Changed Life on Arizona Football Team

Cornerback enjoying growth in faith.

  • by Teresa Young

In Trevin Wade’s mind, Jon Demeter was pretty persistent in his invitations to visit with him about spiritual matters. What he didn’t realize was the persistence was not really from Demeter but from God Himself.

When he finally “gave in,” the senior University of Arizona football player began a journey that has resulted in amazing spiritual growth and leadership opportunities that he credits with changing his life for the better.

His sophomore year, Wade had a successful season on the field for the Wildcats, earning a place as a starting cornerback and making the All-Pac-10 team. But as his light shone brighter on the field, his relationship with God was dimming.

“I always went to chapel before every game, but I never got involved with Athletes in Action,” Wade says. “Every time I saw Jon and he’d ask to visit, I’d say ‘no thank you.’”

That next summer, Wade found himself with some struggles and this time, AIA campus director Demeter got a positive response.

“Initially, Trevin was hesitant to begin meeting. He had no idea that he had been in God’s cross-hairs for a while,” says Demeter, who has served with AIA at Arizona since 2005. “We began to meet every week, going over the basics of the Christian faith. But it took him a while to begin to open up.”

Wade sensed trouble was brewing on the spiritual side.

“I had a problem with getting credit from man instead of God, worrying about my image and all about myself,” Wade says. “I knew that the trials were testing my faith, like God was doing this for me by taking football and things away that I had on a platform.”

Wade was meeting regularly with Demeter and seeing things from a different perspective. It was “a rough three months,” but he kept reading the Bible and praying for strength. He attended the Athletes in Action winter retreat in nearby Flagstaff.

The lessons he learned there began the turnaround for Wade.

“I began doing better in the off-season, because now I knew who I was playing for,” Wade says.
As the school year began to wane, Demeter urged Wade to consider attending the AIA Ultimate Training Camp, a week-long experience in which athletes learn biblical principles tied in with athletics and physical training. The results were intense.

“I came back this year a different person. My life is really changed,” says Wade. “I’m playing for the Lord now and not worrying about myself anymore.”