Episodes

Episodes2020-02-28T04:22:15-05:00

CSR 85 Tomas Cerdeiras

Tomas Cerdeiras Episode 85 14 SEP 2020 An assistant coach for Belmont Abbey College’s men’s track and field. As a student-athlete there he became the school’s record-holder in the decathlon and earned All Region honors. He has also coached an

CSR 84 Sean Mock

Sean Mock Episode 84 7 SEP 2020 The Director of Player Development and Recruiting Coordinator for the Tulane University men’s basketball team, a position that he took approximately a year-and-a-half ago after having been special assistant to the head coach

CSR 83 Patrick Novecosky

Patrick Novecosky Episode 83 31 AUG 2020 He played baseball in elementary school, soccer in high school, and now in his adult life is an avid marathoner, including having participated in events from southern California to New York City to

CSR 82 Bas Rutten

Bas Rutten Episode 82 24 AUG 2020 A UFC Heavyweight Champion and three-time King of Pancrase world champion, he finished his career on a 22-fight unbeaten streak (21 wins, 1 draw). He has been inducted to the UFC Hall of

CSR 81 Toby Cook

Toby Cook Episode 81 17 AUG 2020 He is in his 14th full season with Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals, serving as the team’s Vice President of Publicity after having previously been their Vice President of Community Affairs &

CSR 80 Fr Michael Lightner

Fr Michael Lightner Episode 80 10 AUG 2020 He is an administrator of three churches in northeast Wisconsin. In his college days he was an offensive lineman, playing football at the University of Eastern Michigan, where he had earned a

CSR 79 John Jakubik

John Jakubik Episode 79 3 AUG 2020 A strength and conditioning specialist who played four years of college football at Michigan State after having played football and baseball at Kalamazoo College. After Michigan State he went on to be a
CSR 85 Tomas Cerdeiras2020-09-11T14:29:37-04:00

Tomas Cerdeiras

Episode 85

14 SEP 2020

An assistant coach for Belmont Abbey College’s men’s track and field. As a student-athlete there he became the school’s record-holder in the decathlon and earned All Region honors. He has also coached an NCAA DII All-American in heptathlon as well as a male and female freshman athlete of the year for their respective conferences.  Growing up he had competed in football, baseball, and basketball.

Guest quotes:

“When they had to leave (Cuba) because of the whole (Fidel) Castro thing, the one thing that they were able to take — you know, they lost everything, their farm, their families, and all that — but the one thing they were able to take when they moved here was their religion… My dad made it a thing to pass that down to us and to kind of share the importance of our religion, Jesus Christ.”

“Growing up it was rosaries every night, daily Mass, Mass on Sundays.”

“Homeschool was really, for me, what I remember, is reading a bunch of saint books… It kind of really helped me… growing in my faith.”

“My dad basically said, like, ‘Son, I don’t care where you go.  Just make sure it’s a good Catholic school, and we’ll worry about the money later’.”

“My dad, at the time, wasn’t sure how he was going to send… us to a private, liberal arts, Catholic school in North Carolina… He started to say a nine-day novena to St. Joseph… and on the last day of the novena we got a check for a large sum of money and all it said on the check was, ‘This is for Tomas’s education’.”

“I think I owe a lot of my spiritual life to a particular monk that I would go to for spiritual direction.”

“I was reading a lot into St. Padre Pio and all of his miracles and his relationship with God.”

“We go through valleys and mountains… But every time you get out of the valley, God gives you the gifts to kind of make you stronger and get you ready for heaven ultimately.”

“It was really just God saying, like, ‘This is the woman for you.’  And we would go to the chapel together and pray all the time.  And it was really a blessing.  And now we’re married.  We just bought our first house and God’s really blessed me with Julia and our marriage.”

“I was working at a secular school for a year and really what I was missing when I was working there was the religious aspect, ya’ know, being part of a Catholic school where I can preach about Jesus Christ.”

“One of my student-athletes, after talking to her… eventually she decided to convert to Catholicism and I was her godfather.”

