BRANSON, Mo–Hundreds of athletes have gathered in Branson for a special evening.

KOLR 10’s Chris Pinson has more on the Fellowship of Christian Athlete’s South Central awards banquet.

Hey Dan, I’m in the banquet hall at Chateau on the Lake, with a room full of nearly 500 people all excited for Tuesday night’s awards and key note speaker

The 10th annual south central Missouri FCA athlete and coach of the year banquet brings together nearly 150 athletes and coaches from roughly 20 different high schools in the area.

Guests in attendance aren’t just eager to find out which athetes and coach will take home the top honor, but to also hear from featured speaker, Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly.

Like previous celebrity speakers, Lou Holtz and Dick Vitale, Kelly is outspoken about his Christian faith playing a vital role in his journey before and after the NFL.

His famous bouts with adversity in four straight Super Bowls were nothing compared to losing his 8-year old son to a rare disease in 2005, then battling cancer himself.

“I did run from god in the beginning. But later on, I realized I needed god. And Thank god I did. I wouldn’t be standing here if I didn’t. I wouldn’t have my two daughters at home. I wanted to have them love being around daddy. The ultimate is being able to see my son again. Because I know I will,” said Kelly.

Amen to the power of faith.

Now Dan, I’m not the only one from our team here this evening.

Our very own Steve Savard will be the moderator for the discussion with Jim Kelly.

So that’s pretty cool.

Ava football’s Jeremiah Blakely was the male athlete of the year.

Dora softball’s Autumn Nold was the female athlete of the year.

And Mansfield softball coach Tiffany Gray was named the coach of the year.