Spartanburg HS football players participate in Fatherhood program

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Some Spartanburg High School football players spent the day after Father’s Day learning how to become good fathers themselves.

The “Ready4Life” program the high school seniors participated in is presented by the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families and the Upstate Fatherhood Coalition.

“We’re trying to really give them the vision, the encouragement, the information, the relationships, and the empowerment for them to be great husbands and dads,” Spartanburg High School Head Football Coach Mark Hodge said.

“If you had a bad father in your life, it teaches you how to be a better father,” football player DeAndre Davis said.

The Ready4Life program targets young men between the ages of 14 and 21, and its designed to help them make the best life decisions possible.

“If you’re not ready for kids, don’t have them,” football player Dre Sims said.

In the class, they discussed how fathering a child can alter the trajectory of a young man’s life.

“We actually do have one player who is a father. Obviously, through my history, I’ve had multiple kids that way,” Hodge said. “And we have a lot of kids who become fathers early on out of high school.”

They touched on the importance of education, career planning, maintaining good physical and mental health, and so much more.

“Budgeting, money management, healthy relationships, and responsible parenthood,” Matthew Melvin, with the SC Center for Fathers and Families, said. “We’re doing this program to give them a reality check at life.”

“I learned that it costs $11,500 to have one child and, if you’re working minimum wage, it’s not enough for one child and you,” Sims said.

The main purpose behind the course is to encourage the young men to be engaged, responsible fathers when the time comes, and to create a bright future for themselves and their families.

“We tell our kids all the time, where they are today is not their fault. If they’re from a great environment or a poor environment, it’s not their fault,” Hodge said. “But 20 to 25 years from now, when we have their children, it will be their fault.”

“I feel like it’s preparing me for when I get older and stuff, so I won’t do anything that I won’t be able to handle,” Sims said.

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