Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
CTCSports is a Christ driven family oriented organization. Founded by Elijah Salazar in 2021.
Cross to the Crown Intro
CTCSports begins with my story (Elijah Salazar) Son of Michael and Lesly Salazar, I grew up with a solid Christian background, my parents did an amazing job of pouring the Bible into me.
I had played football all my life, I was the number one Free Lance Running Back in San Antonio Texas, going into my senior year of H.S., I had torn my ankle on KSAT12(Local News). This injury caused me to lose any and all D1 scholarships at the time. I was very lost and felt that God did not see me, or didn't care about me. This injury made me bitter towards God, I then went and played at an NAIA for a year. Here I found nothing but loneliness, I tried all the world had to offer and tried to bury my hurt.
After recovering a year and playing 2 Spring Scrimmages, I was able to come back home to SA and walked onto UIW, a small FCS school at the time. I had a great spring ball and was awarded the Cardinal Player of the Spring. Going into the Fall, I found out I was ineligible, the following year I got hurt again, the following year we had a coaching change and they cleaned house. Though I was never able to play how I truly wanted to, here at UIW is where I found my relationship with the Lord. Though lost, the Lord met me in my hardships, I met my wife my 2nd semester there. At the time we both knew of the Lord, but we did not truly know the Lord. I believe the Lord allowed us to meet each-other during this time so that we could help each other press towards Christ (Ironically her middle name is Elisha) we found our relationship with the Lord together and grew, we trained for 3 years to be missionaries and went on multiple missions; she is and will always be the Love of my life, best friend, and partner in Christ.
After our time at UIW, I expressed to her that I still had a passion for football, that I felt that something was urging inside of me, that I needed to play and that I knew I had a purpose and football was part of it. I was never satisfied with how my college career played out, I would tell her every night, I know I'm good enough to play at the next level, I just do not understand why these things kept happening that stopped me from playing.
I then found out I had 1 semester left to play if I went to a D3, Emma supported my decision and pushed me to chase whatever fire I still had, so I decided to propose to the women the Lord sent me, “Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain[a] life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun” Ecc 9:9.
We drove across the map to Iowa together to a D3, my wife dropped me off thinking I would go for only a semester and we would go from there, instead I was back in about 3 weeks. The season was canceled due to COVID, by the grace of God I got the most play and respect in the span of 3 weeks than I ever have, I was able to play in a few scrimmages where I got some amazing film. After I got back my wife and I planned our wedding, got married and went on a honeymoon. Here I felt the Lord lead my wife and I to start to prepare that something was coming. A few days later we got called for a few bowl games. Here I was able to get some NFL attention, I ended up going from nobody to the #49 ranked RB in the draft. The Lord had completely turned my story around, from pain to praise. I was able to share a bit of my testimony along the way and was invited to an NFL mini Camp and a few CFL Camps. Unfortunately I had a serious injury prior to my first Invite which would end my chances at any professional level.
This left me with so many questions to God, but things were different now, I knew I couldn't just walk away from the Lord this time, I was married and had seen the Lord's hand in my life. I knew I had a family depending on me still, I chose to enter into the workforce. I worked as a teacher and in the medical field. This was one of the hardest decisions and transitions I had ever faced. I knew deep down in my heart that I had a calling to do with football. I knew there was a much bigger purpose I could be fulfilling. I believe during this time the Lord used all this to mold me and reshape me. In 2021 I received a USFL and CFL invite, I was confused and asked God what this meant. My wife and I prayed together and felt the Lord had shown us to turn down the offers. We both felt the Lord was showing us that playing was not my calling. I interned for a few sports agents/agencies. After seeing the agency industry and the corruption, my wife and I knew our calling was to serve and to expand the Kingdom. We prayed and by the grace of God, we felt Led to start our own agency. The Lord revealed the name “Cross to the Crown Sports”. We all face trials and tribulations of various kinds, but it is the testing of our faith that produces steadfastness, the bible says we are called to take up our CROSS daily, but we are to stand the test of trial so that we may receive the CROWN of life.
JAMARI & MORGAN
Taking a leap of faith I called former teammate and brother in Christ, Jamari Gilbert we spoke of his passion to continue the game he loved. Now Jamari was the 2nd player from UIW to ever go to the NFL, he was with the Seahawks and Texans and later found himself as the face of the SA Commanders for the AAF. Jamari has a similar story to mine. Jamari is one of the most athletic track/football stars you will ever meet. He too came to the problem of the Lord closing doors in his life.Unfortunately AAF closed mid season, Jamari found himself in the CFL where the Lord allowed him to have a great season, he transitioned to a new position, went from practice squad, to special teams, to back up, to starting. Jamari took some time away from the game he loved after COVID, to get married and raise his family and re-established his relationship with the Lord. When we connected he felt that the Lord was starting something up in himself as well. We both felt that our duties were to make disciples of men and to expand the Kingdom. Morgan Renee Gilbert has been his rock, support, and partner in Christ, the Bible says “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12. Morgan has trained/studied and pursues to be one of the Top Nutritionist in the Houston area. She felt led to not only feed the spirit but to also have and give a clear understanding of what we are putting into our bodies. “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God. You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”1 Corinthians 6:19-20 The Lord has given Morgan a calling to walk alongside women and mothers to go through life with them and lead as an example through her own hardships and experiences.
MICHAEL & LESLY
My parents story is unbelievable, my mom came to the States from another country due to a war, my father met my mother after H.S., they later found Christ together and devoted themselves to God first then each other, this led them to marriage. My parents are father and mother to 3 men (all former football players) and 1 daughter(now married).
After receiving confirmation, I shared my vision and plans with my father. I felt the Lord had revealed to my wife and I to seek counsel and wisdom. My father, once a co-pastor, has owned his own companies, worked and led multiple insurance companies and is a business management connoisseur. He too felt that the Lord has placed a calling on us and will serve multiple roles in CTCSports, but most importantly he is my spiritual advisor and wise counsel. Lesly Salazar has served in the church all her life as a youth pastor and womens pastor and advisor. Her calling is to help grow many young women as women in Christ, wives and mothers.