Agape Christian Ready to Become IHSA Member School

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By WSIL Sports

MARION -- A Friday night at Agape Christian looks a lot like any other high school across southern Illinois during basketball season, with one major difference.

"We just have to say, you need to do your best but essentially your games don't count to get into any kind of postseason," Agape Christian Athletic Direcor Seth Knox said.

Agape Christian can not participate in the IHSA playoffs. The school is in the process of becoming a member school but currently only has approved status, meaning the Knights are excluded from playing in any tournament. Knox has spent the last few years working to get Agape accredited.

"We're excited because it's going to give our kids something else to shoot for," Knox said. "To say, your work does matter, it does pay off."

Agape Christian rents space from Community of Faith Church in Marion. The school has about 70 students and offers four different sports. Head boys basketball coach Frank Sanders says playing in a regional would mean a lot to his players.

"Could we get there with the talent we have? Who knows," Sanders said. "I'm not saying we would, I'm not saying we wouldn't, but at least it would be something the boys could look forward to."

"I think we would do really well, personally," Agape senior Landon Sanders added. "We've shown in past games how we can compete with other teams so I think we would do good."

The Knights play about sixty percent of their games against public schools. Earlier this year, Agape beat Galatia and Shawnee.

"I think a lot of times people think this is just a church team that plays church ball but that's not the case at all," Frank Sanders said.

Last week, Agape's school board unanimously voted to move forward with the application process, meaning the Knights are one step closer to becoming a full member institution.
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