A Reflection of My Work: Documentary Review


Matthew Leeman, Contributing Writer

My senior capstone class is coming to an end, and this will be my last capstone article for the year. As we draw near to the finish line, I wanted to end with a self-review on my final piece in capstone: my documentary video.


For my documentary video, I went with the title Why They Play: The Christian Athlete Story. As a Christian athlete myself, I was curious to analyze and find answers to the question that so many people have asked me in my college years: Why do Christians play the way that they do? My documentary takes a closer look at four Piedmont University students who are deep in their Christian faith. Those athletes are Sophomore soccer player, Landon Ketchie, Senior basketball player, Mikey Joseph, Senior baseball player, Zach Norman, and Senior softball player, Tanner Kate Sauls.


“As everyone would say, you play your sport for the Lord, but I think it’s beyond that,” says Landon Ketchie in his interview in the video. “God has given us the ability to go out and play these things that we love.”


In his interview with me, Ketchie discussed how he plays his sport for more than just bringing glory to God. He plays to make disciples on his team, pray for his teammates, be an encouragement, and use his sport as a platform to share the gospel. Ketchie shows the viewers of this documentary that there is so much more to play for than just himself, that there are people who count on us as Christians to be the source of joy on the team when the competitive nature of sports weighs us down.


“Whether you’re winning or losing, still having that joy and people start to see that difference in you. I really think that’s a good way to continue to share the gospel on and off the field,” says Ketchie. “You can be happy at any moment, but with joy it doesn’t matter if something is going wrong or going bad, you’re still joyous, you’re still happy.”


After Ketchie’s interview, I went to seek some answers from Mikey Joseph. He is a leader on FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) here at Piedmont University and has a very strong faith that I think is admirable to many athletes. He discusses the importance of keeping God at the center of your life and always relying on Him for guidance through sports.


“We all make mistakes here and there, even me, so keeping your faith at the maximum level and keeping God first is most important no matter what,” says Joseph in his interview in the video. “If you keep diving into God’s word, keep praying, and asking Him for a sense of peace in your life, you’ll realize that with God all things are possible.”


I discovered some impactful answers from Ketchie and Joseph, as they discussed the many reasons they play for the Lord, rather than just themselves. The answers I received from Tanner Kate Sauls and Zach Norman are also powerful and relate everything back to sharing the gospel with their team. I don’t want to give away too much of the documentary, so I will let you hear what those two athletes have to say in the video.


Filming this documentary provided me with an amazing learning experience and a reflection on my own faith. This video was the most impactful and enjoyable filming experience for me, and with all four of these athletes being good friends of mine, it was an exciting semester getting the answers that many people need to hear. These Christian athletes are a testament to the Christian faith, to the power of perseverance, to spreading positivity and above all else, to loving others. I hope this documentary portrays these athletes in a positive light and accurately depicts the motivation behind Christians playing the sports that they were born to play.


I hope you all enjoyed reading my articles as much as I enjoyed writing them this semester. I discussed a variety of topics about the media portrayals of Christian athletes, and wanted to end with a review on my own personal experiences of filming my documentary video, Why They Play: The Christian Athlete Story. It has been an amazing topic for me to talk about, and my hopes are that you all took something encouraging away from these articles and my entire capstone project. Thank you for following along!


If you have not seen my documentary video already, be sure to check that out on the Why They Play YouTube channel or on my website www.mattleemann.com.