I Timothy 4: 8, the Apostle Paul writes that: For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for
all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
At ETCA, we believe that athletics are an important part of our community life. Like the Apostle Paul, we do
see physical training as having value and, like him, we believe that spiritual training has value now and in
eternity. Our goal is to blend these two worlds together. ETCA is pleased to announce that we have a new
partner in this goal to succeed athletically and more importantly, to nurture our students in terms of
godliness. ETCA will be partnering with 4Ward Focus to develop young Christian athletes who will compete
with quality in the athletic arena and with honor before God.
Behind this partnership are two men in particular. First, Mr. Kindel Burkett, a 2007 graduate of ETCA who
went on to major in Financial Management at Lubbock Christian University (and a classmate of Mr. Walker
here at ETCA and at LCU). After working in this field for a few years, he is now the business manager for a new
sports enterprise here in East Texas, 4Ward Focus. The owner of 4Ward Focus, and the heart of this
enterprise, is Coach Jon Lyles. Coach Lyles grew up in Arp where he was a stand-out athlete in football and
baseball. He went on to star at Oklahoma Panhandle State University in both of those sports. After
graduation, he played arena football and got involved in coaching arena football first as an assistant coach and
then head coach, on both the D2 college level and the professional level. Most recently he has been coaching
arena football in Shanghai, China, where he was named China Arena Football Coach of the Year.
Along the way, Coach Lyles has learned the business and entrepreneurial sides of sports (and even earned a
master’s degree in school administration). He is now bringing that experience and expertise back to his home
in East Texas with a new company, 4Ward Focus. This company will be enriching and expanding many areas of
sports in East Texas and particularly focusing on athlete training and development at the high school, college,
and professional levels. For these activities he will be using ETCA facilities and developing a special
relationship with ETCA coaches and players. While he will be consulting with all ETCA coaches with all ETCA
sports, his initial emphasis will be skill specific with our football and baseball programs. This fall Coach Benji
Morrison will be our head football coach and Coach Lyles will be assisting him especially in terms of player
development. To complement this relationship, Coach Lyles will be providing his private athlete training
focusing on speed and agility development; this training will be available to ETCA students at a reduced rate
(further, skills specific to other sports will be added as personnel grows).
Under Coach Troy Spencer’s leadership as ETCA Athletic Director, we are excited about the potential of this
partnership to transform our sports program by bringing a championship culture across all our sports and by
developing each athlete to his or her fullest. More so though, Coach Lyles is a man of faith, who understands
that the greatest victories our student athletes can achieve will be to develop the godliness that the Apostle
Paul emphasized to Timothy.
For more about Coach Lyles, see the following article on Beyond Sports Network: