For the second year in a row, the Ole Miss Rebel softball team went to the FCA College Getaway retreat at Lake Forest Ranch.

It is a weekend that is filled with fellowship, canoeing, and Jesus.

Last year, Ole Miss head coach, Mike Smith, let his entire team go to this same retreat. It didn't take much for him to let them all go again.

"The FCA College Retreat was one of the key reasons for our teams success," said smith. "It was big in bringing our team together which resulted in us having an incredible season."
Ole Miss Softball at Lake Forest Ranch after FCA College Getaway in 2016. This was the second year in a row that the entire team went. Photo by: Ashlee Smith

Something that the players get to do each year is go canoeing.

Sarah Van Schaik, Paige McKinney, Ashton Lampton, Kylan Becker and Alyssa Gonzales (pictured at the top) smile for a picture before going canoeing during their freetime. Kennedy Legg and Dominique Salinas are in the water paddling out to the middle of the lake. Morgan Bruce and Kaylee Horton (pictured at the bottom) are ready to go out onto the water. Photos by: Ashlee Smith

Some of the players returned to their childhood and spent some time on the swings.

"It was good to get away from all the stress," said Allison Stark. "Personally, it was a way for me to get my mind away from everything and get more connected spiritually."
Dylinn Stancil, Allison Stark, and Gabby Alvarez spend their free time on the swings. Photos by: Ashlee Smith
"I felt like I had so much more confidence in myself after," said Gabby Alvarez. "IT MADE ME realize that I don't need to worry or have fear, because the Lord has chosen a path for me."

Another activity that the players enjoyed is rock climbing.

Alyssa Clayton, Dakota Matiko and Miranda Strother (from left to right) use their freetime to climb the rock wall at the ropes course. Photos by: Ashlee Smith
"Being able to not just enjoy each other's company but the power of christ was life changing," said Miranda Strother

At the end of the weekend, there was a competition between all the schools that were there. These schools included Ole Miss, Northwest Community College, Itawamba Community College, Northeast Community College and Mississippi State just to name a few.

They all competed in "Minute to Win It" games including, Keep It Up, Stack Attack and Junk in the Trunk.

Many Ole Miss players participated in the competitions on the last night of camp, including, Courtney Syrett, Dominique Salinas, Kylan Becker and Ashton Lampton. Photos by: Ashlee Smith
"Playing in the games is always fun," said Ashton Lampton. "It's a way that we [athletes] can get to know each other and show off the talent that God has given us."

For the Rebels, this weekend wasn't just about fun and games but it was about something so much bigger and so much more.

After the weekend ended, Paige McKinney, posted one of the pictures below with this caption.

"Every year, this camp blesses our team in more ways than I can even begin to name. So thankful to experience such a powerful spiritual refreshment before entering season. We serve an awesome God."
The Ole Miss Softball team at Lake Forest Ranch for FCA College Getaway 2017. Photo by: Ashlee Smith
"We were all able to bond over the weekend outside of the field," said Stark. "We used the weekend as a 'pick me up' when we got back to practices."

For Gabby Alvarez, she felt like it brought the whole team together and made them closer. It made them believe in one another and not just themselves.

"It was great to enjoy each other's company," said Alvarez. "[we] learned new things about one another."

With how well the team is doing so far this season, it is looking like a repeat of last season, when the Rebels went all the way to Regionals. The common denominator is FCA College Getaway.

The Rebels enjoying their last few moments at Lake Forest Ranch before returning to Oxford. Photo by: Ashlee Smith
"He's [jesus] there with us in every game, every practice and every situation," said Strother. "It helped us realize that we are so small and we aren't that important. He is and is the one who knows all and that includes wins and outcomes."

"giving it all up to him [jesus] makes playing the game that much better," said strother.

Created By
Ashlee Smith

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