Related link:

Belmont Abbey College Men’s Track & Field

(This episode contains a prayer from the National Catholic Coaches Association’s “The Leadership Papers,” although originally credited in there to The Coach’s Bible.)
CSR 84 Sean Mock2020-09-06T20:53:09-04:00

Sean Mock

Episode 84

7 SEP 2020

The Director of Player Development and Recruiting Coordinator for the Tulane University men’s basketball team, a position that he took approximately a year-and-a-half ago after having been special assistant to the head coach at Georgia State. Before that he served as an assistant coach at Henderson State, which came after a two-year stint at Northwood University where he finished up as associate head coach. He has also been Director of Basketball Operations at Miami University in Ohio, where he had played for four years.

Guest quotes:

“I’ve been blessed in the sense that I don’t feel like I’ve ever really had to work a real job in my life.  Basketball has always been a big part of what I do, and it’s been able to provide for me and my family for a while now.”

“I was born Catholic, cradle Catholic, both (of) my parents are still together, and they were both Catholics and raised Catholic, so, being Catholic has been a huge part of my life and my faith.  I have a younger brother and a younger sister who remain active in the faith as well.  And I’ve just been very lucky to have that as the root and the foundation of who I am.”

“I think the biggest thing for me was that my faith — and even as I’ve kind of moved around — my faith has always been the foundation.  I always say it’s the one thing in life that is your constant… It’s the one thing that can never be taken away from you.”

“No matter how tough life gets, no matter how frustrating things may be, your faith and God is always what’s going to be there for you.  And that’s the part that always I’ve been able to go back to.  And to be honest with you, I don’t know how I could’ve done or gotten or dealt with many things without that faith.”

“Basketball is not who I am, at all.  It’s what I do.”

“God really doesn’t care whether you win or you lose.  Now, He wants you to give your best effort and do the best, ya’ know, use your gifts as He’s given you.  But that’s not who you are.  It’s what you do and it’s how you use His gifts that matter.”

“What I’ve always enjoyed about the Catholic Mass is the consistency of it.  How everywhere you go it’s the same.  I know that when I go to Mass in New Orleans, Louisiana, my parents that are near Cincinnati, Ohio, they’re going to that same Mass, they’re hearing the same readings.  And to me that’s always been something that’s very comforting.”

“In any part of life, God puts people in front of you at any given moment at any different time and it’s your job to be His hands on earth.  And it’s your job to do His work.  Somebody once told me that you may, as a person, you may be the only Bible somebody ever reads.  So, you have to be ready; when that time comes, you have to be ready.”

“I know God has always taken care of me and He always will.”

“I think that that journey, you gotta trust God and, just, with open arms just follow Him and realize, you know what, it’s in my control but ultimately it really isn’t in my control.”

Related link:

Sean’s Tulane University bio

(This episode contains a prayer from the National Catholic Coaches Association’s “The Leadership Papers,” although originally credited in there to The Coach’s Bible.)
CSR 83 Patrick Novecosky2020-08-31T14:41:35-04:00

Patrick Novecosky

Episode 83

31 AUG 2020

He played baseball in elementary school, soccer in high school, and now in his adult life is an avid marathoner, including having participated in events from southern California to New York City to Naples, Florida, and even Rome, Italy. Meanwhile, he wrote a book called, 100 Ways John Paul II Changed the World, and has won more than two dozen awards from the Catholic Press Association. He met Pope St. John Paul II five times!  He also talks here about having gone five times to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

Guest quotes:

“My dad had had two goals in life.  One was to be married for 50 years, which he accomplished, and have a large family and raise them in the faith, which he did… His pride and joy was knowing that he raised his family … to know Jesus and to love their Catholic faith.”

“The faith… was the base that I grew up with and when times got tough, I turned to God and the church and never looked back.”

“As human beings we’re a body and spirit, so we need to feed both of them and some of the lessons I learned in sports, both in baseball and in soccer, have stayed with me.”

“When I get to heaven… I’ll just be overwhelmed by God himself and the heavenly hosts and all that.”

“Basically, my whole career as a journalist, as an editor, as a publicist, has been in the Catholic faith.  So, God had this plan for me, that I never could have foreseen to be working in His church for my entire life.”

“And my boss said, ‘Would you like to meet the Pope?’  And I said, ‘Do you need to ask?! If there’s a list, just put me on it, please.’  And they put me on the list and on October 1st, 1997, I met John Paul II for the first time.”

