Updated: June 27, 2020 10:05 PM
Created: June 27, 2020 09:57 PM
Charles Adams is a coach and mentor for his student-athletes in North Minneapolis. As an officer with the Minneapolis Police, he's also a bridge between his police department and the kids in his community - a role that's as important as ever during recent events in the city and across the nation.
Click the video box on this page to see KSTP Sports' story of how Minneapolis North football coach and Minneapolis Police Department officer Charles Adams is maintaining his role as a mentor for his kids and a leader in his community during a time when his relationships are facing several challenges
Adams has done amazing things for hs football team. He helped bring the community its first state football championship and just sent an alumnus - Tyler Johnson - to the National Football League draft.
But state titles and scholarships are only the outward rewards Adams' players receive.
"Coach Adams is like a father figure or uncle type for a lot of us," said North senior quarterback Zach Yeager. "We'll come to him with problems, anything we're going through. We always come talk to him first. He's just a really good role model for a lot of us. From day one he's not focused about the football side of things he's focused on the relationship."
That relationship has never been more significant than right now, as Adams' kids and the community handle massive shifts in racial and social justice issues.
"We're living in history right now," Adams said. "Myself, as a mentor, its even more important, you know, educating the kids on the things that are going on in this world - just knowing that you are there for them for support and talking them through these tough times."
Adams relationship with his student-athletes is different than most coaches due to his other role as Officer Charles Adams of the Minneapolis Police Department - in a time when the relationship with the community has been under stress.
"There's been some tough conversations," Adams acknowledges. "We've kept it real. They've (his players) kept it real with me and I've kept real with them. That's how we grow, that's how we learn and that's how we learn to love each other and keep the bond."
"He sees both sides," Yeager said. "He's been in the community on the north side and also with being a police officer - he sees both sides and you put it together and it's one person you can talk to."
"I tell them 'I take the uniform off when I get home and I'm the same color as you'," Adams said. "That's that's what they understand. We look at things going on right now - that's a negative force that's like an opponent. All we've got to do is prepare to beat that opponent and keep moving. Because we all have the same goal in mind."
For eleven years, Adams beat as an officer has been Minneapolis North High School. However, with the recent decision by Minneapolis Public Schools to terminate their contract with the Minneapolis Police Department, when school reconvenes this fall Adams won't see his players as often as he's used to.
"It's gonna be drastic,' Adams admits. "The daily transactions of me being around those kids - and they can come to me - that's gonna be something I've never experienced as a head coach. So I don't know how I'm gonna deal with that. It's gonna be tough."
"Having him makes us feel safe in our school,' Yeager said. "Without him in our school it's like missing a piece to our family."
Adams will miss the constant, daily contact but is assuring his players he'll still be there anytime they need him.
"There's still coaches that work as teachers in the building so we've got eyes everywhere, and they never know when I could pop up," he said. "I want it to be that these kids know that 'I'm going find a way to be there for you'."
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