In a time when controversy is surrounding the National Anthem in mainstream media, BethlehemHigh School athletes are literally taking a stand to honor the flag and the nation's song.

Members of the BHS volleyball team recently celebrated Senior Night by inviting national recording artist Shane Owen to sing the National Anthem.

Coach Lisa Matthews states it was important to the players that they express their patriotism and that the occasion of Senior Night seemed to call for something special.

“To me, the National Anthem is a sense of pride and is the heritage of our nation," said Matthews.

San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick gained national attention - and both public criticism and praise - during the 2016 preseason when he began sitting — then later kneeling — during the anthem, saying he didn’t want to “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

Soon, other pro, college, and even high school athletes followed Kaepernick's lead - an action that was met by other athletes like those in HolmesCounty who decided to instead show their support for the anthem.

"(The National Anthem) represents unity, strength and the sacrifices people have and will continue to make to defend our nation," said Coach Matthews. "If it wasn’t for those sacrifices, we would not have the freedoms we all share and live by."