MARSHFIELD, Mo. – Sports have been a favorite pastime of student athletes in traditional public schools over the years. An organization in Marshfield provides the same opportunity for athletes who are homeschooled or attending a private school with no sports program.
In the early spring of 2021, Shannon and Joy Pruiett started Cristiani into action. The pair quickly began recruiting volunteer board members and have elected seven since the CIA’s arrival on the local sports scene.
“As we prayed about this, we felt like we should start this program,” Shannon told The Heartlander.
CIA offers girls and boys basketball, cheering, cross country, women’s volleyball, and men’s baseball. In addition to his leadership role, Shannon is the head coach of the varsity boys’ basketball team. The organization’s athletes play with other Christian schools and homeschool teams.
Shannon says there was talk of joining the Missouri State High School Activities Association, but her group felt there were many other privateer teams to play with in the region.
The CIA is currently loaded with 70 area kids in all sports. Some athletes travel from Lebanon, Fair Grove, Springfield, Seymour and Ava.
About 30 families are currently involved with the CIA
“It has expanded rapidly and grown faster than we expected,” he said. “I tell parents when they join our program, if they are looking for a program whose primary focus is on winning games, we are probably not the program for them. Even though we will try to be competitive and win matches, that’s not our main goal.
“Our goal is to hopefully help athletes learn the game, play it right with sportsmanship while reflecting God, and help student athletes grow as people and Christians.”
Shannon told The Heartlander that God comes before sports, and that’s the motto of the CIA
A household name on the men’s basketball team has even earned a scholarship offer from the coaches at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas: Shannon and Joy Pruiett’s son Bryce has been playing since he was a child and has always wanted to go beyond the high school level.
Additionally, Coach Pruiett says standout freshman Samson Stalker has great potential to someday play at the varsity prom.
For more information, contact Coach Shannon Pruiett here or call 417-893-8656.