Rockwood Summit football coaches create a life-lesson mentorship program for players

FENTON, Mo. – Rockwood Summit High School football players learned a few off-the-field lessons Monday. 

Alumni joined members of law enforcement to give advice to players as part of a diversity and equity program aimed at connecting students with mentors. The lessons focused on car maintenance and interaction with law enforcement.

“We want them leaving our program armed with skills that will help them in life beyond just the game,” Rockwood Summit Football Coach Eric Stewart said.

Some of Monday’s lessons included how to properly use jumper cables and changing a flat tire.  Stewart said other previous events included opportunities to meet with business leaders discussing job interview skills.

Players say the lessons include knowledge that will help them well beyond their high school years.

“It feels like it would help you more in real life than just learning how to do equations and math,” said Rockwood Summit student Gavin Hanrahan. 

One of the lessons he learned Monday was how to react when pulled over by a police officer.

“Keeping your hands on the steering wheel helps out the cop a lot because they don’t get nervous that you’re reaching for anything,” Hanrahan said.

The school’s safety resource officer was part of the group providing instruction. St. Louis County Police Officer Dan Sanner said building relationships with students will build trust. He said that trust allows them to turn to him for advice if they are ever facing trouble. He also believes connections with students gives them an even bigger incentive to succeed.

“They don’t want to disappoint me because they know I’ve made that effort to connect with them,” Sanner said. 

Rockwood Summit student Kole Younger attended some of the previous events and believes there’s already been a positive result.

“It’ll help grow character and leadership within our school,” he said.

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