Canal Fulton Northwest HS
Football. Wrestling and Track state qualifier.
U. of Michigan Graduate and Football player
Three year starter
Detroit Lions camp
Owner of “Lazarus on the Rise”
Owner of “C-3 Crew”
Associate Director of TEAM JAM
Married (Molly), Father of 6
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Being born in Massillon, Ohio, and into a rabid football culture, I was one of those babies who was given a football at birth. While watching the energy and excitement of an Ohio State vs Michigan football game on television at the age of 14, I began dreaming of playing major college football. My dream was realized when I was offered a full scholarship to play Big Ten football at the University of Michigan while a junior in high school.
As a freshman at Michigan, I played in eight games and lettered. In 2000, the middle of my sophomore year, the coaches named me their starter at defensive tackle, where I continued to start for 29 games overall. After graduation, the Detroit Lions signed me as a free agent.
I felt football would make me a successful man. I indulged in all that that lifestyle had to offer – parties, money, risks, attention, and inappropriate relationships. Football and the life style that came with it became a major part of my life. The fame, popularity, power, money and glamour that football provided looked to bring me the happiness I was searching for. However, NONE OF THESE THINGS BROUGHT ME HAPPINESS. I was looking for happiness in all the wrong places. Then God grabbed a hold of my life. I could not run far enough from the consequences of my sin. Those consequences were about to cost me everything and everyone I cared about. That’s when I began realizing that TRUE HAPPINESS and FULLFILLMENT only come through Jesus Christ.
When I confessed my sins to God, asked for forgiveness, and accepted Jesus as my Savior my life changed forever. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! He then gave me resolution to the other issues I had in my life and restoration of relationships with those closest to me. Happiness and fulfillment was FINALLY found through Jesus Christ.
It took me a long time to realize these truths and that God had greater things in store for my life. God has great things in store for YOUR life too!! “if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that God has raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved” – Romans 10:9
Bringing honor and glory to God in everything that I do is a tough thing to do but Jesus says, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 It took me a long time to realize these truths and that God had great things in store for my life. God has great things in store for your life too! Matthew 5:12 reads, “rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven…” I hope to see you there too. Shawn Lazarus
Shawn has been a financial adviser, a juvenile officer, and a business owner since he retired from his playing career. He married his high school sweetheart Molly and since then they have had six children (Olivia, Abram, Ashlyn, Iris, Eden, Maizie) together and he is heavily involved in the Akron/Canton area community through his local church, TEAM JAM, as former Safety City Director each summer in Canal Fulton, and as chaplain of the Akron Rubber Ducks minor league baseball team.