Head football coach at new CMS high school shares goals as season nears

CHARLOTTE — Aug. 5 is the last Friday without high school football in the Carolinas until December.

Jonathan Simmons is the head coach at the newly-opened Palisades High School in Steele Creek. He told Channel 9 he wants to start the season on the right foot.

Simmons is one of many coaches gathering Friday morning at Butler High School ahead of the season. The coaches are meeting for a symposium beginning at 8 a.m.

In May, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools said it wanted to create meetings like this after several schools were forced to forfeit their seasons. Friday’s symposium may be in response to that.

The meeting will focus on athletic eligibility, sportsmanship, positive team culture and equality and diversity.

Coach Simmons is taking all those topics seriously. He said he’s also committed to developing relationships with his players on and off the field. He said he wants to build confidence, respect and discipline in his team.

“It’s just about trying to be supportive and providing each young man with something different they can carry past here,” he told Channel 9.

Simmons said while he’s excited to build those relationships, he needs help from parents and from the community.

“Help us as we try to push these kids, don’t let them quit, don’t let them feel discouraged, just kind of support us as we support them,” he said.

The Palisades Pumas will have their first game of the season on Aug. 19.

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