Starkville High School linebacker David Fair (3) reaches out to make a tackle on Saltillo quarterback Andrew Soper. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
The Footprints Prayer is an inspirational poem about having faith in God.
Also known as "Footprints in the Sand," the prayer shows how God is always present, especially in times of need.
The poem describes a person walking along the beach with the Lord and leaving two sets of footprints in the sand, then at the very lowest and saddest times of the life of the individual, the person notices there are only one set of footprints in the sand and it appears the Lord was not there.
When the person questions the Lord about it, He replied that there was no way He would leave during times of trial and suffering. The Lord explained that when there were only one set of footprints, that's when He carried the person.
Starkville High School linebacker David Fair knows he's not alone on the football field.
Fair is not supposed to be playing football right now because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus.
Against Madison Central this season, Fair injured the knee for a third time and was faced with another potential setback.
Instead of accepting that his senior season was done, Fair trusted in God, got back on the field and fought through the adversity. He continues to play at a high level for the Yellow Jackets.
"The biggest thing has been his faith in God," SHS linebackers coach Tate Fischer said. "The third time he got hurt, he questioned why, and it was a demon he had to deal with. He had a rough week, but we made it through the weekend with he and I texting and calling each other. He got his life centered and what he's done has just been a true testament to his faith in God."
Fair is fifth for the Jackets in tackles with 59 and he has three tackles for loss, six sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
"I truly thank God and feel like he's blessed me to be able to finish this season with a torn ACL and meniscus," Fair said. "It's definitely all Christ and I give Him all the glory for it. I just go out and play."
Sometimes Fair plays with pain, but it is something he deals with and even though medicine helps, he ultimately knows to "thank God and be amazed."
Fair's determination has been an inspiration to his teammates and coaches.
On basically one knee, Fair is able to chase down opposing offensive players from behind.
"It's amazing what he's doing," SHS defensive coordinator Brooks Oakley said. "He's making those kind of plays with one ACL. We were talking (Sunday night) about what he would be if he were 100 percent healthy. Our guys see him and are obviously going to give it everything they have because they see David playing with one ACL."
Fair is a part of an SHS defense that shut down a very good Oxford offense to win a 28-7 decision last week.
Coaches agreed it may have been the best defensive effort of the season for the Jackets.
Oakley said the defensive backs "played exceptional" against Charger quarterback Parker Adamson.
SHS head coach Jamie Mitchell also noticed the unit made it very difficult on Adamson, a signal caller he chose for the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic.
"(Oxford) threw it 38 times and only completed 18 of those," Mitchell said. "We were able to control the running game with minimal people at the line of scrimmage and it allowed us to do some better things in the secondary. It was really an outstanding performance and they've been mighty good all year long. Hopefully, they've got two more in them."
The Jackets host the West Point Green Wave for the Class 5A North championship on Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
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