Charles Adams, Jr. was recognized as the Vikings Head Coach of the Year for his leadership of the North High School Polars. The Polars are in the semis and play Wabasso this Saturday for a spot in the Prep Bowl.
MINNEAPOLIS –The Vikings Youth Football Program on Tuesday paid a visit to Minneapolis North Community High School to honor the football team's head coach, Charles Adams, Jr., as the Coach of the Year.
"It's a great honor to be Coach of the Year," said Adams, who added that the award is just a bonus on top of a role he loves. "Without the award, I'm still going to continue to coach, still motivate the young men and still do what I can to get them all to the next level."
Adams has guided the Polars to an undefeated 12-0 season, including a 16-8 win over Wabasso on Nov. 19 to advance to the Class A championship game today at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Dr. Leo Lewis, former Vikings wide receiver and current Athletic Director at North High School, said it comes as no surprise that Adams would receive the honor. Lewis believes that Adams' passion for the community and the athletes, before football, have helped him find so much success on the field.
"I think the young student athletes get it – that he has a love for the school, and certainly for them, first," Lewis said.
Adams was born and raised in North Minneapolis and considers it a privilege to now be working as a football coach and as a Minneapolis police officer.
"I'm a product of where I came from. I was born in North Minneapolis, my family was as well, so to be able to give back to where I came from is huge," Adams said. "That's what we all dream about – coming back to where we came from. That's what I'm trying to do."
One of the qualities that stands out about Adams is not the number of touchdowns his team scores but rather the impact that he makes in the lives of his athletes. Adams believes it is part of his responsibility to coach his players not only in football but in life.
He said he works every day to make sure the team is focused on making good choices and not falling into harmful situations.
"You have to be able to take the energy positively and give these kids something to look forward to," Adams said. "If you bring and try to develop a winning environment, they'll catch on and they're right with you. That's what we've been trying to do here at North.
"[You see so many stories] about the wrong paths that some of these kids take," Adams added. "I feel like I was put here to put them on the right path and to motivate them, to show them how to do things correctly as a man."
Lewis said he sees Adams making a difference each and every day. He said Adams serves as an example for both loyalty and accountability for the youth he works with.
"A lot of these young men, although we say that they're resilient, haven't had a lot of leadership and models," Lewis said. "And he has presented that through his coaching style."
North High School will play in the championship game for the second consecutive year, after falling short to Minneota in the 2015 matchup.
Adams and the Polars will take the field at U.S. Bank Stadium against Rushford-Peterson High School, another undefeated squad that has averaged 38 points per game.
"[Coach Adams is] intense, and I think he's instilling that mindset within his student athletes – that it's certainly an honor to be at this point in the year," Lewis said. "I think that whether we win or lose, they're going to give it their all."