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Fifth Quarter to continue under strong leadership

July 25, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

The popular Fifth Quarter at Highway Tabernacle (corner of Kirk and Raccoon roads) will continue in full force this football season, thanks to community support and a few new faces.

The announcement about Fifth Quarter was made at the Austintown Board of Education meeting on Thursday (July 19). Fitch Principal Chris Berni introduced the new high school geometry teacher Lizz Clark, and he mentioned Lizz's husband Matt Clark would be taking over the Fifth Quarter.

Matt and Lizz just recently moved to the area with their 18-month-old daughter Addison. Lizz was officially introduced at Thursday's meeting and Matt has already begun his new role at Youth Pastor at Highway Tabernacle, where the Fifth Quarter program is hosted.

Article Photos

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Matt and Lizz Clark, along with 18-month-old Addison, are new to the area, but will soon be well-known, at least to the teenage population. Matt is resuming the responsibilities of youth pastor and Fifth Quarter director at Highway Tabernacle and Lizz will be working as the new Fitch geometry teacher.

Fifth Quarter is simply a place for young people to go for a safe, fun-filled evening after Fitch home football games. It is a safe environment that features games, food, and prizes. According to Highway's lead pastor Gary Gray, Randy Davis began Fifth Quarter almost 20 years ago. Matt Miller was running the program up until last year when he stepped down.

"We had one of our church members, Duane Corll, step up and help keep it going," Gray said.

Now with another Matt, Matt Clark, on board as youth pastor, the operation of the Fifth Quarter program will continue uninterrupted. Matt said he has been involved in other Fifth Quarters in his pastoral life. He served in Canton and then Lima before coming to Austintown.

"We are planning three Fifth Quarters this year and they are all in October," Matt said. "We scheduled the events on Oct. 5, 19, and 26, all after Fitch home games. Fifth Quarters are always free and all kids are welcomed. You don't even have to go to church here, just come out and take part."

He said the August home game will be during the Canfield Fair, so no Fifth Quarter will take place after that one.

Matt and Lizz are grateful for the community support for the event.

"The business community supports us and donates, and members of the church step up and help," Matt said. "It is an all hands on deck event."

As in the past, Fifth Quarter ends around midnight and will again include giveaways thanks to local businesses.

As for Lizz and her new position as a Fitch teacher, she said it will be awesome.

"The kids coming to this event will be among the students I teach," she said.



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