TOWANDA, Ill. — Not too long ago, Michael Collins was hitting home runs for Heartland Community College in the college World Series. He was tearing it up on the mound helping his team, but he always felt there was more he could do for kids here in the Twin Cities.
“I picked him up one night for practice, and we talked about opening a facility,” said Jim Collins, Michael’s Dad. “He was getting ready to graduate from ISU, he would run the facility, we would have teams and I asked him what we would call it, and he said game 7.”
Michael died two weeks after that conversation, He was hit by a drunk driver. But his father never forgot, three years later game 7 sports was made.
“I just felt that there was a reason iI had that conversation with Michael in the car,” said Jim. “That something good had to come from this.”
So he scheduled a tryout and to his surprise tons of kids came out to be on the Game 7 baseball team.
“Me and four other teammates decided we were going to try out for this game 7 team,” said Sean Shook, 3rd Baseman & Pitcher for Game 7’s U17 team. “We weren’t really expecting much, when we got there we saw 40 other people there, and we were kinda like whoa this is kind of crazy.”
But that wasn’t the only thing surprising about Game 7.
“I had never seen a team pray before and after the game,” said Shook. “It’s kind of crazy to see, usually you just shake hands (with the other team) and you’re either frustrated or happy, but this is just completely different.”
Game 7 is an organization centered on Christ, teams play and pray together which some say is what makes this organization unique.
“Praying to god is not something that is easy for some people,” said Shook. “I feel like us being able to do that in front of 11 other players, but also the other team… we can kind of come together and realize we are just people.”
Game 7 has now expanded to 12 baseball teams, 11 basketball teams and 3 softball teams. Soon they will have their own practice facility as they’ve just put a lease down on this building in Towanda.
“This is something we’ve been talking about,” said Director of Baseball Operations, Scot Meece. “We’ve prayed about it, we’ve just really looked for that right place that the boys can just come in and relax. We will have music, we will have scriptures, we’ll have inspiring, uplifting things going on here.”
Jim says Game 7 is not stopping here, he hopes to add more teams from more sports in the future.
If you’re interested in being a part of this organization visit their Facebook page.