Chicken Express Community Hero: Tomball Christian's Derek Gill & Krum's Caroline Shipley

Chicken Express and Dave Campbell’s Texas Football are partnering to honor the heroes in your community. Male and female student-athletes that lead by example on the field of play and in the classroom can be honored as Chicken Express Community Heroes and receive scholarship money to continue their education beyond high school.

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Derek Gill, Tomball Christian 

Often times the loudest players on the field steal the spotlight and are deemed the leaders of the team. Tomball Christian head coach Chris Criswell insists that’s not the case with his team, as senior Derek Gill — one of the quietest players on his team — stands out as a leader.

“Derek is not a vocal leader but he’s a real quiet leader that leads by example and he’s the hardest worker on our team,” Criswell said. “He’s just a great example for our program.”

In addition to having exceptional leadership qualities, Gill also stands out with his talent on the field — playing both sides of the ball. He earned First Team All-State honors at receiver and safety following his junior season in 2017. Gill also uses his talents to help others and is very active in his church and other ministries.

“He’s an example of excelling in what he does but also wanting to use his gifts to help others,” Criswell said. “He consistently puts others before himself.”

Gill spent his summer volunteering at Sagrada Bible Camp in Missouri, a camp for children whose parents are incarcerated. Though he went to camp to help others, he says that it served as a learning experience for himself.

“It was eye-opening, I learned to not take anything for granted. I really enjoy helping others and showing them the love of God,” Gill said. “It always helps me get closer to Christ.”

In addition to his hard work in football and church, Gill also works extremely hard in the classroom and currently holds a 4.0 GPA. He is a naturally curious student and takes his education very seriously because he knows the opportunities that a quality education can present him with.

“Education is important to me because it can give you a better perspective of the world,” Gill said. “It allows you to make better life choices as well as increase your opportunities to succeed and have a better life.”

The stand out football player is set to graduate in the spring and has aspirations to play college football. He has already garnered interest from multiple college football programs.

“A few coaches have already reached out to me about Derek,” Criswell said. “He got on a bunch of coaches’ radar during his junior year and this is the year where all the coaches will say that they want to start talking and taking a closer look.”

Gill is still navigating through the recruiting process and attended several college recruiting camps this summer. Though he hasn’t decided which college he will attend next year, he has decided that he wants to pursue a degree in Business. Gill says a big part of his college decision will come down to the importance the school puts on growing in your Christian faith while at school.

“I’ve wanted to play college football since I was younger so to have the opportunity would be amazing,” Gill said. “I want to go to a school that prioritizes God because I’ve been to some schools where that’s a big thing and some that don’t and I realized that’s a big priority for me.”

Caroline Shipley, Krum 

It’s one thing to have the talent to excel in an athletic setting. It’s a lot more impressive to be able to do so while being a leader amongst your peers on the team, in your classroom and in your community. Caroline Shipley has checked all of those boxes and stands out as a leader at Krum High School. Shipley is a leader on the Bobcats’ girls basketball and cross country teams and head girls basketball coach Lana Degelia.

“Caroline is the perfect teammate, she’s a hard worker, and she’s all about the community and the service to her church. She’s just an outstanding student-athlete and ambassador for Krum High School,” Degelia said.

When she’s not participating in athletics, Shipley can be found on the sidelines, working as an athletic trainer or studying to keep her competitive academic record intact.

“She doesn’t just make great grades, she is a leader in the classroom and really in whatever she sets her mind to,” Degelia said.

Her leadership skills haven’t just been picked up on by Coach Degelia — her peers have picked up on her good work as well. Shipley was elected as a class officer, is a leader of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and participates in student council.

“She just works so hard to be the best that she can be in every aspect of her life,” Degelia said. “She is constantly trying to do new things to better herself, it’s impressive.”

Though she has not solidified her post-college plans, Shipley will graduate in June and plans to continue her education and attend a four-year university. The standout student-athlete is looking forward to continuing her leadership through the spring semester at Krum.

“There’s no doubt that whatever Caroline chooses to do she will be able to accomplish,” Degelia. “She is an outstanding young lady who has done so much already and has a bright future ahead.”

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