Rock Hill schools boost new mentoring program with football fundraiser

Tim Jones
Tim Jones

Pull out the old uniforms and strap on the padding, former high school football players are back in town.

The Rock Hill school district today kicks off its three-part sports extravaganza with four, 12-minute quarters of flag football, pitting Northwestern High School alumni against Rock Hill High School alumni at District Three South Stadium.

The purpose of the school district's Family Fun Day is to increase community awareness for the need of positive adult role models for Rock Hill students and to raise money for the new Power of Mentoring program.

"Our focus has changed to mentoring," said Serena Williams, the district's collaborative coordinator. "Many of our students are at risk for a variety of societal issues, and we want strong adults to connect with these kids."

The district committee came up with the idea to raise money for the program by recruiting former athletes to play in the game. They also hope the alumni players will become mentors.

Tim Jones, a former defensive standout at Rock Hill High and Clemson University, spearheaded the fundraiser.

"I want to get people excited and make them understand that the mentoring program is a big goal for the school district," said Jones, who played professionally with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

About 50 people are expected, including coaches, referees, players and volunteers, Williams said. The game also will bring cheerleaders back to the sidelines.

"I've been trying to shed a few pounds over the past month and a half to get in shape for this event," Jones said. "But, we're not out there to beat each other up, just to have a little fun with it."

The cost to watch is $2.

Part of the event's focus is to have the community support young people and help them realize that they have futures, Jones said.

"My passion now is our young people," he said. "It's not something we should talk about; we should do something about it."

• What: Family Fun Day

• Where: District Three South Stadium

• When: Today, with tailgating from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a football game at 1 p.m.

• Cost: $2 per person