Activities Beyond the Classroom helps provide enrichment opportunities for all Cincinnati Public School students to participate in extracurricular activities including competitive sports, sports camps, and afterschool clubs. We work to expand opportunities for students to be active, engaged and have fun. When we learned about Gamble Montessori High School’s female kicker, Simone Christmon, we were excited to find out more about her.
Simone Christmon, a 17-year old senior at Gamble Montessori, joined the high school football team midway during the 2017-2018 season. Christmon was inspired by her gym teacher, Mr. Miller, to join the team after Miller saw her kicking ability during an outdoor physical education class. “We started at the 20-yard line and my gym teacher saw that I could kick so he moved the ball back to the 25, then the 30, then the 35.” Miller saw the potential in Simone and he took the initiative to speak with the football coach Rob Rachel, aka “Coach Rob,” about Simone.
When Christmon spoke with her family about joining the football team, they were very supportive. “My dad was a little hesitant at first. He did not want me to get hurt. But he quickly came around,” she added. “My family has been my biggest supporters. They told me ‘Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do anything because you can. If you want to do something, then do it!’, so I did”.
Christmon felt a little awkward joining the football team mid-season, but she said the feeling quickly faded. Playing on the team allowed her to bond with a new group of students, ones she had not yet had an opportunity to get to know. “It felt like a family when I arrived,” stated Christmon. “Everyone was really welcoming.”
Christmon is not new to competitive sports—she also plays basketball, volleyball, softball and runs track. Wearing jersey number 33, Christmon got the opportunity to play against another female during her senior year, one who kicks for Clark Montessori. She is hopeful that other girls will be encouraged to try out for the football team, including her younger sister. “My sister can kick too, so maybe next year!” hinted Christmon.
When asked what words of wisdom she has for individuals who are interested in doing something different she said, “Follow your dreams and don’t let anybody hold you back. If you want to do it, nobody can stop you!” Christmon plans on playing basketball at the collegiate level for either Tennessee State or Tuskegee University.
Coach Rob speaks very highly of Christmon. “Simone is great!” exclaimed Coach Rob. “She came out every game and supported her teammates, whether she had a kicking opportunity or not!” Coach Rob added that during her junior year Simone was responsible for helping her team secure a victory against Schroeder. “Simone’s kick tied up the game.
She was so happy to contribute to her team. It was amazing to watch,” he added. Coach Rob stated that in addition to her outstanding character, “Simone was a great asset to the team.”
Gamble Montessori High School currently has 32 competitive sports teams, according to their Arbiter Live page. Students at Gamble Montessori are encouraged to get involved in whatever extracurricular activities they desire without regard to their gender or societal norms. Activities Beyond the Classroom will continue to celebrate the achievements of Cincinnati Public School students such as Simone Christmon. We believe that giving students opportunities to try new things helps to broaden their horizons and makes them better students in the classroom and better citizens on and off the field.