HSFT Stop #37: Columbus Christian Academy

STEENS, Miss. (WCBI) — Chris Craven has taken over as the head football coach at Columbus Christian Academy, coming to Steens after working at Oak Hill Academy and Starkville Academy. Craven is now the fifth head coach the Rams have had in six years, but he said he’s here to stay.

“My journey to get here was just a process of praying and trying to go where I feel like God leads me,” Craven said. “I felt like He led me to Columbus Christian Academy, and to be with these guys.”

A main reason CCA brought in Craven was to help transition the program from MAIS 2A to 3A — jumping from 8-man football to 11-man football.

“I coached in that league for many years, so we’ve got our work cut out for us,” Craven said. “But we’re committed to building a program and we’re committed to growing.”

Senior Sterling Caston said there have been a lot of changes making the transition, but they are ready for 11-man.

With just 18 players on the roster, the Rams will be one of the smaller teams in 3A. That’s why weight-lifting and running have been a focus this offseason.

“Conditioning has been really tough,” senior Patrick Matos said. “Pretty much we’re all going to play the whole game. That’s just how it is. Suck it up.”

Columbus transfer Michael Fearce has been able to bring his experience in to help his teammates.

Although the transition has its growing pains, it’s about setting up the future of Rams football for success.

“We’re hoping that we can grow this program into a program that our community and our school and our families will be proud of,” Craven said. 

Categories: 2023 High School Football Tour, High School Sports, Local Sports, Sports