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Students stay safe, have fun in Fifth Quarter

Students stay safe, have fun in Fifth Quarter

October 3rd, 2018 by Liz Morales, emorales@californiademocrat.com in Local News

Mayhem involving youth often occur after home football games. Realizing this truth, three area churches have come together to provide an alternative action.

While the founding night of Fifth Quarter is a date unknown, the event is still taking place. Main Street Baptist Church, First Baptist Church and Lebanon Baptist Church plan to work together to host a fun night of games, snacks and overall fellowship for school-aged students who are just looking for a good time.

Each of the churches take turns holding Fifth Quarter, named as the event follows the four quarters of the home football game.

Last week, First Baptist Church housed participants after the Pintos took on the Eldon Mustangs. First Baptist Pastor Jeremy Anderson said the protocol for Fifth Quarter is similar for the three churches.

"It lasts from whenever the kids get (to the church) at about 9:30 p.m. until about 11 p.m.," Anderson said. "We play different games and sometimes try to come up with different things to do. Depending on the crowd, they can play dodgeball, basketball, volleyball, whatever whoever is hosting comes up with."

Anderson said there is usually a youth leader from the respective church and volunteer parents are there to supervise the ongoings of the night.

"This is all an effort from our churches to provide a safe environment for kids to go to after the games," Anderson said. "You know, sometimes junior high or high schoolers aren't ready to go home yet after a game. So, we give a safe space for them to have fun and try to be a positive impact."

Another host of Fifth Quarter is Lebanon Baptist Church, in McGirk. While the parish does not have a gym, they have the option to take advantage of the great outdoors when it's their turn. Lebanon Baptist Pastor Jeremy Barnard said the event is certainly "not exclusive to Baptists."

"Fifth Quarter is open to anyone and everybody that wants to go," Barnard said. "It's a great alternative to other activities that may not be as wholesome or healthy.

"It's in a safe environment that is Biblically-based, full of games and fellowship for everyone to unite as followers of Jesus and grow together."