NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The stakes couldn't be larger for the boys' all-stars from Nacogdoches County. They are hoping to get their first win in the Pineywoods Showdown.
If they get it they will be helping a Nacogdoches children's ministry.
The non-profit organization, Glory Gang Ministries, started 14 years ago with one purpose.
"Our main goal is to be a place where kids feel safe and loved and when they come in to know that there are people who care about them," said Glory Gang Founder, Richard Konderla.
Volunteers from all over Nacogdoches bus in kids for a weekly service followed by a meal.
Coach Kevin Herron hooked up with the charity several years ago.
"To me it just exemplifies what we are to be about in the community, and that is giving hope to kids and that is what glory gang does," said Herron.
Players also see the importance of the group.
"You come out here and walk through the door and see all the kids throwing balls, smiling and running around. It's just nice seeing the kids have a good time," said Central Heights Senior Blake Jordan.
"It's a good thing for the people and young kids of the community of nacogdoches to have and believe in," said Chireno Senior, Chase Higgenbotham.
Konderla is happy his ministry is involved with this year's showdown.
"They'll be aware of what we are doing, because we always need more help," said Konderla.
Seeing the joy on the kid's faces only adds to the motivation.
"I'm not here to play to win. I'm here for these kids and to give them all I got in that game," said Jordan.
The games tip off Thursday April 25 at panther gym with the girls starting at 6 P.M. followed immediately by the boys.
To learn more about Glory Gang Ministries click here.