Casey Case suffered a severe knee injury when he was in only the 6th grade - an experience that became a defining moment for his faith. While this wasn’t the beginning of his faith, to Casey it was the beginning of his faith becoming real.
The University at Buffalo Bulls’ redshirt freshman quarterback sat down with Noah and Bjorn for this week’s podcast. On the podcast Casey described how this injury was the moment he really started to take his faith into his own hands and how his faith has impacted the rest of his sports career.
A Torn ACL Took Casey’s Faith to a New Level
“My faith didn’t really become real to me until I had that injury … before that I was kind of just on cruise control”--Casey Case
Casey grew up in a Christian household and made the decision to accept Christ at a young age. For a while it was easy for him to coast in his relationship with God. He didn’t have anything that challenged his faith.
This changed for Casey in 6th grade.
Casey tore his ACL - one of the worst injuries an athlete can suffer. For the first time since he started playing when he was 7, football wasn’t going to be part of his life.
Instead, Casey’s 6th grade year became occupied with the painful process of rehabilitation. Football practices and games with his friends were replaced by physical therapy three times a week.
While it was hard at the time, looking back Casey realizes this was an important part of his life. He says this is when his faith really became his own.
On the podcast Casey talks about some internal feelings he struggled with during this year of rehab. However, he also talks about how this process strengthened his relationship with God and what God taught him during this tough year.
In addition, in the episode Casey talks about finding his life verse during this time, why he chose it and why it still sticks with him.
Casey’s Faith Helped Him Decide to Change High Schools
“I struggled with if this was my conviction … does God want me to stay at this private school or should I leave? Through that I was just praying and asking God for a sign”--Casey Case
When he was younger, Casey promised himself he was going to play college football. He knew that if he was going to accomplish this dream, he had to change high schools.
However, this wasn’t an easy decision for him.
His first high school was a small, private Christian school where Casey says he loved all of his coaches and teammates. On top of this, he didn’t know if playing college football was God’s purpose for him or just a personal goal.
Casey prayed to God, asking him for a sign that would show him what to do. A few weeks later, God provided him with a sign.
While Casey was at his younger brother’s flag football game, he ran into an NFL quarterback. Casey talked to the quarterback about what he was going through.
On the podcast Casey talks about who the quarterback was and the advice he gave Casey.
After the conversation, Casey knew this was the sign he had asked God for and transferred to Winter Park High School in Florida for his junior and senior years.
Casey’s Faith Affects His Leadership at UB
“In order to hold people accountable, you really need to have that relationship with them”--Casey Case
One of the most important jobs for a quarterback is to be a leader for the team, and Casey’s faith has impacted how he approaches this.
As a leader, you have to be able to hold others accountable. Casey believes that in order to hold others accountable, you need to have a relationship with them.
To challenge teammates, you have to connect with them.
This is exactly what Jesus did. In order to make a difference in people’s lives, Jesus formed close relationships.
Jesus wasn’t above his followers and didn’t act better than them. Instead, He walked among them. This allowed Him to challenge their faith and help them grow.
Casey says relationship building is one of his biggest strengths. However, this doesn’t mean it’s without challenges.
On the podcast Casey talks about how he formed relationships with his teammates at UB and how he overcame COVID-19 restrictions to do so.
What is God Teaching You?
Going through difficult situations, such as Casey did with his knee injury, can be a challenging time for anyone and their faith.
Struggles like this can be a source of resentment towards God. However, going through adversity is an important part of our faith.
Life isn’t always going to be easy, and neither is our faith. These challenges can be a time for us to make our faith our own, such as Casey did. They’re also an opportunity to strengthen our faith and grow closer with God.
We aren’t able to get through life’s challenges on our own. Instead, if we lean on God we can come out of these challenges as better people and better followers of God than we were before.
God is also there to provide us with direction in those challenging times, as He was for Casey when he was struggling with whether or not to switch schools.
Casey prayed to God, asking whether his desire was also God’s desire. He then asked for a sign, which God provided.
Having goals in life is great, but we should always make sure they align with God’s plan for us. By praying to Him, we can make sure that we’re staying on track and honoring God with our life choices.
When did your faith become your own? How have you handled any challenging situations you’ve gone through recently?
Are you aligning your goals with God’s goals for you? Are you praying to God for direction?
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
1 Peter 5:10
To hear the conversation that Noah and Bjorn had with Casey Case about his faith and football, how he chose UB, what NFL quarterbacks he looks up to and much more, check out “The Sweat Room: Sports and Faith” episode 48.
“The Sweat Room: Sports and Faith” is a podcast based out of Hamburg, New York, that was started in May of 2020 to discuss faith and its intersection with sports. Noah Corsten and Bjorn Webb co-host the podcast, interviewing both past and current athletes and coaches about how faith plays a role in their life. “The Sweat Room” is a part of Watermark Wesleyan Church’s Sports & Fitness Ministry. The podcast can be found on the website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and wherever you stream your podcasts.