“I’m just a farm kid from Saskatchewan, I’m speaking to the greatest Pope in a thousand years and he’s listening to me.  Incredibly humble.  I felt very humble to have that opportunity…  Not only that, I got to attend his Mass, in his private chapel, in the Papal apartments, across the hall from his bedroom, his study where he did all of his great work.  In his private chapel where he prayed and did some of his greatest work.  And it was one of the greatest days of my life.”

“I do find (Pope St. John Paul II) as – because I met him so many times – as one of my personal patrons.  So absolutely, I pray for his intercession pretty regularly.”

“When I was a teenager, I made a pledge to ride my bicycle across Canada – five thousand miles – to raise awareness for Pro-Life issues.  My parents vetoed that idea, but I publicly said that I would do this and made the commitment to do this as a 16-year old Canadian kid. So, Pro-Life has been one of my passions.”

Related link:

Patrick’s book – 100 Ways John Paul II Changed the World

(This episode contains a prayer originally excerpted and adapted from Day By Day: The Notre Dame Prayerbook for Students by Thomas McNally, as seen in Play Like A Champion Today’s prayerbook for sports, God, Be In My Sport)
CSR 82 Bas Rutten2020-08-23T18:46:24-04:00

Bas Rutten

Episode 82

24 AUG 2020

A UFC Heavyweight Champion and three-time King of Pancrase world champion, he finished his career on a 22-fight unbeaten streak (21 wins, 1 draw). He has been inducted to the UFC Hall of Fame and has appeared in movies and on TV shows. He is a retired mixed martial artist, karate and taekwondo black belt, and Muay Thai kickboxer.

Guest quotes:

“I was the ‘leper’ in school, something I, of course, hated at the time, but now I kind of embrace it because isn’t in the Bible the word, right, leper?”

“A woman, something happened, boom, I’m in, ya’ know. I always felt the need to take care of the problem because now it was my gift, I thought.”

“I think (God) waited. He waited for the right moment… He also gave me a whole bunch of injuries, to make me retire, which was something I hated at the time but now I’m embracing it.”

“Everybody in hell is proud.”

“I’m very happy now that everything was done the way it was done and I truly believe that when I was ten years old there was a little seed planted in my head by the Lord.”

“And then a whole St. Thérèse thing starts happening… Everything started flowing together. It was just really weird, and, but really cool.”

“Slowly but surely I started doing everything in Latin.  I think it’s a little bit deeper for me.  I also like Latin Mass a lot.”

“I always wanted to say… ‘Hey, for all the people who do this, this, and this, read Revelation 3:16.’  This is where Jesus talks about the lukewarm, that he will [spit you] out of [my] mouth… They’re in the middle, who do just the minimum amount to get passed by.  He’s not really happy with those people.”

“I need at least an hour-and-a-half in the morning for my prayers and my meditation and for everything that I do, the daily readings, and I go into the reflection, I go really deep, the divine intimacy, I do a lot.”

“Doing a small good thing is still doing good.  Doing a small evil thing is still doing evil.  It doesn’t matter what measure it is.  Evil is evil, good is good.  So, try to always do something good, and not evil.”

Related link:

Bas Rutten’s website

CSR 81 Toby Cook2020-08-16T22:37:42-04:00

Toby Cook

Episode 81

17 AUG 2020

He is in his 14th full season with Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals, serving as the team’s Vice President of Publicity after having previously been their Vice President of Community Affairs & Publicity. It is baseball that he credits with leading him to the Catholic church, which he officially became a part of twelve years ago. He shares that story – and more – during this conversation.

Guest quotes:

“I grew up in a loving household with my parents… and I’m the fourth of four (children).”

“I was a television anchor and reporter for 15 years.  I started off at a small radio station… I actually sat there in the control room and ran the board… at a radio station for Royals baseball games, which is really funny how that all came about.”

“In a small town in southeast Kansas, there was very little hostility with Roman Catholics.”

“I really do believe… all of this was a part of my eventual coming into the Catholic Church.  This was my seeking.  This was my searching.  This was my – to use a great phrase – discernment.  And I didn’t know it at the time.”

“I finally confirmed that call to fatherhood as a part of my Catholic conversion and a look at the vocation of marriage.”

“I’m convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that I finally got to go to work for the Royals after all these years because I was supposed to become Catholic.”

“Mike (Sweeney) arranged for the local bishop to come and say Mass at the stadium.”

