Chris Sims, a senior co-captain and third-year starter at defensive back/wide receiver, has been called by Haverford head coach Brian Martin, “The heart and soul of our team. Chris would set the tone at every practice with his music and high energy speeches. A person like Chris will be hard to replace because leadership like that is hard to find.” This fall, Sims was a standout defensive back (both in tackles and pass interceptions) and a productive wide receiver. His older brother, Micah Sims, also played football for Haverford School. Next year, Chris will play football and run track for Bucknell University.
Q: What is your most vivid memory of this just-completed Haverford School football season?
A: My most vivid memory was getting the news that we are getting the chance to play. There was just a buzz going around the school and going out to practice that day just felt great. Our whole team was excited for just the opportunity to play.
Q: How did you see your role as a team leader this fall, on and off the field?
A: On the field I just wanted to lead by example. We were a young team this year and if someone did not understand something I would show them rather than telling them so they can vision it themselves. Also, just giving 110 percent at all times during practice is something that I strived for everyday and I hope the younger guys saw that in me. Off the field I just was willing to help at all times. Getting the guys motivated and helping anyone at any time was really my goal every day.
Q: Tell us a little about your football training since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. What did you find to be the biggest challenge to your training during the first months of the pandemic, and how did you handle that?
A: My training was something I took huge pride in. I sat down with our strength and conditioning coach, Coach Rosko, and he told me things he needs to see from me to take my game to the next level. I knew the first step was putting on weight and making sure it was good weight. Then some challenges were just figuring out ways to get to where I wanted to get to. I had to come up with creative ways to train and keep getting better every day. Another challenge was staying motivated. It was easy to think, “Oh, I can just do it tomorrow,” but I tried to stay away from that as much as possible.
Q: Who is your favorite football player and why?
A: Either Cam Newton or Ray Lewis. Cam just brings a different energy to the game – he plays with swag, confidence, and more importantly, he leads by example. Ray Lewis is so motivational – hearing him talk before games and just hearing how he thinks about the game is so different, that I strive to hold to those values.
Q: Have you always been a defensive back and wide receiver? Who have been your biggest football mentors, and what was the most important thing you learned from each one?
A: I was not allowed to play tackle football until middle school. So, all of flag football I played quarterback and running back. When I got to middle school, they put me at wide receiver and defensive back. I think my biggest football mentor is my brother, Micah, who played for Haverford School and was a part of the three-peat under Coach Murph [Michael Murphy]. He just preached film and preparation. Going into a game knowing the other team’s every move was something he taught me and something very important to me. And not only watching the other team on film but watching yourself on film.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation the day of a game.
A: Before every game I wear the same clothes. I go to the same breakfast place with a friend and teammate, Eli Pollack, and then get ready to go into school to get dressed. I always put on my headband and eye black strips on last.
Q: You wear uniform jersey No. 11 for Haverford School football. Why did you pick this number?
A: My brother Micah wore No. 1 at Haverford and I did not want to always be looked at as another No. 1, so I was going to be No. 2 to be double him. But an upperclassman had already taken No. 2, so I figured No. 11 would kind of have the same effect.
Q: What is your favorite course at Haverford School? What do you think you might want to major in at Bucknell? Is there a career field that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: My favorite course at Haverford is probably History of Sports. I will be majoring in economics at Bucknell and I want to help people manage their money correctly and make sure everything is going the right way with their money, especially when looking at contracts and such.
Fun facts – Chris Sims
Favorite book: Friday Night Lights.
Favorite TV show: 30 for 30 on ESPN.
Favorite movie: Black Panther.
Favorite athlete: Lebron James.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: Stole the Show by Kygo.
Favorite team: Philadelphia Eagles.
Favorite pre-game meal: Sausage egg on a plain bagel.
Person I most admire, and why: “My mom, Sharonda Smith, because she is so strong and has shaped me into the person I am today.”
(To be selected as Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)
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