With school about to start, now is a great time to share my ABC message.
This prescription for success is very simple to understand but can be difficult
to follow. Over the years I have found that those who choose to keep bad
company tend to follow down the same path of trouble as their peers. Once
you start down the wrong path it can be very difficult or impossible to hit the
brakes and change your life around. Please take this column to heart.



I wanted to take my column space this week to share a message that I believe
is key to success in middle and high school. The basis of this message comes
from words often delivered by East Carolina University Head Football Coach
Ruffin McNeil. While I didn’t come up with it on my own, I am going to expand
upon it and offer it as some of the best advice I or your parents can possibly
Avoid Bad Company. Quite often in middle school and high school through
no true fault of your own, you can find yourself becoming part of a group that
may have kids with a greater interest in trouble and clowning around versus
preparing themselves for the future. Their actions can begin to bring you down
and eventually pull you right into committing the same action. Kids that have
been raised really well and know the difference between right and wrong can
become lost in the middle and high school shuffle and become part of the group
of Bad Company.
If you have long range goals and want to become a respectable member of
society as you grow older, now is the time to begin to ABC, (avoid bad company.)
If you choose to run with the crowd that shows no respect for themselves
or for others, I can promise you that the same traps and pitfalls they will
experience will eventually lead to your downfall and earn you a spot in the Bad
Company group.
Every choice you make in middle school, high school and beyond has the
possibility of being the one that sets you on a course of self-destruction with no
exits on the highway for many years. Poor decisions can take away your opportunity
to attend college, they can lead you into the court system and they can
take your life. Trust me, it can happen to you, no one is immune from trouble
when they make poor choices and hang out with Bad Company.
Look around at your current group, are these kids going places, are they
striving to be successful? Are they respectful to others, are you proud to bring
them into your own house and let them meet your family or do you keep your
family away from them?
As Coach McNeil and many others preach, Avoid Bad Company, surround
yourself with friends that have the same goals in life as you do. Don’t let a poor
decision or the influence from Bad Company set your life on a path to trouble.
Thanks for listening.
Tripp Roakes
South Charlotte Sports Report