CHEF kicks off season vs. Prentice Christian

The Christian Home Educators Fellowship football team hasn’t secured a stadium yet for its home opener next Friday.

“The thing is, we don’t have brick and mortar,” CHEF coach Jim Moslander said.

However, the lack of physical resources won’t keep CHEF from setting lofty goals — such as contending for the National Homeschool Football Association tournament title.

CHEF opens its regular season with a 7 p.m. Friday game at Prentiss Christian, located in Prentiss, Mississippi.

“I told these guys, ‘If you want to play ball and you want to continue to go to new heights, it doesn’t come to you, you have to work for it,’ ” Moslander said. “It’s like climbing a mountain. And they’re embracing it.”

The CHEF squad consists of players who are home schooled. The Patriots ended the 2013 season with a 9-4 record, including a 7-1 mark in the Association of Christian Educators League in the regular season before winning the ACEL postseason title. CHEF’s offense averaged 31 points per game while the defense only allowed an average of 16 points.

The Patriots return 14 starters, including the offensive core that features three seniors: quarterback Arek Moslander, wide receiver Spencer Costa and running back Tyler Dixon.

Arek Moslander threw 28 touchdowns and rushed for six more TDs last season. Arek Moslander passed for 1,756 yards and rushed for 219. Costa caught 19 passes, with 12 going for TDs, and averaged 41 yards per catch. Dixon was the team’s leading scorer, tallying 106 points for the Patriots off of touchdowns and two-point conversions.

The Patriots competed in 7-on-7 competitions with other teams in the Baton Rouge area during the summer as a tuneup for the season.

The ultimate goal is to contend for the National Homeschool Football Association tournament title in Panama City Beach, Florida. CHEF has competed in the tournament since 2009 but has never been a position to win it all.

“Each week we have a goal to reach, but our overall goal is to peak when we get to Panama City,” Jim Moslander said. “It’s great when these guys buy into it. I believe that the team has embraced it, and they’re going after it.”

Prentiss Christian is one of seven Mississippi Association of Independent Schools teams that CHEF will play this fall. It’s a move to improve its strength of schedule and gain national and name recognition.

“We probably have one of the toughest schedules we’ve had in the history of the program,” Jim Moslander said. “Until we play against teams that people can recognize and compare us with, it’s hard for people to know anything about us.”

CHEF beat Union Christian 28-0 in the University Academy jamboree last Friday. Jim Moslander said the Patriots played “smoothly and tenaciously,” and led 20-0 at halftime.

“I couldn’t be more proud of these guys,” Jim Moslander said. “I’m excited for them. As long as they keep their focus, I do believe they’re going to do well.

“I can’t ask for much more than that.”