Thursday, August 15, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
“It would mean the world to me to be fighting for a starting spot or significant playing time by my senior season.”'
--UTC redshirt freshman Beau Simmons
With a solid soccer pedigree – honorable mention all-state and a state championship ring – from Chattanooga Christian School, football has also been part of Beau Simmons’ make-up since birth.
Born four days before UTC’s 59-34 home win against Gardner-Webb (Sept. 18, 1993), the walk-on free safety/special teams member turns 20 on Sept. 14 when the Mocs host Austin Peay.
Beau’s dad, Paul, lived from age 3 to 9 (1966-72) in Hernando, Miss. during some of the glory years of Ole Miss football as All-American quarterback Archie Manning led the Rebels to a pair of bowl wins (1968-69) and a top 10 ranking.
Beau’s younger brother, Peyton - named for none other than Archie and Olivia’s middle son with one Super Bowl ring – and is a UTC freshman as is his twin sister, Ashley, who plays for the Lady Mocs soccer team.
“I have followed Peyton’s college and pro career much more closely than my brother,” said Simmons.
While Peyton’s pro career is in its final stages, Simmons college career with the Mocs is just starting.
I redshirted last year as a freshman and hope to see some playing time this season on special teams,” said Simmons who carries a 3.6 grade point average majoring in mechanical engineering with aspirations of a career as a nuclear engineering like his dad.
“It would mean the world to me to be fighting for a starting spot or significant playing time by my senior season.”
Simmons had offers to play NCAA D-III football at Birmingham Southern and Greenville College (Ill.), but decided to stay close to home and try his hand at the D-I FCS level.
“I know it’s an uphill battle as a walk-on and no longer being the athlete as was the case for me in high school,” said Simmons who earned varsity letters in football (3) and soccer (4) and had 1,700 receiving yards as a junior and was District 7 Player of the Year as a junior and bsenior.
While he works each day and focuses on his goal to be a regular for the Mocs, he stays close to the CCS program and recalls with fondness his high school playing days for the Chargers.
“I have great memories of being part of the start of CCS football as a sixth grader on the middle school team in 2005,” said the 6-3, 200 pound Hixson resident.
“I was part of the first middle school and varsity football teams at CCS and now there are two of us (CCS alums) playing college football as Nathan Boldt is a defensive tackle for Birmingham Southern.”
Home Openers: As Simmons and his teammates work toward the season opener against UT-Martin (Aug. 29) at Finley Stadium, CCS is planning a grand football opening of the new 3,000 seat soccer/football stadium the following night as the Chargers host Lookout Valley on Aug. 30.
“I would empty my bank account to be able to play one more season for CCS in the new stadium,” Simmons stated.
With both his teams - ironically with identical school colors of blue and gold - playing at home on consecutive nights later this month, he will see summer come to a close, but hopefully the start of successful seasons for the Mocs and Chargers.
contact B.B. Branton at firstname.lastname@example.org