Simon says Cavs will get to work
From what Don Simon, Southern Lee's new head football coach, told a group of Cavalier supporters, staff and a good number of his new charges Monday evening in Southern Lee's library, his Cavalier players might want to take advantage of their upcoming Spring Break. Summer vacation might not be the time for much rest and relaxation.
"We're going to be on the field, in the weight room, working with skill positions, linemen will be working with their coaches. It will be a work summer and we're going to be putting in a lot of work," Simon said as he was the guest of honor at a meet and greet event for the new coach.
Simon, a Florida native, accepted the Cavalier job in February and joined the Southern Lee staff earlier this month. He comes to Southern Lee from Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines, Fla.
In six seasons at Flanagan, Simon led the program to its first winning season in its 18-year history and went 25-15 in his last four seasons. At each post in his coaching career, Simon's rebuilt a program, or in the case of his task at Ronald Reagan High School in Miami, started a football program from scratch.
The Cavaliers went 6-6 and reached the state playoffs two seasons ago before going 2-9, and 1-5 in the Cape Fear Valley Conference, last year.
"I'm really proud to have been able to build programs at each coaching job I've been able to have," Simon said. "I've been blessed to be able to do that and it's something I take pride in."
While waiting for a new coach to be named, football wasn't on hold at Southern Lee, and Simon is encouraged by it.
"I've seen how the offseason weight program is going, and the kids are already into it. I'm more than happy with what I've seen already," he said.
Despite a cool, damp Monday afternoon, Simon had some quarterbacks and receivers outside to loosen up their arms and legs.
The real work, he said, will get going after Spring Break. There will be lots of time on the field along with chalk talk with new playbooks.
At Flanagan, Simon became known for producing excellent offenses, some of the best-ranked squads in South Florida in offensive categories. He coached Broward County all-star teams in the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Going back to his playing days, Simon was an all-American kicker/punter at Dakota St. in Madison, South Dakota.
The Cavaliers will be working toward the first Friday night of the season on Aug. 23. It'll also be the first season for the newly-formed Cape Fear Valley Conference with Southern Lee, Lee County, Douglas Byrd, Gray's Creek, Terry Sanford, Union Pines and Westover in the league.