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September 8, 2011Wake Forest inside linebacker Scott Betros does not have to look far to remind himself who he plays for. He wears rubber bands on both wrists that read, 'Audience of One.'
"I wear these wristbands as focal points to remind me of you're walking with the Lord," Betros said. "Before I step on the field I always look down at these before I put on my gloves. I don't take these off ever. They're kind of my focal points, and they bend my mind back to where it needs to be. It helps me a lot, knowing what he (God) has done for me, and knowing that I'm saved."
This has not always been the case for Betros. The redshirt junior said he has always been religious and gone to church, but it all changed when he joined Athletes-In-Action (AIA), a Christian sports ministry through Campus Crusade for Christ.
He redshirted in 2008, recovering from preseason shoulder surgery that kept him out of action most of his first year at Wake Forest. Amidst this difficult time Betros got to know Joe Haynes, the AIA director at Wake Forest.
"He's had a very big impact on my life, and he's kind of introduced me not really to the Lord, but I didn't know what it meant to have a personal relationship with the Lord," Betros said. "I learned that while being here. I think that's one of the great things about being at this place is whatever aspect of life you come from you know that you're going to get the best of it. Joe Haynes in my opinion has taught me the most important thing about this world is there's a world with Jesus Christ, and he showed me that."
Haynes said he has seen Betros grow and mature the last few years by serving other athletes at Wake Forest as a part of the AIA Servant Leadership Team there.
"Scott is very genuine," Haynes said. "He's not someone you have to guess where he's at. He lets you know. He's a linebacker on the field, but also takes that same mentality with his faith. He's not afraid to share who he is, and who the Lord is in his life. He's also very loyal to the people around him."
Betros knows others are watching to see if he messes up, because they know something is different about him. He feels the pressure, but embraces it at the same time.
"You have a big weight to carry," Betros said. "A lot of people expect things from you, but nobody is perfect. If you look in the Bible Christians are people that admitted they need help. They screwed up, and they can't do it without God. It's a big weight to carry. I enjoy the challenge though. I'm glad I'm put in this position, and God put me there for a reason."
When the pressures of life are great the Jacksonville (Fla.) native enjoys escaping to the wilderness to hunt and fish.
"I love getting out there and getting away," Betros said. "Just getting out there in the woods or getting out there on a lake or a river and fishing. It's something I enjoy to do. Just go out there, and you have peace of mind. You go out there and clear your mind, talk to the Lord, do whatever you want to do by yourself. I enjoy hunting. I like harvesting animals, and eating animals. I love the meat. It's just something I've grown up with."
He even started a "Ducks Unlimited" chapter at Wake Forest with a few friends he hunts with.
Betros applies his hunter's mentality to the football field. He said loves to hit, and playing linebacker gives him opportunities to unload on people.
In the season-opener against Syracuse Betros recorded nine tackles (two solo), and one-and-a-half tackles for loss.
"He's always been kind of a thumper," Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe said. "He's always been a tough, physical kid. He's a guy that we need to give us 11 more really good games. He played well Thursday night."
For Grobe it is Betros' dependability that makes him special.
"He's a guy who has a really good work ethic, does a really good job in the classroom, and loves the game," Grobe said. "He's one of those kids you don't have any reservations about as far as their work ethic and attitude. He's a good team guy. The guys like him on the team. He brings a physical presence to the position, so that's good."
The Demon Deacons are depending on Betros to play well Saturday against ACC rival N.C. State. More than 30,000 fans will pack BB&T Field to watch Wake Forest's home opener, but to Betros there is only one in the audience worth pleasing.
"You're playing for the audience of the Lord, the one true reason he gave you the ability to play," Betros said. "He's put you on this platform, so what other better way to give him the glory to play well for the God who lets you play this game."