MERRY HILL – A gifted athlete who excelled even beyond his abilities.
Chad Simmons, a recent graduate of Lawrence Academy, was often described that way during his playing days for the Warriors.
&uot;He’s a go-getter,&uot; Assistant Athletic Director Robert Kravitz said. &uot;You can’t tell him he can’t do something, because he’ll prove you wrong.&uot;
Simmons started his senior campaign with an All-State performance in football. He was named All-Conference, All-State, All-Roanoke-Chowan and was chosen Most Valuable Player of the team.
&uot;I am excited to have been named All-State for football because its such a big honor and has been a big part of my life,&uot; Simmons said.
His football coach, Alan Spencer, said Simmons deserved the honor.
&uot;He’s a gifted athlete all the way around,&uot; Spencer insisted. &uot;I would say he is one of the best players pound-for-pound I have ever seen. If he was six-foot tall and 200 pounds, everyone in the country would have been after him.
&uot;He will knock your helmet off if he gets the chance,&uot; Spencer added. &uot;He was a hard worker and a key element in our football program.&uot;
Simmons, who also was a standout in basketball and baseball, said football was indeed his favorite sport.
&uot;It’s my favorite because there is nothing better than putting on that helmet and uniform, strapping up that chinstrap and knowing you could go rock someone’s world,&uot; Simmons said. &uot;You try to show the man in front of you, you are better than him.&uot;
Simmons said his coach was an important part of his enjoyment of playing football.
&uot;He made me love the game and taught me that there is no other sport better,&uot; Simmons said. &uot;If I lost a football game, it took away a piece of my soul.&uot;
Simmons said his favorite part of the 2004 campaign was the state playoff victory over St. David’s when he had his best game of the season.
After completing a successful football season, Simmons was named Best Defensive player in basketball where he made Honorable Mention on the All-Roanoke-Chowan Team.
Kravitz, who coached Simmons in basketball and baseball, said he was a similar athlete to fellow All-State honoree Daniel Waters.
&uot;He and Daniel are very similar,&uot; Kravitz said. &uot;When I look at them I see brothers really. They are very similar in leadership and they both work hard and are very determined.&uot;
In fact, together Simmons and Waters were selected as co-Male Athlete of the Year at Lawrence following the 2004-2005 athletic year.
Simmons plans to attend East Carolina University this fall where he will seek a degree in Electrical Engineering. He said he intends to attempt to walk on with the pirates.
Simmons is the son of Pat and Jackie Simmons of Hexlena.