By Kenneth Foxworth
The recent events happening in Ferguson, Missouri are a reminder of why we see policeman in a negative way. But here locally we are able see and know standout policemen like Charles Adams III, who is changing the mindsets of young African American males by being a role model, father figure and educator.
As a role model, Coach Adams began his coaching career as a football assistant under Coach Tony Patterson in 2007. Coach Patterson was an outstanding wide receiver for the Minnesota Gophers (1999-2003).
Charles Adams looked to his father as his role model and became a police officer as well. For example, in his former precinct, Coach Adams worked with young men in the University of Minnesota’s Athletic Department to ensure they were
aware of the pitfalls within downtown Minneapolis. This was to advise them how to handle given situations and ways to avoid trouble while providing a contact number to assist them in case of emergencies such as profiling or legal help.
Coach Adams’ North High players see him as a father figure; that’s one of the reasons why the North Polars were so successful in 2014. He was the machine behind the team winning and believing in themselves.
Many of his players says the same thing over and over again, how Coach Adams is both a father figure and a role model for them. They all said, “He works us hard, he believes in us, and we believe in him.”
Josh Cunnigham said, “I’ve known Coach Adams since middle school, and he has shown me a better way of being a man to serve and help my community. I thank him so much!”
This is just like the movies Remember the Titians and Coach Carter about not giving up on our children. When you do that, you are changing the way people are looking at our community in a positive way.
Coach Patterson said the reasons why Coach Adams is so great for North High is because he is an alumni, his family resides in North Minneapolis, he is a school resource officer, and he is committed to working with youth in the Northside community. Recently, KARE 11 TV named Coach Adams “Coach of the Year.”
As coach, he formed a team with a small bunch of freshmen, and he made sure they believed in their hearts that North High would not shut down but would remain open and the team would become one of the best football teams in the conference. Their motto is, “Won’t be beat, can’t be beat.”
Minneapolis North High, with their undefeated season, was playing against Dawson-Boyd for the semi-final 1-A Division Championship. North’s 2014 team had made history as being the best team ever in the history of their high school to hold an undefeated football record until their unfortunate loss: Dawson-Boyd 28, North 12.
Given the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and experiencing the positives of coaches like Charles Adams III who are making a change, I would like to share the following statement by Cornel West: “We have to recognize that there cannot be relationships unless there is commitment, unless there is loyalty, unless there is love, patience, persistence.”
To Coach Adams and the football staff, thanks for making a commitment to the young men at North High School!
Kenneth Foxworth is an educator and former Gopher athlete.