“I’m very grateful that my Catholic faith has enlightened basically everything I do (at the Royals).”

“I think that there is a lesson to be learned when it comes to sports and how we can apply some of the disciplines and practices of sports to our faith.”

“What my Catholic faith has taught me is that it’s not about me and that I can let go and let God in so many ways.”

“It’s been miraculous to me that I’ve been able to see my Catholic faith and my work in baseball become more and more seamless as I’ve gone on.  Hopefully because I’m listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.”

Related link:

Toby’s mlb.com (Royals) bio page

(This episode contains a prayer attributed to legendary Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne, as seen in Play Like A Champion Today’s prayerbook for sports, God, Be In My Sport)
CSR 80 Fr Michael Lightner2020-08-06T15:56:12-04:00

Fr Michael Lightner

Episode 80

10 AUG 2020

He is an administrator of three churches in northeast Wisconsin. In his college days he was an offensive lineman, playing football at the University of Eastern Michigan, where he had earned a scholarship after having played football in high school. He was invited to try out with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns and later would be inducted into the Sports Faith International Hall of Fame.

Guest quotes:

“I was the youngest of six living children, eleven all together, my mom had some miscarriages and so I have brothers and sisters in the Kingdom already.”

“Anybody ever asked me what I was going to do from… when I was eight years old and on up, they asked me and I’d say, ‘I’m going to play professional football’.”

“(Football) was the thing.  It was, ya’ know, it was a rivalry to God for sure.  And probably a false god in my life.”

“I work with high school kids, I do football camps and things like that to help kids understand (that) the power of being a team is very, very important.”

“My mom was a big proponent of Fatima and Lourdes.  She loved the Blessed Mother.  She loved to pray the rosary.”

“For the first time in my life God presented Himself in a way that I knew it could only be Him.”

“My godfather, who is a priest who… was there at my baptism, he wrote me three letters and he predicted the priesthood for me, and I didn’t receive these until I committed to it and it shocked me.”

“The miracles of the gospels, they’re right there for us.  God is real.  God is present.  And if we have the courage to ask Him to open our eyes, we’ll be able to see.”

“My favorite in all of scripture is John 4:20, and it’s the woman at the well.”

“God is looking out for his people.  But we have to go to Him.  We have to ask for what He wants us to receive.  We have to open our hearts, and if we know that, then we’re doing our job.”

Related link:

YouTube channel mentioned by Fr. Michael

CSR 79 John Jakubik2020-08-13T10:46:59-04:00

John Jakubik

Episode 79

3 AUG 2020

A strength and conditioning specialist who played four years of college football at Michigan State after having played football and baseball at Kalamazoo College. After Michigan State he went on to be a graduate assistant/wide receivers coach at Missouri Western State University and later was an Ohio State University Strength and Conditioning intern. In his teen years he attended Detroit Catholic Central High School, where he played football, baseball, and basketball. Currently he also hosts the Coach Kub podcast.

Guest quotes:

“(I) grew up in a Catholic household.  Both parents attended Catholic grade school, Catholic high school… Myself and my two younger brothers… We attended Our Lady of Good Counsel (grade school).”

“I think I was very blessed with a lot of athletic ability, so a lot of these sports did come fairly easy to me and with that I think it helped me progress and learn to love the game, and not just one but a multitude of games, in different sports.”

“I’m forever grateful for the things that sports has done for me.”

“I’m very proud of myself for being consistent with going to Mass and going to Conf– and doing these different things and staying pretty involved in my faith.”

“I had some trials and tribulations at Kalamazoo (College) that first year, but my faith definitely kept me on the right path when things could’ve went in the wrong direction.”

“I think it’s really cool, again when you’re surrounded by people who are on these bigger stages – the basketball guys, the football guys, whatever – but at the end of the day none of that stuff matters without our faith and what we believe in and what we stand on.”

“I try to become the very best version of myself before I can help others on that same journey.  And the foundation of that process… has been my faith.  It always has been, it always will be.”

“God’s teaching us something.  There’s a lesson to be learned in all of this.”

Related link:

John’s website and podcast

[This episode contains a prayer (poem) by Central Catholic High School (Pittsburgh, PA) Principal Ed Bernot, as seen in Play Like A Champion Today’s prayerbook for sports, God, Be In My Sport]