Football player finds better understanding of life off the field

Photo by Jon Fleming
Blacksburg High School – Noah Ramsey, 2016-17 sports year.

Sometimes sports can cross language and geographical barriers, allowing individuals to form a bond that can’t be broken.

That sentiment was so true this past fall when Blacksburg High School football players pulled off what some thought was an unreachable goal—winning a state championship.

After winning the last four regular season games and then reeling off three wins in the playoffs, the Bruins hoisted the trophy and brought it home to the New River Valley. That experience is one those players will never forget.

But it might be another experience, just two months later, that a senior defensive back will carry with him the rest of his life.

Senior Noah Ramsey called bringing home the state championship amazing. He is also a member of the school’s indoor 4X200 meter relay team that won the state championship this past week. His 50 and 100-meter times have also been in the top three of the team, and he will continue to be involved with outdoor track this spring.

But again, it was something off the field and track that has shown him about life away from athletics. Ramsey is a member of the Blue Ridge Church in Christiansburg and had the opportunity to spend almost a week in Haiti as part of a missionary trip.

Photo courtesy of Summer Ramsey
Noah Ramsey was popular with the children of Haiti during a recent missionary trip with his Christiansburg church, Blue Ridge.

“It’s hard to put it into words what I experienced,” said Ramsey. “To go and see other places like Haiti is completely different than what I imagined.”

The church went to a village called Mirebalais where Ramsey met children ages three to 17. They didn’t speak the same language, well at least not in the traditional sense, but Ramsey discovered sports were an important tool he could use to communicate with the children.

They knew a lot about soccer or fútbol, a little different style than what Ramsey participated in.

“They were interested in my game of football,” Ramsey said.


“They were interested in my game of football,” Ramsey said.

He proudly wore his Bruin shirts while getting to know the kids, and there seemed to be a connection of sorts.

Ramsey said he saw how children in this country are blessed in so many ways.

“Kids over there (in Haiti) didn’t have anything, but soccer was so important to them.”

While there, the church helped to build a computer lab and a small school for the village. This is not the first time, Blue Ridge has been to Haiti, and church officials hope there will many more in the future.

Ramsey felt he came away with a better understanding of life, and would love to go on another trip to Haiti.

For now, his future plans include going to college for football or track, while majoring in biology or sports medicine.

Blue Ridge Church is located 1655 Roanoke St. in Christiansburg, and more information about their mission work and other activities can be found at