, coaching staff, and the Shreveport community during the 2022 Louisiana high school football season. Coach Denny unites the team with a simple formula, “God first, family second, and football third.”
The opportunity for the docuseries came about through Coach Denny’s friend, Aaron Benward. He always wanted to tell Coach Denny’s story. When Aaron became a producer of Watershed Producing, he began pursuing the opportunity. He created and executive produced the series. Jared Goetz of Ascending Media Group, and NFL Quarterback, Russell Wilson, also serve as Executive Producers. “What drew me to this project and inspired me to help tell God. Family. Football’s story of teamwork, hard work, and discipline was Coach Denny’s faith-first approach to the game,” shares Russell. “As the leader of Evangel Christian Academy, one of the top football programs in the country, Coach Denny not only preaches but exemplifies what it means to be a winner on and off the field, and it is an honor to be able to share his lessons and legacy.”
RETURN TO COACHING
After Evangel Christian Academy’s worst season in school history, Coach Denny came out of a thirty-year retirement (2020) in an attempt to lead the football program he founded back to the national stage. “When it was clear that we had entered a season where we were literally starting over as a football team, I could not resist the opportunity to be a part of it…It felt just like 1989 when we started the first time," shares Coach Denny. “I believe God called me then, and I believe He is calling me again.”
In the early mornings, they start the day with meditation and worship led by Bible scholar, Ervin Rutherford. For each player, they purchased a leather-bound Bible with their name on it. The book has wide margins so they can take notes. “It has changed them from the inside out. Many of them had never read the Bible. Lives and attitudes have changed,” shares Coach Denny. Evangel finished the 2022 season with a 7-5 overall record, 5-2 in District 1-4A and made it to the second round of the Division II Select playoffs.
At age 71, Coach Denny has no plans of retiring anytime soon. “As long as I have breath in my lungs and I’m able to move, I want to be used by God,” shares Coach Denny.
COACH DENNY’S STORY
While attending Louisiana Tech University, Coach Denny played as a quarterback from 1972-1973. He led his team to two national championships and was twice named all-Southland Conference first-team quarterback and in 1973 was chosen as the Southland Conference Most Valuable Offensive player. His senior year he was drafted in the second round by the Birmingham Americans of the new World Football League where he played for two years. In 1976, he signed with the Washington Redskins, but heard the call to preach in training camp. The Washington Star headline the next day read, “Even Redskins no match for the call of God.” Denny traveled the world as an evangelist and returned to Shreveport in 1984. In 1989, his mom and dad, the founders of Evangel Christian Academy, asked him to start a football program at the school. He wanted to help his dad and serve him well. A few years later, he also began to pastor Shreveport Community Church.
Under Coach Denny’s leadership, Evangel achieved national prominence with 14 state championships in the last 20 years, 14 grads that played in the NFL, 12 district championships, and one national championship. He served for six years as head coach and offensive coordinator for fourteen. USA Today named Evangel Christian Academy as One of the top 8 high schools to springboard players to the NFL.” Josh Booty, a former Evangel player, NFL quarterback, and MLB third baseman, has two sons playing for the team.
In 2017, Coach Denny was inducted into the Louisiana Tech Football Hall of Fame. In addition to coaching Evangel Christian Academy’s football program, Denny is the Chancellor of the school and the Assistant Pastor of Shreveport Community Church in Shreveport, Louisiana.
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