VA: Fasting Muslim Athletes Test Their Bodies' Limits


Osbourn Coach Steve Schultze preaches four principles to which he hopes his athletes always will adhere: faith, family, academics and football.

"We talk about acknowledging a higher power and believing in something, first and foremost," Schultze said. "Then we talk about what it means to be a good son, sticking with academics, and then we want football to be the next priority."



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Last week football and faith overlapped during an Osbourn practice.

Michael Burtner, a senior lineman and one of several Muslim athletes in Prince William, has been fasting in observance of the Islamic month of Ramadan. But last week, Burtner had to take himself out of practice after becoming overheated.

"I got this headache, and my mouth was really dry," Burtner said. "I was really dizzy and really fatigued and was told I started randomly crying. I took my pads off and sat down in the shade. Someone put some water on my head, and about 10 to 15 minutes later they started hosing me down."

Ramadan is an Islamic holy month that requires Muslims not to eat or drink while the sun is up. It takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, when the Koran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. Muslims fast as a spiritual act of cleansing their bodies and to gain a better understanding of those who can't afford food or water. (MORE)

 


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