About a month ago, Meridian High School hired Martez Edwards as the new head coach of the Wildcats football team. He’s been coaching for the past nine years, and he’s now using old ideas and has created a new program called Wildcat Reads.
“I actually worked in Wayne County as a county government official, and I worked and helped co-write the Wayne County Literacy Program. So, I took this from there and now we use this platform as football players and football coaches to promote literacy in our elementary schools and neighborhoods,” said Edwards.
Edwards says once a month the players will be out in the community, giving back. Today, they visited five elementary schools, including T.J. Harris Elementary.
“I enjoy the kids because they’re active, they listen, and they’re very engaged in learning about their ABC’s in Dr. Seuss’s ABC’s. It feels good, and I’m honored to be able to come back and talk to students and get them to know the importance of reading,” said defensive tackle and defensive end Leviticus Madison who is a junior.
In giving back this way, they hope to create a foundation for the young students’ futures.
“Their goals are to reach higher levels. Heavy is the head that wears the crown. So, the higher you get in football, the more important you become in terms of being involved within the community,” said Edwards. “They have to learn that what they do on the field and how they’re seen off the field. These kids are really influenced by these young men, and I want them to understand the influence and power that they have.”