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A mission trip to Honduras during the offseason shaped the way Kyle Guins viewed the world.
The Bunker Hill senior offensive lineman has emerged as a leader for the Bears on the gridiron and is using his faith to bond his teammates together.
Guins and members of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Conover made the trek to El Progreso, Honduras in late July.
The trip, which was Guinsâ first of the mission variety, was a year in the making.
âLast year, our churchâs youth pastor said they were going on a mission trip,â Guins said. âHe opened it up to juniors and seniors. I was a junior then. I wanted to go. The church actually paid for it.â
During the trip, Guins helped young people in the El Progreso community prepare and operate a youth conference for teens.
Guins also passed out invitations to a youth rally and helped clean around the church.
More than the physical, Guinsâ experience in Honduras was extremely emotional.
âThe people there were so humble,â he said. âThey donât have anything and are some of the nicest, most humble people you will meet. Itâs kind of like they know that God is what they need, thatâs all they need and they are happy with it.â
The trip caused Guins to miss Bunker Hillâs first official day of football practice on Aug. 1, but he returned to Catawba County two days later.
Bears head football coach Travis Conner was completely aware of the situation.
âIâm not going to hold missing practice against him,â Conner said jokingly.
That mission trip impacted the way Guins viewed all of his football teammates and high school classmates.
âIâve tried to just be more caring towards them,â he said. âI donât try to boss around kids and things like that.â
Guins, along with fellow Bunker Hill senior football players Colton Chapman, Devon Harris, Cody Dobbins and Landon Huffman, now lead a devotional after each of the teamâs practices.
Players discuss a variety of different topics during the sessions, including making choices and accountability.
âThose devotionals after practice show off Kyleâs leadership,â Conner said. âItâs a neat thing to see kids from all different kinds of backgrounds pull up a chair, pull out their bibles and have a little devotional after practice. Thatâs pretty special.â
Guins has lettered in three sports in his Bunker Hill athletic career â football, wrestling and track.
In the classroom, Guins holds a 4.52 weighted GPA and was a Junior Marshall.
Guins hopes to attend Davidson College next fall, where he wants to study to be a veterinarian.
âHeâs been a first class kid since I moved to Claremont,â Conner said. âHe and his family are solid human beings. They get it. They get the big picture. Itâs really neat to see a young man that gets it. He knows what life is about.â
As for his future with mission trips, Guins has already made plans in 2014.
âOur church is going to Alaska next year,â he said. âIf I donât have to move into college then, Iâm going to do that. Iâm actually trying to set up a mission trip through FCA to go to Brazil.âView more articles in: