Football player encourages others to 'do the right thing' - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Football player encourages others to 'do the right thing'

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

After losing everything in a house fire, a Mid-South football player is beating the odds and on track to be the first person in his family to graduate from high school.

Caleb Gates is a junior free safety for Raleigh-Egypt and, despite enduring many challenges, continues to remain positive and be an influence on others.

Gates refuses to let the obstacles he has faced in life define who he is or what he will become. For Gates, his success hinges on two things:

"First get closer to God. Then get a good education," Gates said.

But, Gates admits those are some positive words coming from someone who was not always treading down the right path.

"At the rate I was going, I was either going to be dead or in jail," Gates said. 

That's not the road he is on anymore. He is a varsity high school football player at Raleigh-Egypt High School who went from a 2.0 GPA to a 4.3.

In addition, he is on track to become the first of his siblings to attend college.

"My main message is to do the right thing," Gates said.

He even lost everything he had in an apartment fire last year. But, that obstacle still did not slow him down. 

The same way Gates has overcome adversity, his team has done so as well. The Pharoahs went from a losing record four years ago to an undefeated season until they lost their first game to Fayette-Ware Friday night.

"Their willingness to commit to something is what helps me," head coach Major Wright said.

Coach Wright said their success is because all the players are buying into a winning mentality. But, Gates admits it is not always easy.

"It's so easy to do the wrong thing, but it's hard to do the right thing," Gates said.

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