SSN Athlete Feature: Jackson Philhower

Delaney Crace

From Faith to Football

Jackson’s practice of faith on and off of the field

Photo provided by Melissa Philhower

Before another big game, the group of boys with names and numbers on their backs are huddled together, praying. As the music is blaring and fans are cheering from the stands, the boys run through the tunnel, but that’s not where it ends. They then run to the endzone on the opposite side of the field and take a knee. There’s one boy who places his hand on another player’s shoulder, praying over him. The boy with his hand extended is junior offensive lineman, Jackson Philhower. 

Philhower’s family is very involved in their church. Philhower actually started his football career for the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) league. Growing up in the church, he attended the church’s student nights in junior high and retreats during his high school years. This has grown him into the person he is on and off of the field. “I bring my faith onto the field during team prayers in the locker room before games and praying on the opposite end zone after running out of the tunnel. I like to find a team mate to pray with and for during that time before the game,” Philhower says.

Photo provided by Chris Stein

A church friend of Philhower and class of 2020 linebacker, Chris Stein, says 

“Jackson is a very hard worker. He always goes the extra mile in everything he does. You can see that everything he does is always with so much effort.” Chris Stein also says that you can really see his growth and faith off the field during youth group nights and on the field during prayers before games. Philhower also looks up to senior, Brandon Gonzalez, on the football team. He explains that the way Brandon does things is so great as a player.

“I integrate God into my life by always thanking Him. Even if things don’t go the way I expected them to, I know that it is His plan and He is always trying to teach me something no matter what happens,” Philhower describes when asked how he integrates God into his life outside of football. You can catch Philhower on the football field on Friday nights and with his youth group friends in the front of the church on Sunday evenings.

Photo provided by Jackson Philhower