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Palmetto Christian High School
Mt. Pleasant

Palmetto Christian coaches a tight-knit group

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Mount Pleasant—There is a real community feel among the Palmetto Christian Academy football team coaching staff.  Most of them have been around for several years, helping with the jayvee squad at some point as well as the varsity.

Chris Shimakonis has been with the team for nine years, including three as head coach, and he knows it takes the efforts of so many people to make the Eagles a success.

“You have a low budget and everybody has to chip in and help, here and there.  People just sort of kick in whenever someone needs help.  The moms do it, the dads do it, the teachers do it.  I think it brings the whole school closer,” said Shimakonis.

Most of the coaches also have at least one son on the team or had kids that played for PCA at some point, including Shimakonis, Kevin Roark (co-defensive coordinator/defensive backs), Shannon Shogren (co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks/running backs), and Tony Poston (linebackers).

“If you had kids and I would see you out there, I would want you to have the opportunity to be with your son in that environment.  It’s super rewarding to be up close and see them come off the sideline.  It’s not ‘daddy ball.’  These guys are skilled at what they do and are awesome coaches.  It’s about having the right balance of discipline and care so the players trust us,” said Shimakonis.

Poston is in his first year as an assistant and has already made a positive impact.  He’s a law enforcement officer by day, but began doing workouts with the players a week after last season ended.  Former players Chase Shimakonis and Ben German are helping with wide receivers.

The staff also has college experience, with offensive/defensive line coach Matt Manning playing at Coastal.  Roark was a linebacker at South Carolina while Shogren lined up at defensive end for Wofford.

“It has been incredible.  It’s strength and conditioning.  It’s breaking down film.  It’s recognizing the physical and mental limitations of your players and being able to adapt an offense and defense they can run with confidence and execute.  Their experience is invaluable,” said Shimakonis.

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