On September 22, 2018, Arizona Christian University (ACU) and Texas Wesleyan University (TXWES), football programs belonging to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), went head to head at Shadow Mountain High School at the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club's innaugural #BeRelevant Classic.
The TXWES Rams returned to the field in 2017 after a 76-year hiatus that began when the entire team agreed to disband in December 1941 so they could enlist in the United States Army and fight in World War II. Without coaches, players, prospects or a field to practice on, Coach Joe Prud’homme built a program in that rallied alumni and reinvigorated a high-performing ball team.
To honor the gridiron warriors of the past and present, the game commenced with a World War II Douglas C-47 Skytrain flying overhead. “Old Number 30” has seen more World War II combat than any other plane in their fleet. The aircraft’s crew earned a Presidential Unit Citation award for numerous secret missions and rescues.
The #BeRelevant Classic was proud to present Paradise Valley Chick-Fil-A as the game’s official concession sponsor. Additional sponsors of the #BeRelevant Classic included BSN Sports, V’s Barbershop, Embassy Suites, St. Mary’s Food Bank and the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System.
Just one day before the two teams played one another, 150 football players from Texas Wesleyan University Rams and the Arizona Christian University Firestorm packed more than 56,580 meals at St. Mary's Foodbank. In addition, 6 players visited the Phoenix Veterans Hospital to deliver Chick-Fil-A Paradise Valley to veterans and staff. After, the teams enjoyed a meal together at Twin Peaks Camelback.